50 Holiday Gifts You Should Start Buying in October

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Pumpkin in front of a brick wall with a miniature shopping cart and presents
Photo credit: Massonstock/istockphoto

CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER

Holiday shopping season is upon us, whether you want to admit it or not. Warehouse stores have had wrapping paper and even Christmas trees since after Labor Day. Your local supermarket's seasonal aisle is just waiting for a few more boxes of Halloween candy to clear out before stocking winter holiday items. According to the National Retail Federation, more than a quarter of consumers begin their holiday shopping in October or earlier, and certainly that can help avoid many holiday shopping hassles. But are there things worth buying this early instead of holding off until Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or closer to Christmas? We've shopped around and found 50 reasons to get into the holiday shopping spirit well before Halloween — including a few big-ticket items you might want for yourself or a practical loved one.
Tolosa Winery Rose of Pinot Noir 2017
Photo credit: Courtesy of wine.com

WINE

Look for: Tolosa Winery Rose of Pinot Noir 2017
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.
Levi's 515 Bootcut Jeans
Photo credit: Courtesy of nordstromrack.com

JEANS

Look for: Levi's 515 Bootcut Jeans
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.
Vintage Distressed Rug
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

GIFTS FROM TARGET

Look for: Vintage Distressed Rug
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.
ELC Cotton Double Hammock
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

HAMMOCKS

Look for: ELC Cotton Double Hammock
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.
Orion Packs Method Snowboard Pack
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

SNOW SPORTS GEAR

Look for: Orion Method Snowboard Pack
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.
Kendall + Kylie Yasmin Sunglasses
Photo credit: Courtesy of nordstrom.com

FASHION SUNGLASSES

Look for: Kendall + Kylie Yasmin
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.
FurReal Munchin' Rex
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

TOYS

Look for: FurReal Munchin' Rex
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.
Braun Beard and Head Trimmer
Photo credit: Courtesy of tjmaxx.tjx.com

GIFTS FROM MARSHALLS, T.J. MAXX, AND HOMEGOODS

Look for: Braun Beard and Head Trimmer
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.
Personalized Birthstone Rose Gold Name Necklace
Photo credit: Courtesy of soufeel.com

JEWELRY

Look for: Personalized Birthstone Rose Gold Name Necklace
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.
Times Square
Photo credit: ablokhin/istockphoto

BROADWAY TICKETS

Look for: "Once on This Island"
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.
Cuyler Folding Adirondack Chair
Photo credit: Courtesy of wayfair.com

ADIRONDACK CHAIRS

Look for: Cuyler Folding Adirondack Chair
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.
rag & bone Hana High-Rise Cropped Boot Jeans
Photo credit: Courtesy of bergdorfgoodman.com

DESIGNER JEANS

Look for: Rag & Bone Hana High-Rise Cropped Boot Jeans With Frayed Hem
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.
ENO CamoNest Hammock
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

CAMPING HAMMOCKS

Look for: ENO CamoNest Hammock
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.
Power Air Fryer XL
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES

Look for: Power Air Fryer XL
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.
Instant Pot
Photo credit: Courtesy of kohls.com

GIFTS FROM WALMART

Look for: Instant Pot Lux V3
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.
Field & Stream Cross-Vent 8-Person Tent
Photo credit: Courtesy of dickssportinggoods.com

TENTS

Look for: Field & Stream Cross-Vent 8-Person Tent
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.
Dansko Marcia Ankle Boots
Photo credit: Courtesy of thewalkingcompany.com

SHOES

Look for: Dansko Marcia Ankle Boots
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.
Timbuk2 Hitch Pack
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

DAYPACKS

Look for: Timbuk2 Hitch Pack
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.
Barneys New York Striped Cotton Voile Scarf
Photo credit: Courtesy of barneyswarehouse.com

DESIGNER CLOTHES

Look for: Barneys New York Striped Cotton Voile Scarf
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.
Delta airplane in the sky
Photo credit: Flightlevel80/istockphoto

HOLIDAY AIRFARE

Look for: Kayak Holiday Package
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.
Michael Kors Chelsea
Photo credit: Courtesy of sunglasshut.com

DESIGNER SUNGLASSES

Look for: Michael Kors Chelsea
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.
MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Large Crossbody Bag
Photo credit: Courtesy of macys.com

HANDBAGS

Look for: MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Large Crossbody Bag
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.
Reebok Flexagon
Photo credit: Courtesy of reebok.com

SNEAKERS

Look for: Reebok Flexagon
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.
Samsonite Spin Tech 3.0 Hardside Spinner Luggage
Photo credit: Courtesy of macys.com

SUITCASES

Look for: Samsonite Spin Tech 3.0 Hardside Spinner Luggage
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.
Global Outdoors Steel Deep Bowl Wood-Burning Fire Pit
Photo credit: Courtesy of lowes.com

FIRE PITS

Look for: Global Outdoors 32-Inch Round Steel Deep Bowl Wood-Burning Fire Pit
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.
Sofia 4-Piece Sofa Set
Photo credit: Courtesy of wayfair.com

PATIO FURNITURE

Look for: Sofia 4-Piece Sofa Set
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.
Frigidaire 18-Bottle Black Dual Zone Cooling Wine Chiller
Photo credit: Courtesy of lowes.com

SMALL APPLIANCES

Look for: Frigidaire 18-Bottle Black Dual Zone Cooling Wine Chiller
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.
Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 11-Piece Cookware Set
Photo credit: Courtesy of surlatable.com

COOKWARE

Look for: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 11-Piece Cookware Set
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.
REI Co-Op Camp Bundle
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

CAMPING BUNDLES

Look for: REI Co-Op Camp Bundle
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).
Kenmore 4-Burner Gas Grill
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

GRILLS

Look for: Kenmore 4-Burner Gas Grill
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.
Dyna-Glo Charcoal Smoker
Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

SMOKERS

Look for: Dyna-Glo 36" Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
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.
Dyson V6 Motorhead
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

DYSON VACUUMS

Look for: Dyson V6 Motorhead
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.
TruJump 12' Trampoline With Safety Enclosure
Photo credit: Courtesy of wayfair.com

TRAMPOLINES

Look for: TruJump 12' Trampoline With Safety Enclosure
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.
Garmin Oregon
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

GPS DEVICES

Look for: Garmin Oregon
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.
Samsung J5200 Series Full-HD LED Smart TV
Photo credit: Courtesy of frys.com

HDTVs

Look for: Samsung J5200 Series 43" Full-HD LED Smart TV
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.
Keystone Portable Air Conditioner
Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONERS

Look for: Keystone Portable Air Conditioner
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.
AE Lightweight Fleece Jogger
Photo credit: Courtesy of ae.com

COOL-WEATHER CLOTHES

Look for: AE Lightweight Fleece Jogger
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.
LG 4K HDR Smart LED TV
Photo credit: Courtesy of dell.com

4K TVs

Look for: LG UK6300 43" 4K HDR Smart LED TV
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.
Cuisinart Alfrescamore Portable Pizza Oven
Photo credit: Courtesy of wayfair.com

OUTDOOR OVENS

Look for: Cuisinart Alfrescamore Portable Pizza Oven
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.
Bulova Sutton Diamond 2-Tone Steel Bracelet Watch
Photo credit: Courtesy of macys.com

WATCHES

Look for: Bulova Sutton Diamond 2-Tone Steel Bracelet Watch
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.
Joy Resin Stacked Shale Fountain With Lights
Photo credit: Courtesy of wayfair.com

WATER FEATURES

Look for: Joy Resin Stacked Shale Fountain With Lights
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.
Salomon MTN Alpine Touring Ski Boots
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

SKI BOOTS

Look for: Salomon S/Lab MTN Alpine Touring Ski Boots
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.
Burton Custom Flying V
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

SNOWBOARDS

Look for: Burton Custom Flying V
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.
Thule Force L Roof Box
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

ROOFTOP CARGO BOXES

Look for: Thule Force L Roof Box
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.
Sleepy's Quilted Gel Foam Mattress
Photo credit: Courtesy of mattressfirm.com

FOAM MATTRESSES

Look for: Sleepy's Quilted Gel Foam Mattress
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.
Refurbished Canon EOS M6
Photo credit: Courtesy of canon.com

DIGITAL CAMERAS

Look for: Refurbished Canon EOS M6 With EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens
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.
2018 Cannondale Cujo
Photo credit: Courtesy of rei.com

BICYCLES

Look for: 2018 Cannondale Cujo
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.
Craftsman Briggs & Stratton TurnTight Riding Mower
Photo credit: Courtesy of searsoutlet.com

RIDING MOWERS

Look for: Craftsman 46" 19 HP Briggs & Stratton TurnTight Riding Mower
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.
2018 Volkswagen Jetta S
Photo credit: Courtesy of autotrader.com

CARS

Look for: 2018 Volkswagen Jetta S
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.
Athleta Leggings
Photo credit: Courtesy of athleta.gap.com

WORKOUT CLOTHING

Look for: Athleta High-Rise Leggings
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.

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