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Let the holiday shopping season begin: tricks for Amazon Prime Day & Black Friday in October sales

October 13 is Prime Day. Other retailers are competing with their own sales starting this weekend.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This is the official countdown to Christmas is now at 77 days, but the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season is next week!

October 13 is Amazon Prime Day and the online shipping giant is offering Black Friday deals. Many other retailers are jumping in to make it a shopping holiday for you too.

AMAZON PRIME DAY.

Amazon has its own cheat sheet from how to get deal alerts, spot deal badges, use the app or Alexa, and even how to use Amazon Assistant to compare prices.

Consumer Reports has its own tricks. Here’s what to know about Lightning Deals.

“Lightning deals which last anywhere from four to 24 hours and they have a limited quantity of inventory so if you see a Lightning Deal on a TV there may only be 100 units available. You have 15 minutes once you put that in your cart to buy it,” said Consumer Reports specialist Samantha Gordon.

What if the deal is sold out by the time you get to it? Join a waitlist. When you join that waitlist, you get notified if someone doesn't check out and there is a new item available and you're the next in line.

WHY YOU NEED A PRIME MEMBERSHIP FOR PRIME DAY. You can't buy all the best deals, or even see the best deals, if you're not a Prime Member.  Membership is $13 a month or $128 a year. It gives you free 2-day shipping.

Consumer Reports Pros/Cons list for Prime Membership.

TRICK: DO A TRIAL MEMBERSHIP. You can get a trial membership for 30 days for free. After you buy your items, set an alarm on your phone calendar to cancel it before the time is up.

OTHER RETAILER SALES

Walmart is running a big save event that starts Sunday evening October 11 and runs through Thursday, October 15.

Target is also promising that same level of deals, which runs October 13 -14. 

Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond are also having their own Black Friday sales in October.

 FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING.

 Yes, Amazon is known for it, but plenty of other retailers do a version of this as well from Sephora to Walmart and Target. Check out the info from the I’d Rather Be Shopping blog.