Let's be really clear off the bat here – there are plenty of excellent deals in the Amazon Prime Day Early Access sale.
The Prime Day in October sale is on right now, lasting until midnight today on 12 October, and for those looking to get a head start on buying gifts for the winter holiday season, it is well worth checking out in my opinion.
I myself have bought a number of things over the past 24 hours in the Prime Day in October sale, including an air fryer, some dishwasher tablets, and a new keyboard cover for my iPad, and I'm feeling pretty darn pleased with myself.
However, after spending the best part of the last 28 hours deal hunting here at T3.com to help bring good deals to the attention of our readers, I've been reminded that there are absolutely potential buyer's remorse traps that the unwary could fall into if they lose their head while browsing the event.
Here are the three biggest things I recommend deal hunters look out for in the Prime Day in October sale.
1. Beware a "deal" not being the best deal
I'm seeing a lot of products available right now that have been cheaper at some point this year listed as Prime Early Access deals. Now, of course, these are deals in one sense, as these products are being offered at reduced price points. However, by using price tracking tools such as camelcamelcamel I've been able to see that better deals have been offered on these products already, and that tells me lower prices will likely arrive at some point again. There's no guarantee, but it's important not to rush to make a purchase on something because it is listed as a "deal", only then to find out that it was actually £20 cheaper two months ago.
2. Watch out for unproven, unverifiable boasters
In addition, I'm seeing a lot of heroically specced products discounted from lesser-known brands that I can't see much, if any, coverage of in terms of reviews online. This always worries me as it makes it hard if not impossible to do any research about the product in advance, which is something you should always do before pulling the trigger on a purchase. Just because a product is listed as coming with x, y and z features, as well as all the specs for a bargain price doesn't mean that it will perform as advertised, so make sure you don't buy on price alone, being carried by wishful thinking as to how the untested product will perform.
3. Shop end of life but with your eyes open
Finally, I'm seeing what I always see in these big sales events – end of life products offered up as deals. Now, I want to be clear here, I do recommend people shop for end of life products a lot of times, as by shopping a generation behind you can often get 95% of the functionality of the very latest model, but for like 40-50 % of the price, and that could be even lower in a particularly good deal. However, what I will say is that make sure you only do this with your eyes open. As in, make sure you've done your research and know what the newer model delivers and/or when it came out or is going to come out. This is because the last thing you want to do is buy a product now and then find out that its successor offers orders of magnitude better performance. Don't end up being palmed off with old tech that, really, you should never have bought, but did because it was listed as a "deal".
My conclusion is clear – shopping smart has never been more important
What I'm trying to say in this piece is that there is extra pressure on a lot of people this year, myself absolutely included, to shop smart, as the global economic downturn is leaving people with less disposable income. And bagging deals and getting gifts sorted early is absolutely a great way to help mitigate that.
However, with that added pressure comes added risk of making bad, snap-shot decisions, so make sure you don't lose your head and shop smart this Prime Day in October sale, as well through the Black Friday and Christmas sales. I'm being very strict with myself in terms of doing my research and making informed, careful decisions when deal hunting, and I would recommend others do the same.
Have a clear idea of what you want to shop for in mind when entering the sale and only then pick up deals that fulfill your criteria and meet your approval in terms of review scores, quality and price.
T3.com is currently running a Prime Day in October live blog, where we are only recommending quality products and genuine deals, so if you're looking for a starting point for a deal-hunting expedition, that's a useful place to start.