How early is too early to start your holiday shopping? Amazon is hosting Prime Day on October 13-14, and it promises to be 48 hours of savings. Heck, you can already get in on several early Amazon Prime Day deals right now. While the event usually takes place in July, the pandemic delay gives new weight to the shopping celebration. The question is whether you should dive in now or wait until the traditional Thanksgiving start. Let’s challenge Black Friday vs Prime Day and find an answer.
If you’re unsure of Prime Day’s overall impact, Target and Walmart have already announced competing events to get in on the action. Check out some of the best early deals from both retailers below:
Clearly the shopping landscape will look a bit different this year. We’ll dig into what we expect from both shopping holidays before we finally give our opinion on when to start. Ready to shop? Let’s get to it.
The case for Amazon Prime Day
There’s not much time left to decide when you want to start shopping because Prime Day is right around the corner. Why start early? William Camden said it best when he wrote that “the early bird catches the worm.” It’s a great opportunity to check items off of your shopping list while you know that you still have a backup shopping day just over one month away.
You’ll have to remember that Prime Day is an exclusive event for members only, and it all takes place online. It may not be the best time to grab items that you need to try on, but you can expect great savings across all of the retail giant’s product lines like Echo, Ring, and Eero. Prime Day is also a great time to grab entry-level and midrange laptops if last year’s sale is any indication. Some HP and Lenovo units dropped as low as $200 last year, and Amazon claims to have sold nearly 100,000 laptops across all categories.
Walmart’s and Target’s sales events offer even more reasons to get an early start this year. The Big Save at Walmart kicks off even earlier than Prime Day on October 11, and it’s including sales across the board. You’ll have to turn to Walmart and Target anyway if you’re hoping to grab Google Nest devices — Amazon shuns them in favor of its own brands.
Over at Target, the Deal Days promotion lines up with Prime Day on October 13-14. We don’t know exactly how far-reaching the savings will be, but Target seems to be pretty proud of the fact that you don’t have to pay membership dues. No matter which sale you choose, October seems to be the time to start this year.
Beyond just savings, let’s be honest: COVID has resulted in many shipping and production delays over the past few months. This means limited inventory. Getting in early is the best guarantee you’ll get the items you love and if any deals run out of stock, you have a second chance by trying again on Black Friday.
The case for Black Friday
The early bird may catch the worm, but it’s the late mouse that gets the cheese. In your case, you might want to take the late mouse approach and save some cheddar. Black Friday deals are often just as good as, if not better than, Amazon’s Prime Day promotions. After all, there’s far more competition on Black Friday, so it’s much easier to comparison shop and grab the lowest price around.
Black Friday also allows you to shop in-person, but please do so with social distancing in mind if you venture out the morning after Thanksgiving. That makes it a great time to pick up clothing items or footwear that you need to try on before you buy. It also helps that Black Friday is closer to the holidays themselves, which means that retailers have less time to move their inventory. That might mean better prices or feature-rich bundles to really round out your shopping.
Another incentive to wait is that not all new products will be available in time for Prime Day. If you’re looking for a new PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X (or S), you won’t be able to take one home on Amazon’s holiday. You won’t even be able to pick up one of Amazon’s own redesigned Echo speakers because the orb-shaped options don’t launch until early November. Expect both to be in stock in time for Black Friday, though they may not be any easier to acquire depending on the appetites of shoppers.
So, when should you start?
Finally, the answer you’ve been searching for — when to start your holiday shopping. Well, in our opinion, it makes more sense to start your shopping early with Amazon’s Prime Day event. You don’t have to buy much, but you shouldn’t pretend that the deals aren’t happening. After all, if you let Amazon’s sales slip by then you won’t be able to go back for them later. If you try to grab a sale and it sells out, you still have Black Friday as a fallback plan.
It may be best to split up your shopping list and only search for certain deals on Amazon Prime Day while you wait for more savings and new offers to launch on Black Friday.
Are you going to be an early bird and go for the worm? Or will you be a second mouse and rake in that cheese? Make your shopping habits heard with the poll below: