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How to shop Amazon's October Prime Day, according to experts — plus what to buy

Back in August, we heard rumblings that Amazon had a second Prime Day in the works for the first year ever. Well, we now know it’s true: Amazon's announced its Prime Early Access Sale, the long-awaited follow-up to mid-July’s record-breaking Prime Day 2022 (which saved Prime members $1.7 billion), will take place on October 11 and 12!

If you missed massive sales on an Apple Watch, a Fire TV or any of Prime Day’s millions of other bestsellers at massive discounts, this second Prime Day could be your second chance.

What can we expect from Amazon’s Prime Day Early Access sales event?

According to Amazon, October’s 48-hour Prime Early Access Sale is not just an attempt to replicate the success of Prime Day, as leaked documents previously suggested. It’s primarily an opportunity for consumers to get a head start on holiday shopping "especially with inflation concerns," notes BlackFriday.com's shopping expert, Lisa Davis. Expect "enticing discounts" on popular brands like Shark, Samsung, KitchenAid, LEGO, iRobot and Philips Sonicare.

"Think toys, personal tech and Amazon-owned devices, plus subscription additions like Amazon Music, a free Grubhub+ membership and Prime Video," says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert with RetailMeNot, to Yahoo Life. "The retailer will have discounts [on] clothing, home, electronics, kitchen and more, but we expect to see even more deals around hot holiday toys and trending tech gift items from top brands."

Amazon also promises curated "Top 100" lists and gift guides to help shoppers navigate the onslaught of deals before products sell out.

"Because of [the sale's] proximity to the holidays, not only will we see a lot of gifting language in this event, but we'll likely also see a lot of seasonal holiday items," adds Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with DealNews.com. And this time, the Prime Early Access Sale is available to Prime members only.

Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. Amazon will give you free shipping on all these items, but if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get so much more — from access to new movies to two-day shipping on many items.

Will the Prime Early Access Sale break previous Prime Day records?

Prime Day Early Access, second Prime Day
The Prime Early Access Sale will have deals galore on everything giftable, and it's for Prime members only. (Photo: Getty)

"Retailers really saw over the last couple of years that consumers are willing to shop early — long before Black Friday itself really rolls around," said Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with DealNews.com, to Yahoo Life. Recent surveys confirm it should be the same this season.

One new survey from RetailMeNot found that over half of American shoppers (56%, to be exact) are planning to shop for early holiday deals, including Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale. The survey also found that 70% of holiday deal hunters are worried about inflation prices. In a related data point, 14% more consumers plan to holiday-shop early this year than did in 2021.

"It honestly seems like every Prime Day shatters previous records, but given the nature of this one it's kind of a toss-up," says Ramhold. McGrath believes the success of the Prime Early Access Sale "will depend on what, exactly, Amazon discounts. Retailers all have overstocked on home goods, home tech and casual clothing — things that were flying off shelves during the pandemic. So Amazon will have to really make the case to shoppers that it needs these things."

And during a recession, nothing strengthens your case like incredible savings.

How to shop Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale, according to experts

second Prime Day, Prime Day Early Access
Get strategic about your holiday deal hunting. (Photo: Getty)
  • Shop the holiday gift guides: Amazon is making it easier than ever to navigate Prime Day by introducing curated Top 100 lists of the sale’s “most popular and giftable items” before they sell out. "Prime members can also shop the plethora of Amazon Gift Guides for tons of savings, which includes the Toys Gift Guide," says Davis. Brands like Hasbro, Disney, Fisher-Price, Bluey and National Geographic will be included, "and the Amazon Home Prep Shop to make your home the coziest throughout the entire holiday season" will feature products by Amazon Basics, De’Longhi, iRobot, Shark, SimpleHuman and Zinus.

  • Try out Amazon's subscription services: The Prime Early Access Sale is your opportunity to give Amazon Music Unlimited a whirl and get four months free. It has 90 million songs ad-free and in HD, plus millions of podcast episodes. And if you're a Prime member, you can get an Echo Dot (3rd gen) for 99 cents with a one-month subscription of Amazon Music Unlimited. "Even non-Prime members can get the service for three months for free — again, as long as they haven't previously tried it," notes Ramhold. "Prime members can also get a free year of Grubhub+ just for being a Prime member. The membership is valued at $9.99 per month, so members can save about $120 on this service just by subscribing to Prime." You also get a complimentary subscription to Prime Video with your Prime membership, and the myriad deals that come with it.

  • Keep a sharp eye on Amazon-owned products: "Amazon always features deals on its own products during major sales. So expect discounts on Echo devices, Kindle devices and items in the Amazon Basics line," says McGrath. In fact, Alexa-enabled tech devices have historically been some of the most deeply discounted and bestselling products Prime Day has to offer. "Amazon just released 5th-gen versions of its Echo devices, so expect discounts on previous generations," Davis points out.

Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Smart Speaker with Alexa

$18$40Save $22
Expect discounts on previous Echo Dot models — and score this 3rd-generation version for just 99 cents with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.
$18 at Amazon
  • Shop the right categories: "Keep an eye on toy discounts. This is a sale geared toward early holiday shoppers, after all," says McGrath. Look out for beauty products too. "Brands that sell on Amazon will no doubt be clamoring to make it into shoppers' early holiday shopping carts. Plus, beauty is always a major category for Prime Day, so we expect it to be for Prime Early Access as well." And don't forget small home appliances. McGrath adds, "Robot vacuums, mixers, pressure cookers and air fryers see big discounts during Amazon's major sales. These items tend to be pricier discretionary purchases, so we expect them to fall to levels that make them irresistible — they have to be, to get inflation-spooked shoppers to buy them."

  • Set up personalized deal notifications in advance: First, download the Amazon app if you haven't already. Then visit the Prime Early Access Sale event page on the app between now and October 11 to set up deal alerts related to your recent Amazon searches and recently viewed items. Once the Prime Early Access Sale begins, you'll receive push notifications (make sure to enable them!) on any available deals.

  • Create deal lists with Alexa: If you're a Prime member, add products to your Amazon Wish List, Cart or Save for Later list, and Alexa will notify you up to 24 hours before eligible deals go live on those items. It'll even offer to automatically buy the deal when it becomes available.

And finally, keep an eye out for competing sales by other major retailers

Amazon peers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy have begun getting in on the Prime Day action by offering competing sales to coincide with the blockbuster shopping event, and this year should be no different. So be aware of other deals you might be missing, and do price comparisons.

"We know Target’s Deal Days will occur on October 6–8, offering sales on home decor, clothing, electronics and entertainment, and we expect other top big-box stores to run promotions during Prime Early Access to compete," says McGrath. "Although Amazon and Target are the only big retailers to announce major early season sales so far, we expect to see even more retailers follow suit," notes Davis. Ramhold adds, "I wouldn't be surprised if Best Buy has an event to compete as well."

Looking for more great Amazon home deals? Check these out:

Outdoor

  • Kurifier Outdoor Solar Torch Lights 8-pack

    $14$70Save $56
  • Sunjoy Outdoor Portable Propane Heater

    $87$192Save $105
  • Colsen Tabletop Portable Fire Pit

    $40$100Save $60
  • Addlon LED Outdoor String Lights

    $32$70Save $38
  • GOOTOP Electric Mosquito Zapper

    $40$60Save $20

Vacuums

  • Orfeld Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

    $110$150Save $40
  • ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner

    $27$40Save $13
  • Eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 30C

    $159$299Save $140
  • Hoover Windtunnel Air Bagless Upright Vacuum

    $136$200Save $64
  • eufy eufy by Anker RoboVac G30 Robot Vacuum

    $180$319Save $139
  • Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

    $69$90Save $21

Kitchen

  • Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

    $199$250Save $51
  • Bentgo All-in-One Stackable Bento Lunch Box Container

    $15$30Save $15
  • Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

    $100$130Save $30
  • Vtopmart Airtight Food Storage Containers

    $24$52Save $28
  • Ninja Mega Kitchen System

    $120$200Save $80
  • Instant Pot Electric Dutch Oven

    $150$250Save $100
  • Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet

    $45$50Save $5

Bedding and home

  • DRIVE AUTO PRODUCTS Car Trunk Organizer

    $25$27Save $2
  • Eddie Bauer Cotton Flannel Queen Sheet Bedding Set

    $46$80Save $34
  • Zinus Ultra Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress, full size

    $272$449Save $177
  • Danjor Linens Queen Size Sheets Set

    $18$50Save $32
  • Hoperay Memory Foam Pillow

    $40$63Save $23
  • CGK Unlimited Queen Size Sheet Set

    $30$40Save $10
  • TubShroom Tub Hair Catcher Drain Protector

    $13$20Save $7

Lawn and garden

  • Black+Decker 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower

    $89$109Save $20
  • Sun Joe 14.5-Amp Electric High Pressure Washer

    $169$200Save $31
  • Worx 12 Amp Turbine Electric Leaf Blower

    $58$80Save $22
  • Yaheetech Multifunctional Fire Pit Table

    $140
  • Jardineer Adjustable Metal Leaf Rake

    $21$35Save $14
  • ReLeaf Leaf Scoops

    $28$44Save $16

See all of our Prime Early Access Sale coverage, here. Shop the top early Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life, get the best Prime Day tech advice on Engadget, learn about Prime Day trends on In the Know, and check out Prime Day car deals on Autoblog.