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Don’t Miss These Huge Holiday Sales This Month

Pre-pre-pre-holiday sales at Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart this month. Which is best?


spinner image Montage of big retail store signs, Best Buy, Amazon, Target and Walmart, which are competing for holiday business.
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You no longer have until after you’ve eaten your Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy some of the year’s best prices at the nation’s largest retailers. You don’t even have to wait until after Halloween.

“We have seen Christmas creep, moving earlier and earlier,” says budgeting expert Andrea Woroch. “These stores see more opportunity with earlier sales. They know people are more likely to go shopping if there’s a sense of urgency that they can create by having a sale.”

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Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart are all hosting competing sales events this week and next in a bid to be the first stop for consumers as they start checking purchases off their holiday shopping lists. But with so many sales events vying for your attention, it can be hard to know which ones offer the best value. The answer depends on the types of products you want, whether you prefer shopping online or in person, and when you prefer to do your shopping.

The first step is to make sure you’re not jumping at the first sale you see.

“Since most of these sales will happen simultaneously, the best way for consumers to get the most value is to compare prices,” says Brad Godwin, senior vice president and head of retail partnerships at Shopkick. “There may be specific items that are discounted at multiple retailers, so be sure to check the price across the board to make the best purchase.”

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about the biggest shopping events happening this month.

Target Circle Week

Dates: October 1–7

Who’s eligible: Target Circle Members only (free to join)

Products on sale include: Beats headphones, kitchen items, women’s sweaters, denim, jewelry and accessories

Best for: Shoppers who want to get started right now. This sale ends tomorrow.

Strategies to save:

  • Check your email for personalized offers. Target Circle members may get notifications for additional savings.
  • Download the Target Circle App. You can use it to see specific discounts and product availability, so you can plan before you go to the store — or order for curbside pickup.
  • Take advantage of free, two-day shipping. This applies to all online purchases over $35.

Walmart Holiday Kickoff

Dates: October 9–12

Who’s eligible: Online and app shoppers only

Products on sale include: E-bikes, robot vacuums, Apple watches

Best for: Online shoppers who are not Amazon Prime members

Strategies to save:

  • Check out the “Walmart Restored” section of the site. That’s where you’ll find “like new” appliances and tech devices at significant discounts with a one-year warranty.
  • Don’t worry about buyer’s remorse. Any purchases made at Walmart after October 1 can be returned through January 31, meaning if you find something better on Black Friday you can return the items you bought during this sale.
  • Take advantage of free, two-day shipping. This applies to all online purchases over $35.

Amazon Prime Big Deals Days

Dates: October 10–11

Who’s eligible: Amazon Prime members only

Products on sale include: Items from Dyson, Barbie and Peloton

Best for: Amazon Prime members

Strategies to save:

  • Focus on Amazon-branded items. The company typically makes the biggest price cuts to its own products, from gadgets like Kindles and Blink doorbells to Amazon Basic household items, during Prime events.
  • Use price-tracking apps: Browser extensions like CamelCamelCamel or Keepa can show you how the current price on a product compares to its historical price, making it easier to know whether you’re truly getting a good deal.
  • Opt in to invitation-only deals. If you’re selected, the retailers will let you know during Prime Big Deal Days how to take advantage of special offers.
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Best Buy 48-Hour Flash Sale

Dates: October 10–11

Who’s eligible: Everyone

Products on sale include: Laptops, headphones and smartwatches

Best for: Folks looking to buy tech products

Strategies to save

  • Shop the outlets. You can visit the more than 20 brick-and-mortar outlet stores across the country, or go to BestBuy.com/outlet to find deals on open-box and clearance products.
  • Watch for Drops on the app. Best Buy will offer exclusive, limited-availability “Drop” deals through its mobile app this holiday season. You can view upcoming Drops through the app and opt in for an alert for when a sale on a specific item goes live.
  • Check out Black Friday deals. If you’re a Best Buy Plus ($50 per year) or Total member ($180 per year), you have access to additional deals throughout October as well as early access to Black Friday deals October 27–29.

Keep in mind that while the deals at the October sales are good, there may be deeper discounts on some items or more storewide sales on Black Friday. TVs and gaming consoles, in particular, tend to see the best prices of the year on Black Friday, and toy prices typically fall the most in December, so if those items are on your list, delaying those purchases may be worthwhile.

“But if you see an item that you’re interested in at a good price during the October sales, you might want to buy it just to avoid the chaos of Black Friday,” says Julie Ramhold, a senior staff writer and consumer analyst at DealNews.

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