CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER
Price: $15 | Buy it from Wine.com
Vineyards just finished their 2018 harvest, which means they're clearing 2017 vintages. Sure, they'll keep some around for folks doing vertical tastings or those who believe it'll age well, but they still need space for new bottles. Remaining vintages make great stocking stuffers or host gifts, and they don't always stick around until the holiday season.
Price: $25 | Buy them from Nordstrom Rack
During the rush of back-to-school sales in August and September, jeans are among the most commonly overstocked items. You might get a good deal on Black Friday, but you won't find a broader, less-expensive selection than right now.
GIFTS FROM TARGET
Price: $27 | Buy it from Target
Target's return policies cover most items bought in the 90 days before Christmas. That means unwanted gifts purchased now can be returned at least through the first week of January. But you might end up stuck with electronics (30 days), drones (14 days), or items that are opened, damaged, or missing a receipt.
Price: $35 | Buy it on Amazon
If a beloved deck or patio hammock didn't make it out of this season, now is a great time to capitalize on the lack of demand and find that person on your list a replacement.
SNOW SPORTS GEAR
Price: $40 | Buy it from REI
Even snow gear gets marked down significantly around this time, especially with new gear moving in to take its place. If you're okay with a somewhat limited selection, you can get up to 75 percent off a pack of your choosing.
Price: $47 | Buy them from Nordstrom
A 40 percent discount on Prada shades gets them down only to about $300 or so. Apply that same discount to the Jenner clan's sunglasses, however, and you're getting a label offering for a generic price.
Price: $48 | Buy it on Amazon
Retailers start pushing toys in October and November to stretch out the money-making season, toy trend specialist Reyne Rice told Bankrate. Before you go picking up the hottest toy in the land, though, be confident a kid will actually like it. "It's more important to buy something that they'll love," Rice says.
GIFTS FROM MARSHALLS, T.J. MAXX, AND HOMEGOODS
Price: $30 | Buy it from T.J. Maxx
One of the most generous holiday return policies in retail starts in mid-October. Last year, the holiday return policy for TJX stores covered items bought as early as Oct. 15, which is particularly helpful when shopping stores with a rotating inventory of irregular, overstock, or closeout items.
Price: $50 | Buy it from Soufeel
Summer weddings have come and gone, and this is the end of summer engagement season for most jewelers as well. In the coming weeks, they'll be stocking new product for the Christmas rush and Valentine's push that follows.
Price: $50 off all tickets | Buy them from Telecharge
It's right after the kids have gone back to school and right before a torrent of holiday visits to New York City, so of course tickets are cheaper. If the deal matters more than the date, surprise someone with an early gift to go see a show while the tree is up at Rockefeller Center.
Price: $61 | Buy it from Wayfair
Folks in the Adirondacks may tough out the elements, but that isn't necessarily true in the rest of the country. These chairs have become a staple on decks and lawns and symbolic of fair weather, which is why Wayfair and other sellers cut prices nearly in half around this time of year.
Price: $62 | Buy them from Bergdorf-Goodman
Jeans deals are available throughout the month. Keep an eye open and browse retailers from Neiman Marcus to Saks Fifth Avenue, which has its huge Friends & Family sale in October. At Bergdorf-Goodman, where a pair of jeans can sell for more than $2,000, October sees sales of up to 75 percent off.
Price: $42 | Buy it from REI
Save for a few hardened hunters, peak outdoor season in the northern part of the country is winding to a close. That brings deals on a lot of camping equipment, but especially the trusty camping hammock, as few people are willing to brave the cold to look up at the stars this time of year.
SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES
Price: $80 | Buy it from Target
Last year, about 30 percent of the bargains DealNews posted around this time were from home and garden categories. Look for discounts of 20 percent to 70 percent from retailers including Macy's, Sur La Table, and Overstock.
GIFTS FROM WALMART
Price: $80 | Buy it from Walmart
Walmart 90-day approach to most returns makes it possible to buy an item in October and still be able to return it into January. Keep in mind that return policies for some items cover only 15 days (computers, cameras, other electronic devices) or 30 days (lawn mowers, air conditioners). For those it's best to wait until November, when the holiday return policy has delayed the start of the count until Dec. 26 in previous years.
Price: $80 | Buy it from Dick's Sporting Goods
While Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops are more than willing to wait out the hunters, more general sporting goods retailers such as Dick's knock up to 60 percent off the price of tents during the low season. You can get an apartment-size tent for what you'd pay for a tiny four-person tent when it's sunnier and warmer.
Price: $82 | Buy them from The Walking Company
Last year Spring took 30 percent off select Cole Haan footwear around this time, and Amazon cut up to 40 percent off Ecco shoes. Kohl's joined the celebration, taking up to 70 percent off its clearance items, while Crocs cut an extra 30 percent off sale styles.
Price: $83 | Buy it from REI
You don't have to be a hiker or particularly outdoorsy to appreciate a good backpack. A little hint: If they didn't sell during back-to-school sales more than a month ago, they aren't moving. Retailers hate that, and give deals of 40 percent off or more during the low season.
Price: $89 | Buy it from Barneys Warehouse
Yes, even higher-end stores still have some of last year's winter gear laying around. If you want a deep discount and aren't too particular about variety, there are deals to be had.
Price: $97 to $631 | Buy it on Kayak
As FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney says about the holidays, there are no good deals; just the "best bad deal." If you want to buy a friend or relative a trip home for the holidays, book before Halloween. Once that passes, the Christmastime travel price only rises from an average $320. Look in mid-October for the best deals.
Price: $100 | Buy them from Sunglass Hut
Skiers will tell you that sunglasses aren't necessarily a seasonal item, but retailers don't share that view. Sunglass Hut started slashing prices on sunglasses by up to 50 percent in September, while Nordstrom took off as much as 40 percent.
Price: $101 | Buy it from Macy's
October will see prices on bags fluctuate as various outlets offer deals throughout the month. Keep an eye open before the new stock arrives in November.
Price: $70 | Buy it from Reebok
Kohl's took up to 60 percent off Nike clearance items around this time last year. Reebok had a handful of single-item deals that were worth taking advantage of, too, cutting prices on select pairs of running shoes and other athletic footwear as low as $26, depending on style.
Price: Starting at $104 | Buy it from Macy's
Luggage makes a great holiday gift, especially for visiting relatives who've been lugging around the same frayed bags since the '90s. Not only do you get a deal, but you may save a person on your list a little embarrassment at the luggage carousel.
Price: $129 | Buy it from Lowe's
You'd think wood-burning fire pits would in stores during the cold winter months ... but you'd be wrong. Fire pits are considered outdoor items, and retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot often shuffle them out to make room for fireplace screens, andirons, inserts, and wood-burning or pellet stoves. The unwanted fire pits are sacrificed for floor space, which is great for folks who love a winter fire under the stars or a place to keep warm after a dip in the hot tub.
Price: $165 | Buy it from Wayfair
It isn't just home and garden stores looking to clear inventory: Online retailers such as Wayfair and Overstock don't want their warehouses monopolized by out-of-season items.
Price: $149 | Buy it from Lowe's
This is one way to see the winter through. But shouldn't you wait until Black Friday to buy new appliances? Only if you want a deal on a current model. If you want deep discounts on last year's models as the new stuff comes in, you shop in October.
Price: $160 | Buy it from Sur la Table
"There are two big seasons for cookware and cookware promotions," the Cookware Manufacturers Association's Hugh Rushing told Bankrate. "One is in the spring, in April and May, coinciding with the graduation and wedding season. The other is in October and November with promotions in regard to the holidays." Sur La Table already had its anniversary sale in September, but more deals will follow there, at Crate & Barrel, and at Balsam Hill.
Price: $179 | Buy it from REI
You'd be surprised what you can find in the clearance bin after the end of peak camping season. If you want to surprise someone with a starter kit for next season, this bundle includes a tent, a sleeping bag, and an inflatable camping bed suitable for three seasons (winter isn't one of them).
Price: $200 | Buy it from Target
Consumer Reports highly recommends buying a grill this time of year, largely because stores need room for leaf blowers, snow equipment, and giant inflatable Santas. Plus, they'll be replacing everything on the floor with new stock in early 2019, so you may as well get the best deal of the year.
Price: $197 | Buy it from Home Depot
Smokers have the same retail cycle as grills, and stores want them off the floor before other seasonal items come in and new smokers replace the older models for next season.
Price: $250 | Buy it from Target
A Dyson vacuum at a discount? Yes, new product will be pushed by Christmas and in demand around Black Friday, but folks who want to get a deal now have the best selection at low prices.
Price: $278 | Buy it from Wayfair
You might think a trampoline being sold primarily as a child's toy would be left out of markdowns ahead of the holiday season. But it's also a bulky outdoor item, which makes it not only seasonal in many places but a burden for retailers who need floor and warehouse space. As a result, nearly every trampoline Wayfair sells is marked down this time of year.
Price: $280 | Buy it from REI
A smartphone-based GPS comes in handy only when you can get a signal. For that person on your list who likes to hike in places cellphone towers can't reach, discounts at the end of hiking season help make a GPS an excellent gift.
Price: $289 | Buy it from Fry's
October provides electronics retailers a window for unloading unloved TVs or older technology to make way for shiny new Christmas offerings. That means that non-4K screens such as this one can be found for under $300 throughout the month.
PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONERS
Price: $317 | Buy it from Home Depot
As a Christmas present, you ask? Absolutely. There are parts of the country that don't get anything close to a white Christmas and where AC comes in handy year-round. Even in the north, folks who trudged bravely through the summer months with an open window and some fans will look forward to some relief next year.
Price: $35 | Buy it from American Eagle
Clothes make up 20 percent of deals found around this time, according to DealNews, although that doesn't mean they're all great. If you aren't looking for fall items specifically, shop carefully or lay off clothing until Black Friday.
Price: $350 with $100 gift card | Buy it from Dell
Last year, Dell bundled 4K TVs with up to $300 in gift cards for Columbus Day. DealNews says sets 43 inches and up should come with gift cards in even larger amounts this year, with advice to "look beyond" the holiday sales. But only if you want to skip Black Friday.
Price: $251 | Buy it from Wayfair
For many folks dreaming of an outdoor kitchen, cold weather means a dream deferred. But if you pick up one of these outdoor toys while retailers are offering discounts, at least one element of that dream can come true on the cheap well before Memorial Day 2019.
Price: $371 | Buy it from Macy's
While you won't see bargains on smart watches this time of year, the dumb, pretty ones are marked down to make way for holiday inventory. You'll see discounts on higher-end brands, but it's also a good time to get a steal of a deal on an everyday watch from Michael Kors or Seiko.
Price: $380 | Buy it from Wayfair
It won't be an instant-gratification gift, but there is no better time to get someone an outdoor water feature they've coveted than when nobody is thinking about outdoor water features. Retailers will cut prices on these bulky items just to get them off the floor or out of the warehouse.
Price: $560 | Buy them from REI
We're heading into ski season, which means all the 2017-18 gear is making way for the 2018-19 stuff. The selection may be minimal, but with the deals on leftovers, you can cobble together a great starter ski set.
Price: $420 | Buy it from REI
Last year's snowboarding gear also has to go before all the new stuff comes in. Not only can you get an excellent deal, but you can buy someone on your list a timely gift just as peak ski and snowboard season arrives.
ROOFTOP CARGO BOXES
Price: $439 | Buy it from REI
Do you have someone on your list who always insists the skis can fit in the car, right between the passengers? Do they argue that all the camping gear will fit if people just put stuff on their laps? Do they have a roof rack that's basically used as decor? A cargo box help, especially with a 20 percent discount.
Price: $600 | Buy it from Mattress Firm
The best deals are in bricks-and-mortar stores, according to Consumer Reports. These retailers need floor space the online mattress sellers don't, and they're willing to deal as a result.
Price: $720 | Buy it from Canon
Again, you don't have to wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday if you see a good deal out there. In 2017, Canon had a sale that took up to $389 off refurbished cameras and lenses. It's expected to hold a similar sale this year.
Price: $880 | Buy it from REI
As Bicycling magazine notes, bicycles are like cars: New models arrive in stores in the fall, as the summer riding season ends, and shops don't want year-old inventory lingering into the holiday season. The selection isn't as big as it will be in late winter or early spring, but the deals now won't be matched at any other time of year.
Price: $1,600 | Buy it from Sears Outlet
Stores keep lawn mowers in stock through September because there's still mowing to be done and it's warm enough to get folks out there. But they want those mowers off the floor before Halloween, and riding mowers take up even more room than a simple push mower. This is why places such as Sears knock up to 75 percent off the price of lingering models around this time of year.
Price: $13,488 | Buy it from Autotrader
The Jetta is just one of the vehicles getting an overhaul for 2019, which means remaining 2018 models are hard-pressed to find homes. This one, in particular, has a few miles on it, but the price is a nearly $7,000 savings over a new 2019.
Price: $40 | Buy them from Athleta
Get a head start on the post-holiday rush to get fit and shop high-quality workout clothing now. Stores are already rolling out winter gear, but you can still stock up on sale leggings, tanks, and more.