Amazon Prime Day: October's Early Access Sale Is Here

Amazon Prime Early Access Sale Oct. 11-12 kicks off the holiday shopping season six weeks before Black Friday.

Amazon Prime logo displayed on a phone screen and Amazon logo displayed on a screen in the background are seen in this illustration photo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 It’s on! What was just a rumor a few months ago is now a full-fledged blowout: the Amazon Early Access Sale (opens in new tab) is here, with deals galore from October 11-12.

This attempt to repeat Amazon’s success with its Prime Day sales (which you probably know also run several days) is a kickoff to the holiday shopping season. So if you’re known to complain when the decorations go up at the mall, this might be triggering (sorry). But if you’re good with getting a head start on your wish list, the deals are there.

As with Prime Days before, Amazon Early Access Sale runs heavy on tech items and Amazon’s house brands (Echo, Kindle, Fire and now, iRobot – the maker of the Roomba vacuum.)

Here are some Early Access Sale items that caught our eye:

– The MacBook Air M1, $799. A MacBook selling for three figures ($999 doesn’t really count in our book) isn’t that common. The $200 discount is available across the line, according to Tom’s Guide (opens in new tab).

– Amazon’s own Kindle line of e-readers is discounted 23% to 31% (opens in new tab). The deepest discount is on the Kindle Paperwhite Kids (8 GB) (opens in new tab), $109.99, which includes access to thousands of books and a 2-year warranty.

Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian (opens in new tab), $179.99. Wireless headphones color-coded to you-know-who are enjoying a modest discount but are a likely sellout nonetheless, according to our friends at iMore (opens in new tab).

Vacuums of all sorts (opens in new tab) are a popular item for Amazon to discount on Prime Day and now also during the Early Access Sale. The discount looks particularly deep on the iRobot Roomba i2 (opens in new tab) (2152) at $199.99. Compatible, of course, with Alexa.

GamesRadar+ (opens in new tab) has been tracking the wide range of discounts offered by Amazon during the Early Access Sale. Notable: the Nintendo Switch Sports controller (opens in new tab) at $39.99 ($10 off).

– But it’s not just gaming electronically. GamesRadar + reports the Amazon Early Access as being “particularly generous to the world of tabletop.” Catch big discounts on strategy games (opens in new tab) and board games (opens in new tab).


How to Shop Amazon’s Early Access Sale


Those are some of our picks; you’ll certainly have your own list. But the usual warnings about impulse buying are as important as ever, say shopping experts. “Create a wishlist of the items you want to shop,” says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.. “It'll be a lot easier to see if anything you're interested in has a deal on it during the event if you create and add these items to your wishlist now. In addition to being able to quickly navigate to the product page, you can opt in to receive deal alerts from Amazon, which is a good alternative if you don't have the time to camp in front of your computer and constantly refresh pages.” 

What Not to Buy During Amazon Prime Early Access Sale 

Ramhold and other deals experts say that, along with carefully checking prices during this new sales event, you should also exercise caution regarding what products and product categories to focus on.

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Remember, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all those other deals days of the holiday shopping season are right around the corner.

Avoid TVs (except perhaps for Amazon’s Fire TVs), laptops and smartphones. TV deals will likely be better at a wider swath of outlets during the Black Friday weekend, when retailers fight tooth and nail for sales of these items. 

You’ll also have better and cheaper options for smartphones in late November. “The iPhone 14 just came out and Google is set to announce the Pixel 7 lineup on Oct. 6, so the likelihood of seeing either of these lineups significantly discounted during the Prime event are slim,” says Ramhold. “However, around Black Friday we'll see the latest models bundled with gift cards or other free gifts (like earbuds), or just outright discounted, so it's best to wait until then to shop these.”

Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. 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.

 

With contributions from