Amazon’s first ever Prime Early Access Sale, an October event to mirror July’s Amazon Prime Day, brought big numbers to the online retailer and helped some shoppers get an early start on their holiday gift lists – or themselves.
Amazon on Thursday said the two-day event, held Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 11-12), saw more than 100 million items go out the door worldwide (Amazon hasn’t released sales figures yet). The event targets Amazon Prime members, a new perk added to the membership benefits.
The hottest categories for shoppers (and Amazon) included clothing, toys, home goods and, of course, Amazon’s own devices such as Echo, Ring video doorbells and flying home-security cameras, Audible and now also iRobot (maker of the Roomba), a perennial winner (and deeply discounted) for prior Amazon Prime Days.
“Our Prime Early Access Sale was a great kickoff to the holidays, and the best part is that it’s only the beginning,” said Doug Herrington, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Stores. “Customers will find millions of must-have deals throughout the season that will help them continue to save money on gifts for loved ones.”
The most popular products during Prime Early Access Sale included the Macbook Air M1, with a surprising discount rarely seen on Apple products; Bose earbuds and headphones; the Peloton bike; Casper pillows and toppers; and Shark hair dryers, vacuums, and air purifiers. LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask, Apple AirPods (2nd Generation), Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, and Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects Teeth Whitening Strips were hot items in the U.S.
Best-selling holiday items and décor items sold in the U.S. included wreaths, garlands, decorative lights, and Halloween costumes, because why not holiday costumes?
Other major retailers, competitors to Amazon that include Walmart, offered ancillary sales around Amazon’s October event, like Walmart’s Rollbacks and More (Oct. 10-13) and Target’s Deal Days (Oct. 6-8).
How the October sales events for all retailers shake out for the holiday shopping season remains to be seen. Kiplinger is forecasting a “meh” season for retailers, with profits peeling off of inflation-fueled price increases rather than sales volume. The forecast is retailers will see only a 1% increase in sales, after inflation.
For inflation-weary shoppers, however, big discounts could be in the offing as retailers seek to dispose of warehouse-clogging inventory. Last-minute shoppers should rule; Christmas Eve is on a Saturday this year, and malls are seeing a post-Covid comeback in foot traffic.
Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.
Holiday Shopping? Here’s Why Some Stores May Let You Keep Your Returns
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, you're likely to find more stores shunning returns in favor of a 'keep-it' policy, study finds.
By Jamie Feldman Published
Stock Market Today: Stocks Swing Higher After Powell Speech
Fed Chair Powell poured cold water on potential rate cuts, but stocks jumped anyway.
By Karee Venema Published
Amazon Launches Virtual Healthcare Service for $9 a Month
Amazon's on-demand virtual healthcare service is available with a Prime One Medical membership.
By Joey Solitro Published
Five Reasons You Shouldn't Shop on Amazon Prime Day
Smart Buying Think twice before getting lured into buying a bunch of stuff you don't need just because it's on sale.
By Andrea Browne Taylor Published
When Is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime In 2023 Amazon had two Prime Day events — one in July and another, called Big Deal Days, in October. We expect 2024 to follow the same schedule.
By Bob Niedt Last updated
Get Audible for Free This Fall
Amazon is now offering a complimentary 30-day trial of Audible, and you can either opt for a “Plus” or “Premium Plus” trial.
By Erin Bendig Published
Should You Cancel Amazon Prime? Here Are 12 Good Reasons
Amazon Prime After lots of recent ups and downs, is now the time to cancel Amazon Prime?
By Bob Niedt Last updated
Amazon Credit Card Delivers $200 Intro Offer
The Chase Amazon credit card, Prime Visa, offers rewards to loyal Amazon and Whole Foods customers.
By Ellen Kennedy Last updated
Netflix Password Sharing Crackdown Will Affect 100 Million Users. Here’s Everything We Know.
Netflix password sharing won't go away, but you'll have to pay for the privilege if you're not in the same household.
By Ben Demers Last updated
Amazon launches RxPass — its new subscription service for medication
Amazon's new program, RxPass, lets Prime members ship prescription medications to their homes for just $5 a month.
By Erin Bendig Published