October is here and while we would come to expect smaller fall and Halloween sales, coronavirus — among other factors — has caused this month to look different than years past. For one thing, Amazon has recently announced that Prime Day will be on Oct. 13 and 14. What does this mean? More products are offered at slashed prices, including home goods, electronics and more. And while we would normally expect big sales to ramp up come Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it seems that holiday shopping and related sales may kick off early this year.
To better understand what October may bring, and how shoppers should take advantage of all the sales and deals available, we consulted Michael Bonebright from DealNews.com. “Because the megaretailer is hosting Prime Day on October 13-14, other stores are already scrambling to host their own mid-month events,” Bonebright said. “Thus far, we know that Walmart, Target, and Overstock are all planning to host competing sales — and we expect that list to grow.”
What to buy in October and what can wait
During October, you’ll find fall produce, including apples, butternut squash and pumpkins, at discounted prices across grocery stores, which Bonebright noted could make for a fun pickling or canning activity given our current circumstances (and only if you can do so safely). And with Halloween coming up, we can also expect to see discounts on costumes. Although Bonebright noted that Nov. 1 is technically the time to save the most on a costume, we should see discounts and coupons in the last couple weeks leading up to Halloween. As many people may be opting out of trick-or-treating this year due to the continued spread of coronavirus, it’s more likely Halloween-centric stores will have a larger supply of costumes closer to the holiday. Plus, if you’ve been eyeing a new car, now may be the time to upgrade as October is a month of clearance for car dealerships anticipating new models. However, Bonebright suggested waiting until the end of the month as “sales people will be more likely to make a deal to meet their monthly quotas.”
While shoppers can expect to find savings on a wider range of products, including small appliances, select tech and clothing, Bonebright urged shoppers to save some cash for Black Friday, too, which we may be seeing earlier this year than ever before. Specifically, Bonebright advised shoppers to wait until Black Friday or later to purchase TVs and the upcoming Apple iPhone 12, which has yet to be released. Bonebright also suggested waiting to invest in gift cards since we’ll most likely see superior deals in December. “You can leave the gift cards as a last-minute pre-Christmas purchase,” he said.
What stores are having big sales right now
Amazon is holding its annual Prime Day sale on Oct. 13 and 14. Prime Members can take advantage of deals on everything from small appliances and toys to beauty products, smart home tech and a slew of Amazon products. Additionally, members can shop at Whole Foods Market stores, as well as Amazon physical stores during The Whole Foods Market Prime Day offer, “Spend $10, Get $10.” As NBC News Shopping previously reported, from now until Oct. 14, members can gain up to $50 in credits to use on Prime Day, too.
As in years past, Prime Day will likely cause select retailers to offer their own comparable sales this month, and there are some unrelated ongoing sales, as well. Here is a list of those sales in October.
- Abercrombie & Fitch is offering up to 40 percent off fall styles and up to 30 percent off Abercrombie Kids.
- AeroGarden is offering 20 percent off sitewide, including gardens, seed pod kits and accessories with code GREEN20.
- Aeropostale is giving you 50 to 70 percent off sitewide.
- Belk is giving you daily deals like an extra 65 percent off select brands, plus an additional 25 percent off Michael Kors items through Oct. 12.
- Costco is providing up to $150 off select Dyson items, including the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link HP02.
- The Disney Store is offering 30 percent off select costumes and costume accessories for a limited time, as well as up to 50 percent off select toys, clothing, home and more during their Twice Upon A Year sale.
- Keurig is offering 50 percent off a coffee maker and 25 percent off beverages when the items are purchased as a part of the Keurig Starter Kit.
- Kohl’s is offering up to 80 percent off clearance items.
- LifeProof is offering 15 percent off all screen protection and 20 percent off the Amplify Glass Glare Guard.
- Lenovo is giving you up to 68 percent off doorbuster items, including select PCs, desktops, laptops and more.
- Lord and Taylor is offering 30 to 60 percent off sitewide.
- Lowe’s is offering up to $500 off select appliances with the applicable promo code through Oct. 21, as well as up to 70 percent off select smart home items.
- Macy’s is providing up to 30 percent off select brands, 15 percent off beauty items and a free four-piece Clarins gift (up to a $61 value) with any $75 Clarins purchase while supplies last.
- Nordstrom is giving you up to 61 percent off clearance items.
- Nordstrom Rack is offering up to 90 percent off last chance items.
- Olympia Sports is offering an extra 25 percent off team gear with code SPORT25, as well as 50 percent off outdoor footwear and essentials and $10 Wilson long sleeves.
- Spongellé is providing a free Hyacinth Flower Child Buffer with purchases over $20 with code PRETTYINPINK.
- STATE Bags is offering up to 75 percent off select items during its Warehouse Sale.
- Wayfair is providing sales on Halloween- and Fall decor, as well as up to 60 percent off select furniture, kitchen, bedding and more.
- Williams-Sonoma is offering up to 60 percent off select Halloween items, as well as up to 75 percent off clearance.
- Wilsons Leather is offering an extra 45 percent off sitewide with code FALL.
Best deals to shop right now
The Echo Dot is a great option if you’re looking to gain access to Alexa but don’t need the large speakers. You can use it to conveniently check the weather, make phone calls and adjust smart home controls. Additionally, it’s compact, more affordable than the Echo and comes in a variety of colors, including Sandstone and Plum. And if you want an upgrade from this model, consider the all-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) — which is not on sale.
If you’re looking to upgrade your wireless headphones, consider the Beats Solo Pro. They feature 40 hours of battery life and are ergonomically designed for comfort. They also include active noise cancelling technology to block out distractions and transparency mode and help you hear your surroundings. You can get them in a number of colors, including Red, Light Blue and Black.
The Jamiya coffee table by Willa Arlo Interiors is made of a metal frame and beveled glass. It is both stylish and functional as it features a minimalist and elegant design, with a shelf for storing books, blankets and more. You can find it in a variety of styles including classic Metallic Gold or trendy Chrome colorways.
If you or a loved one could use a new pair of loafers, check out this Johnston & Murphy option. It features a classic design with white stitching for added detail and is made from leather upper and textile lining. Additionally, it included a cushioned footbed for comfort. If you prefer a more casual look, consider the Keating Sneaker.
The Kasa Smart Plug enables you to control home electronic appliances, such as lamps or fans, using voice control features via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You can also conveniently turn electronics off from your phone using the Kasa app, as well as set timers on devices. NBC News Shopping previously reported that it was a bestseller in France during Amazon Prime Day 2018.
If you’re in the market for a new TV stand, consider this Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse option. It features a rustic and simple design and sports barn-style doors with metal embellishments. Additionally, it can hold TVs up to 65 inches and includes plenty of space for storing gaming consoles and accessories, cords and more. Plus, it comes in a range of colors, including White Oak and Stone Gray.
If you’re looking for an air fryer, toaster or food warmer, consider this countertop oven by Ninja Foodi. It features a sleek design and can also roast, broil, bake and more. Additionally, it comes with a large enough cooking space to make a 13-inch pizza and preheats in one minute. Plus, you can flip it to stand vertically after use for additional counter space.
As air quality concerns continue to rise across the country, many people have become increasingly interested in air purifiers. The Bissell MYair Purifier is great for compact spaces up to 100 square feet. It features a carbon filter and three-filter systems to extract dust and other particulates in the air. It also is equipped with a sensor to alert you when it’s time to change filters.
The Ecovacs N79S vacuum cleaner comes with multiple settings, such as automatic mode and max mode for cleaning tougher messes. For convenience, it features voice controls via Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also use the smart app to access over five features including scheduling, cleaning modes, status updates and more. Plus, it includes up to 110 minutes of battery life.
If you or your kids are in back-to-back meetings or classes, you may want to invest in a webcam. This AUKEY option features HD video and built-in stereo microphones. You can clip it on a computer monitor or laptop, as well as stand it on a desk. To use, you can connect the device via a USB port and it’s compatible with select Windows, Mac and Android systems.
More shopping guides and recommendations
Catch up on the latest from NBC News Shopping guides and recommendations and download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak