What to Buy in October
What to Buy in October

Cool October Discounts

When it comes to shopping, October is an odd month, sitting smack in the middle of the back-to-school frenzy and the holiday extravaganza. The coronavirus has made everything much stranger, starting with the appearance of Amazon Prime Day, off by four months — but even without that major sales event, there are plenty of October deals to be had. The best buys range from leftover summer items to goods discounted in advance of the big shopping days to come. And don't forget: October concludes with Halloween. 

Related: 35 Early Bird Holiday Shopping Gift Ideas

Top Sellers on Amazon Now
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Amazon Prime Day Deals

Sensing that keeping Amazon Prime Day in July would have been a disaster, given the struggles just to fulfill people's pandemic orders with so much supply chain disruption, the online retail giant moved its annual event to August. Then September. Then it moved the event again, finally annoucing the start date as Tuesday, Oct. 13 — hopefully still early enough not to cut in to its own holiday season sales. If you hope to take advantage despite the scheduling, you can still expect to see deals on plenty of technology, much of it Amazon's own, as well as kitchen gear, and an assortment of other goods. Keep in mind that there are also categories it makes sense to stay away from.

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Halloween Stuff
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Halloween Stuff

Unless you thought way ahead and bought a costume and decorations last November, when prices were at their lowest, be on the lookout for bargains this month — because this naturally masked holiday may well be one that can run like something close to normal, despite the coronavirus. Traditionally, the closer the holiday, the bigger the deals, as retailers try to clear the shelves by Halloween, and there are fewer costume choices and sizes if you wait too long. The best time to buy is mid-month, when the selection is still decent and prices have started dropping.

Related: Halloween Costumes to Buy Now Before They Sell Out

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Much like the month of October, denim is in a down time between back-to-school shopping and the holiday season. Retailers want to sell off back-to-school denim and make room for the winter trends that will appear on gift lists, so keep your eye out for October deals on jeans. 

Related: The History of American Jeans: From Railroad to Runway

iPhone 11

iPhones and Accessories

Apple usually releases its new iPhones in September, but the coronavirus has even messed with this powerful company — and now its four-phone Apple 12 lineup is due this month, supposedly with better screens and 5G capabilities. That means now is the time to look to see if there are discounts on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Along with the release of an iPhone model comes new cases, headphones, and other accessories. If you have an older model iPhone, you can get accessories for less as retailers look to move them out. 

Related: 100 Tech Products That Will Make Your Life Easier



October is prime time for striking a deal on a new car that happens to be stamped with last year's date. Auto dealers are eager to make room on their lots for 2020 models. This year, with new car sales in a slump for months past because of COVID-19 and used cars increasingly rare and costly, the deals might be even better than usual.

Related: Is Costco the Best Place to Buy a Car?

Summer Stuff
Camping Gear
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Prices on cruises and vacations typically take a dip in October, the shoulder month between summer vacations and holiday travel. With school back in session, many destinations aren't very crowded but still enjoy balmy and temperate weather. This year, though? Travel fell off a cliff, and anyone trying to sign you up for travel — especially for cruises — may well be desperate. If you have the confidence to plan travel, especially given restrictions facing holders of U.S. passports, this may be your moment.

Related: These Island Vacations Don't Require a Passport

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Seasonal Produce

October is when the fall bounty begins coming in, and some warm-weather plants produce their final yields. Look for cheap apples, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, honeydew melon, kale, leeks, lettuce, oranges, pears, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. If there's an apple orchard nearby, picking your own may be cheaper and make for a fun, socially distanced weekend outing, not to mention nutritious and budget-friendly meals

Related: 28 Fall Recipes That Showcase Seasonal Fruits and Veggies


Wait: Appliances

September and October used to be a prime time to buy big appliances, because this is when new models are introduced. In recent years, however, big appliance deals have been popping up in November, especially around Black Fridays, so if you can, hold off a few weeks before hitting the stores: In such a strange year for retail, manufacturers and stores may try to make up for a lot of missed sales.

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