Black Friday is just around the corner, leaving many shoppers wary of buying anything in October. But you don't have to be afraid to shop during the spookiest month; thanks to Halloween and Columbus Day sales, October is full of frightfully good price drops! Read on to learn what's worth buying in October, and what to get on Black Friday instead.
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7 Things You Should Buy in October
Columbus Day Sale Items
Hit the virtual aisles around October 8 for the last big shopping event of the year before Black Friday. Columbus Day (sometimes called "Indigenous Peoples Day," depending on where you live) doesn't typically offer up sales that can beat Memorial Day or Labor Day.
But you can still find festive discounts on all kinds of goods, such as home items at Macy's and Sur La Table. If you can't hold out for new footwear until November, you should also see substantial price drops on name-brand shoes from retailers like Foot Locker. Expect to shop Reebok sneakers from just $19, or get Crocs discounted by an extra 30% off.
SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Buying Guide
October is traditionally one of the best months to buy a new car, as dealerships are eager to offload last year's inventory ahead of new models arriving towards the end of the year. There are other ways to save on cars in October, too: buy at the end of the day or month, when salespeople strive to hit quotas. You can also check out this comprehensive study from iSeeCars.com on what used cars sit the longest on dealer lots.
It's also worth shopping for a new car around the second Monday in October, as Columbus Day deals could lead to big discounts.
The best time of year to buy a Halloween costume is obviously November 1, when stores knock as much as 80% off the prices of unsold wizard hats and sexy Scrabble outfits. But few people are already prepared for Halloween 2019, so it's nice to know you can still find great deals on costumes in the days leading up to the holiday.
Hot Topic knocked a flat 75% off a selection of Halloween costumes two weeks before the holiday last year, while JCPenney shaved an additional 60% off kids' Disney ensembles around the same time. However, you'll still find the lowest prices on all things spooky at Amazon and Walmart, where full Halloween costumes should sell for as little as $8.
Those planning a trip to Paris or Rome should consider October as their month for European adventure, as it falls within the industry's "shoulder season." This is a period when you can benefit from off-season prices while popular tourist destinations are still set up to entertain visitors. October travelers will enjoy better hotel room deals and mix with the locals, rather than joining tourist-swamped queues!
We likely won't see as many European hotel deals until February, so it's definitely worth booking before Black Friday season rolls around. You can expect to save an extra 10% on Hotels.com bookings throughout October, while the rates for Parisian hotels should drop as low as $52 per night via Trivago.
October is National Pizza Month, so we're anticipating some top deals on pies from our favorite restaurants and takeout places. Expect tasty deals from Domino's and Papa John's — the latter of which promoted what is still its best-ever buy one, get one free offer during October last year. We'll also look to Pizza Hut this month for a 25% off coupon.
Shopping for in-season produce doesn't just make for tastier meals. Prices can drop by up to 50% when fruits and vegetables are at their most plentiful. In October, you can expect to see cheaper pumpkins, cranberries, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and pomegranates.
Speaking of the growing season, green-thumbed folks who are looking to cut back on the cost of planting should head to their local garden centers this month. As these outlets host their end-of-season sales, you'll see particularly big markdowns on perennials, which don't need to be replanted each year.
Tropical plants like hibiscus also sell at low prices during October because they can't survive the colder weather. You can buy them now and nurse the plants indoors until next spring.
Wait Until Black Friday to Buy...
Aside from the notable exceptions we mentioned above, November is generally the best time of year to buy almost everything, thanks to Black Friday.
Whether your refrigerator is on the fritz or you just want a flashy new Dyson vacuum, try and hold out until November to shop home appliances. No other month comes close to offering the quantity or quality of deals we see in the run-up to Black Friday. In fact, 30% of all appliance deals listed last November earned our Editors' Choice mark — that's compared to the monthly average of around 20%.
As ever, Home Depot and Lowe's should be your first ports of call. Both stores generally knock up to 40% off refrigerators, washers, dryers, and ovens. You can also expect Editors' Choice price lows from vacuum heavyweights Hoover and Dyson; the latter knocked up to $300 off its high-tech vacs last Black Friday.
If you're planning on buying a new Apple iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR, know that we won't see any direct discounts on these handsets until November.
The discounts were far from thrilling last year, but we saw the first price drop on a new unlocked iPhone 8 on Cyber Monday, when reputable eBay sellers undercut Apple's price by around $30. Sam's Club offered the best iPhone 8 deal of the month, as it bundled a $300 gift card with the phone, which was at list price (this trumped Target's offer of a $250 gift card).
Black Friday week always seems to be the best time of year to buy a new laptop. In November 2017, 30% of the laptops we listed were Editors' Choice deals, compared to the 12% monthly average that year. Budget-conscious shoppers can expect to see no-nonsense 12" Chromebooks fall to $99 at Best Buy.
SEE ALSO: How to Buy a Cheap Gaming Laptop in 2018
Meanwhile, Dell's doorbusters should include 14" entry-level builds from $130. Shoppers on the hunt for a heftier machine should find quality builds with dedicated graphics cards and ample SSD storage for around $600 at the likes of Newegg, too.
If you don't listen to any other advice, please heed our words on this: Don't buy a new TV until Black Friday. Most — if not all — size categories will fall to their best prices of the year. And for the last two years, nearly half of all TV deals listed were hot enough to earn our Editors' Choice designation — 47% of them met the mark last year.
Expect to shop 32" units for between $100 and $120 around Black Friday, while 48" to 50" 4K units should start at just $175 (for those who don't mind lesser-known brands).
It's not just TVs and laptops that will reach all-time lows in November. All sorts of electronics — from headphones to speakers to smartwatches — will show up in our Editors' Choice deal section.
Those on the hunt for a new smartwatch should check the price of Fitbit's Ionic and Versa models, which are expected to hit $190. Klipsch should host one its best sales of the year, too, as we saw up to 60% off in 2017. That made Klipsch a prime spot to shop high-end speakers for hundreds of dollars off list.
Canon generally hosts its best sale of the year around Black Friday, as well, where you can pick up refurbished DSLR cameras and lenses.
Buying in-season apparel generally goes against our advice. But Black Friday is an exception. Most department and designer stores will host their best sitewide offers of the year come November, including outlets like Nordstrom Rack. (We expect it to knock an extra 30% off for the third year running.) Ralph Lauren and Gap were two of many other stores that also had Editors' Choice-prices sitewide, which meant you could nab in-season cold-weather apparel at clearance prices.
Whether you're buying gift cards to cut down costs on your own shopping, or you're stocking up for holiday gifts, know that Black Friday will bring with it the best gift card offers of the year thus far. Not only did we see the best Starbucks and PlayStation Store gift card offers of the year last November, but we also listed the only IKEA gift card deal we've ever seen.