What we know about the October sales event

Amazon just announced that it’s hosting Prime Day 2022 again — sort of. For the first time ever, Amazon is having a second Prime Day-like mega sale in one year: Amazon already hosted Prime Day in July, and the second sale will take place Oct. 11-12.

Like the Prime Days before it, Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale is exclusive to Prime members. It will offer Black Friday-level deals across product categories and brands like Peloton, New Balance, Philips Sonicare and more, according to the retailer. News about a second Amazon sale comes after Target set the dates for its second Deal Days 2022 event last week — Oct. 6-8 — and Overstock announced Overstock Day will take place Oct. 2–3.

Prime Day, Deal Days and Overstock Days are just the beginning of the early Black Friday deals you’ll see this season, experts told us. In recent years, retailers have started rolling out deep discounts as early as October to give shoppers a head start on holiday shopping. This may be one reason why Amazon decided to host another Prime Day in 2022, experts said.

“The move and the timing really would allow Amazon to position its sale as a kickoff to the holiday shopping season,” said Jessica Young, director of research at Digital Commerce 360. “This is about grabbing consumers who increasingly demand sneak-peek, Cyber weekend-level deals, which start earlier and earlier each year.”

To help you prepare for Prime Day, we talked to experts about what the sale might look like and the types of deals we may see. We’ll continue updating you in the weeks leading up to Amazon’s sale as we learn more.

When is ‘Amazon Prime Day 2’?

October’s Prime Early Access Sale will take place Oct. 11-12. This is the first time Amazon is hosting two Prime Day-like events in one year, but it’s not the first time Prime Day has been scheduled for October. Due to pandemic-related challenges, Amazon held Prime Day 2020 in October — otherwise, the sale usually happens in the summer. Amazon sold billions of dollars’ worth of products during Prime Day 2020 even with the supply chain obstacles it was facing, so “there’s little reason to think an October event won’t be a big win this year,” said Vipin Porwal, founder and consumer savings expert at Smarty.

But members don’t have to wait until Oct. 11 to shop deals. Amazon has already begun rolling out early access deals exclusive to Prime members, as well as exclusive coupons you can apply to specific products at checkout. Some early deals are only available for a set period of time, and other deals only apply to a limited batch of products. To make sure you don’t miss something you have your eye on, you can set up alerts through Amazon to know when they go live.

What is Amazon Prime Day and what will October’s event look like?

Amazon Prime Day is a multi-day sale hosted by the mega-retailer during which it offers a wide range of deals exclusively to Prime members. Prime Day is typically 48 hours long and shoppers can find discounts on everything from clothing to kitchen appliances. Amazon said October’s Prime Early Access Sale is happening in 15 countries like Canada, Italy, Turkey and more. In contrast, over 20 countries had access to July’s Prime Day.

The benefits of Prime Day extend beyond saving on products. Amazon also often offers a variety of promotions and incentives leading up to and during the event. Before July’s Prime Day, for example, Amazon offered a Stampcard through which members could collect stamps by completing tasks like watching shows on Prime Video, using Prime Reading and more to earn a $10 credit. Other Prime Day incentives have previously been offered through the Amazon Prime credit card.

October’s sale is likely to look very similar to July’s, experts told us. But because it’s the second Prime Day-like event in one year — a new concept to Prime members and Amazon sellers — Porwal said there may be a smaller pool of deals to choose from. Amazon sellers “need to see the value and hype in this ‘second Prime Day’ to be able to justify significant price drops,” Porwal said.

Since there are only a few months between July’s Prime Day — the retailer’s most successful one yet — and October’s event, Amazon’s upcoming sale is an experiment for the retailer, who will be watching closely to see how shoppers respond.

“Yes, shoppers will be more mentally prepared to holiday shop next month than they were in the dog days of summer, and yes, magnified price-consciousness might nudge them into considering some of the deals,” Young said. “But when sales aren’t rare and special, it tempers the sense of urgency when one is announced. Because you know another one will be around the corner soon enough.”

Do I need a Prime membership to get Amazon Prime Day discounts?

Yes — Amazon Prime Day is exclusive to Prime members. It’s one of the many benefits Prime members have access to, in addition to fast and free shipping options, streaming and entertainment exclusives and more. But keep in mind that Amazon raised the price of a Prime membership this year for new and existing members. With the price increase, an Amazon Prime membership costs $15 a month (up from $13 a month), or you can pay $139 annually (previously $119). The retailer also offers a Prime Student membership for $69 a year, up from $59 a year.

Additionally, Amazon offers a discounted Prime membership that’s about half the price of a standard membership for those who qualify for certain types of government assistance programs, like EBT and Medicaid. The discounted option is $7 a month and you have to verify your qualification every 12 months.

Which other retailers are hosting early Black Friday sales?

Experts expect numerous retailers to announce their early Black Friday sales and deals within the next few weeks. As of now, we know that Target Deal Days is Oct. 6-8 and Overstock Day is Oct. 2-3. We’ll continue updating you as we learn more.

Will a second Prime Day-like event happen every year?

“This is always the million dollar question,” Young said. Amazon has yet to announce if two Prime Day-like sales will happen annually. But “if it performs like other Prime Day events, it could very well become an annual challenge to Black Friday and Cyber Monday events,” Porwal said. He noted that shoppers have already shown interest in taking advantage of early Black Friday deals, so Prime-exclusive early Black Friday deals could become a perk members expect during the holiday shopping season.

July 2022 Prime Day bestsellers

Every year, Amazon announces bestselling Prime Day products worldwide as well as in select countries. The retailer said bestselling product categories in the U.S. during the July 2022 event included consumer electronics, household essentials and home products.

To give you an idea of what types of items are typically popular during Prime Day, we listed products from a few brands Amazon said were among the U.S. bestsellers during July 2022 according to its data. This summer, we also compiled Select reader favorite Prime Day items, as well as staff favorites.

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch Series 7 was a popular product among Prime Day shoppers and Select staffers — senior editor Morgan Greenwald and I both took advantage of the sale and purchased one. The watch has a built-in GPS system to track workouts like runs or walks, and the brand says its Always-on Retina display offers almost 20% more screen area compared to the Series 6 watch, which was also on sale during July’s Prime Day. You can measure your heart rate and blood oxygen level with the watch, take an ECG and monitor your sleep cycle. It’s IPX6 dust and water-resistant and comes in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm.

Crest 3D Teeth Whitestrips

Amazon said Crest teeth whitening products were bestsellers during July’s Prime Day, and these teeth whitening strips were popular among Select readers as well. You get 22 sets of strips in a box, and they’re formulated with hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient the American Dental Association says is commonly used in whitening treatments to penetrate tooth enamel and break down discoloration.

Bentgo Kids Leak-Proof 5-Compartment Bento-Style Kids Lunch Box

July’s Prime Day was around the time some families began shopping for school supplies, including lunch boxes like this one from Bentgo. It’s designed with five compartments to put food and two latches the brand says prevents contents from leaking out. The lunch box is microwave- and dishwasher-safe, according to the brand.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Experts told us Amazon devices are some of the most deeply discounted products on Prime Day every year, and we saw many Echo devices listed at their lowest price ever during July’s event. The Echo Dot is a speaker equipped with Alexa, so you can use voice commands to play music, check the weather, set alarms or timers and more. The device is also compatible with smart home devices like lights, locks and thermostats, allowing you to control them with voice commands as well. The 4th generation of the Echo Dot also comes in a version with a built-in clock, which I purchased on Prime Day.

Blink Outdoor

Blink was another popular brand during July’s Prime Day, and its outdoor camera was a Select reader favorite. The brand says the wireless camera has a two-year battery life and allows you to monitor your home during the day or at night with infrared night vision. The camera pairs with the Blink app and is built with two-way audio, so you can see, hear and speak to visitors in real-time. You can also get motion detection alerts to your phone.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

This lip mask was one of the beauty products Prime members shopped in July and it also made our list of Select reader favorites. It’s formulated with coconut oil, shea butter and murumuru seed butter to moisturize lips, as well as antioxidants like vitamin C and a berry fruit complex to nourish and condition lips, the brand says. Each container is packaged with a tiny applicator and you can purchase the lip sleeping mask in flavors like berry, gummy bear, vanilla, pumpkin spice and more.

Why is Amazon hosting a second Prime Day-like event?

Below, experts told us more about why Amazon may be motivated to host a second Prime Day-like mega sale in 2022.

  • Amazon wants to compete with other retailers hosting early Black Friday sales. Amazon’s second Prime Day is happening around the same time other retailers like Target and Overstock are hosting savings events. But Prime Day is exclusive to members, and members may wait in the hope to get even lower prices compared to what’s offered at other retailers, take advantage of Prime’s free, fast delivery and, if they have one, use their Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card to earn cash back on purchases.
  • October’s Prime Day allows Amazon to capitalize on the gift-giving season. One of the biggest differences between July’s Prime Day and October’s Prime Day is consumer mindset. During July’s Prime Day — as well as Labor Day, Memorial Day and similar shopping holidays — people are more likely to buy products for themselves, experts said. But leading up to and during Black Friday, people are more likely to buy gifts for their loved ones. By hosting another Prime Day around the time people start thinking about gift-giving, Amazon is giving Prime members an opportunity to get exclusive deals on gifts that arrive quickly before products start going out of stock later in the holiday season.
  • Shoppers are hungry for deals during inflation. “People are looking for deals and savings just about everywhere they can,” Porwal said. Retailers like Amazon are meeting the demand by hosting events that experts said essentially kick off early Black Friday sales and give shoppers the opportunity to start saving on buying gifts now. These circumstances make this year a “great test for a second Prime Day,” according to Porwal.
  • Amazon may want to make one final push this year to draw in more Prime members. Young said data Digital Commerce 360 is collecting suggests that Prime memberships are stagnating lately, at least in the U.S. — this may be because many people have memberships already and the retailer raised membership fees this year. “Having a second Prime-centric sale as another membership push toward the end of the year might be Amazon’s effort to lift plateauing numbers,” Young said.

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