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From Amazon to Target, here’s a look at some of the biggest holiday sales happening now

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Amazon‘s Prime Big Deal Days, kicks off Oct. 10, but competitor sales are already underway.

This year, other big-name retailers are getting a head start by launching their own holiday sales earlier than ever, according to Katie Roberts, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. Consider it “the kickoff to Black Friday season,” she said.

Here’s a look at some of biggest sales events happening now.

Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days sale: What’s in store

When Amazon’s sale kicks off Oct. 10, expect to find the best discounts on Amazon products, such as the Kindle e-readers, Echo Show smart home hubs, Fire tablets and Fire TVs, according to consumer-savings expert Andrea Woroch.

Already, Amazon has said the Fire 50-inch 4K Smart TV with hands-free Alexa would be 60% off and some Echo devices would be discounted by 55%.

Beyond Amazon’s own brands, deals include 60% off Blink smart home security; half off earbuds, speakers and headphones from Sony and Bose; a Philips air fryer marked down 46%; and other discounts from Dyson, Barbie, SharkNinja, iRobot and Peloton.

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Unlike July’s Prime Day, Amazon is featuring more gift suggestions this month — with deals on well-known brands, such as Hasbro, Lego, Squishmallows and Sony — rather than back-to-school supplies.

New deals will drop as often as every five minutes. You can set up deal alert notifications on Amazon or through your Alexa device so you’ll know when the price changes. Prime members can also sign up for invite-only deals on the items that typically sell out fast.

When a deal is live, add it to your cart immediately. Once a sale item is in your cart, you’ll have 15 minutes to decide whether to complete the purchase.

But first, you must be an Amazon Prime member. You can sign up for a month-to-month membership or a 30-day free trial. College students can try Prime Student with a six-month trial.

Target, Walmart and others kick off early sales

  • Target‘s “Circle Week” runs through Oct. 7, with daily deals across all categories including furniture, electronics, beauty, apparel, toys and sporting goods.
  • Walmart is holding a “Holiday Kickoff” event from Oct. 9 to 12, which will start before and end after Amazon’s sale and include discounts on top gifts and electronics, home, toys and clothing.
  • Best Buy is hosting a 48-hour flash sale on Oct. 10 and 11 followed by another sales event from Oct. 20 to 22 with more deals on video games and accessories. Members who spend $500 in October will receive a $50 reward certificate to use on Best Buy purchases in December.
  • Kohls has its “Don’t-Miss Deals” through Oct. 8, with an extra 20% off already reduced merchandise. 
  • Macy’s “Fab Fall” savings event is underway, with markdowns up to 60% plus an additional 20% off with the coupon code “fall.”

With sales starting earlier, retailers are hoping to lure shoppers with promotions well ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as households become increasingly concerned about stretching their dollars over the holidays.

In fact, many consumers have already started their holiday gift buying, studies show — and this year, half of shoppers plan to begin their holiday shopping by Halloween, according to a recent Bankrate report.

Holiday shoppers who start saving early for year-end purchases set themselves up for financial success, experts say.

How to get the best deals on holiday gifts

A worker delivers Amazon packages in San Francisco on Oct. 5, 2022. Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale is on through Oct. 12 to boost sales among cost-conscious consumers who are expected to start their holiday shopping even earlier this year.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

To maximize your holiday savings, start price tracking now. 

Woroch recommends creating a wish list and then using a price-tracking browser extension such as Honey, Camelcamelcamel or Keepa to watch for price changes and get price-drop alerts for the items you want.

For extra savings, use a free rewards app like Fetch to earn gift cards to Amazon, Target and Walmart or apply coupon codes at check out and earn cash back through deal sites like CouponCabin.com.

Then, curb the tendency to overspend by tracking your gift list and budget using the Santa’s Bag app, Woroch advised, which lets you enter the total you want to spend per person to keep you out of debt.

For more on Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days, check out NBC Select’s recent guide.

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