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5 Things to Buy in October


October is full of surprises in the shopping world. Along with the expected (Halloween and fall merchandise), shoppers might see the very first bits of Black Friday and holiday hype. In fact, we saw some of the first Black Friday deal announcements before Halloween in 2021. So, in addition to stocking up on Halloween candy and fall decor, shoppers should start thinking about October as a time to build their holiday shopping lists. 

To help you take full advantage of the best savings, we used our internal discount data to calculate average discounts October shoppers can expect in popular categories.

infographic showing the top 5 october buys. number one is casual apparel with an average 26% discount
Image: RetailMeNot

The 5 Smartest Things to Shop for in October

Ready to get shopping? Our Top 5 buys for October will help you get out ahead of the holiday shopping madness, navigate spooky season and save as much as you can while doing so. 

1. Home & Garden — With a Fall Twist (Average Discount: 20% Off)

By this point in the year, you won’t have the huge selection of patio sets you did around Labor Day. But it’s still worth investigating to see if Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and others have some sets left. If they do, they’ll be discounted by 60% or more. If you can’t find an entire matching set you adore, check out the clearance section for patio end tables and chairs. These options are great for small patios, and they’ll be priced to sell.

Furniture aside, you’ll find a nice selection of fall patio necessities (like fire pits and outdoor throw blankets). The selection will never be better. And, as retailers make room for holiday decor, they’ll price these transitional patio items to sell towards the end of the month. 

2. Seasonally-Themed Items (Average Discount: 17% Off)

A 17% discount may not seem like much, but that’s the average over the month, and timing is key. For the first half of October, Halloween decor will be at its most expensive, but will start going on sale toward the end of the month, dropping to 50% off or more. So don’t shop for lawn inflatables, spooky wreaths and other Halloween decor items at the very beginning of the October — that’s when Halloween hype (and prices) will be at their highest. Instead, wait until the last minute (or even Oct. 31 itself) to snap up remaining stock. Retailers will want it out of the way to make way for artificial Christmas trees, so you can expect everything Halloween to be priced low, to get it out the door. Just keep it boxed up and ready for next year — or use it to craft a less-traditional Christmas display (the giant Home Depot skeleton would look fetching in a Santa hat).

Halloween candy, meanwhile, is a strategic Nov. 1 buy (think right after the trick-or-treat rush).

3. Casual Apparel (Average Discount: 26% Off)

Retailers overcorrected during the pandemic and all the supply-chain issues it spawned — and over-stocked casual, work-from-home-friendly apparel. Think sweats, joggers and athletic wear. Now, they need to sell it off by marking it down.

We’ve seen Gap and Old Navy, for example, offering extra discounts specifically on casual clothing over the past month.

When it comes to shopping clothing in October, there’s another factor at play, too — and that’s seasonality. At the end of October, retailers will start making the transition from fall clothing to bulkier winter coats and sweaters. That means all that stylish fall stuff we kept telling you to wait on is now the smartest buy you can make. Hit up the sales racks for denim jackets, jeans, lightweight hoodies and transitional tops. You can probably still get some use out of these items this season — and transitional fall garb also works excellently for early spring. 

Not sure where to shop? Old Navy, Gap and Kohl’s are known for their great selection and generous end-of-season sales.

4. Toys and Kid Products (Average Discount: 23% Off)

It’s never too early to start shopping for holiday toys — especially if you have your sights set on one of the most popular toys of the year. Toys have a way of selling out during the holiday rush, so getting in early ensures you’ll have your kids’ wish lists wrapped and ready.

Another reason to shop toys in October? Retailers have a tradition of drumming up hype with toy shopping events (with special discounts) in October. Plus, some will launch pre-Black Friday sales during October, and these sales tend to be heavy in toy deals.

5. Gifts (Average Discount: 18% Off)

If retailers replay last year’s playbook, shoppers can expect plenty October Black Friday hype. Retailers have been moving up the starting line to Black Friday shopping inch by inch, week by week over the past several years. The result? Pre-Black Friday sales dropping in October.

So what will be discounted? While retailers will likely save the most coveted items for Black Friday itself (think gaming bundles, doorbuster TVs and new-model phones), you can expect to see plenty of early Black Friday sales on at least some of the items you’d like to purchase as gifts long before actual Black Friday. In past years, we’ve seen small electronics, jewelry, toys and clothing marked down in these early sales. Given the fact that many retailers are overstocked on casual clothing and home goods, expect those items to be prominently featured (and deeply discounted) during retailers’ many Black Friday opening acts this year.

So make your gift list NOW and keep a lookout (we sure will be). Retailers like Walmart, Target, Costco and more will likely be dropping all manner of deals to entice early shopping and calling these events “Early Black Friday” sales, “Pre Black Friday Sales” and “Black Friday In October” sales. Keep a close eye on Amazon, as it’s known for early holiday sales. In 2020, it actually threw its Prime Day sale in October, and it’s known for throwing some kind of holiday-prep sales event in an October timeframe.

The post 5 Things to Buy in October appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.



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