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Amazon joins Target in early holiday shopping deals promotion

The online retail giant put out an extensive press release Monday in an effort to get people shopping early for deals, well ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Early Monday, mega online retailer Amazon released a long list of promotions for anything from toys to home goods and electronics, pushing their "Black Friday-Worthy Deals" well ahead of the traditional holiday shopping season. 

At the end of September, popular retailer Target also kicked off the early holiday shopping trend with the announcement of their "Deal Days," which will begin in the first half of October. It's part of a recent pattern for retailers, that aims to try and drum up business early, weeks before the usual holiday shopping rush that shoppers are used to in years past. 

While, by Monday's press release from Amazon, it wasn't immediately clear how much of a deeper discount many of the items are being offered at on Amazon's website, a few new features in how you order items were announced. 

This year, Amazon says, it's making shopping even easier with the ability to send gifts via its mobile app by simply using an email or a phone number, without needing to know the recipients address. 

Amazon laid out a long list of items and gift ideas in the promotion including stocking suffer ideas, and a large holiday toy list from brands like LEGO and Mattel. Again, while it wasn't clear how much of an even deeper discount certain items are being offered at compared to previous pricing for the items on Amazon's site, many do appear to be slightly lower in price than other retailers. And if you shop a lot, factoring in the cost of an Amazon Prime membership for free shipping, that could offer an even larger discount while saving time.

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For example, in the holiday toy list, in the ages 6-8 years section for kids toys, the "Osmo - Coding Starter Kit for iPad" retails on the site for $91.04, with "free shipping" for those who pay for a Prime membership. That, as the site says, is about a $8.95 discount compared to other places online like Target or Osmo's website. So, while the prices appear mostly lower, it wasn't clear how many items out of the plethora listed by Amazon on Monday, are discounted even further to match deep discounts often seen during a traditional Black Friday shopping season. 

Amazon does have a special section of the site for what the company labels its "Epic Deals," with each item discounted at a larger percentage according to the retailer (sometimes up to 51% off.) These items have a timer next to them to entice shoppers to rush and make a purchase before the clock runs out. 

In September, Target announced their "Deal Days" promotion for early holiday shopping which was set to run from Oct. 10 to Dec. 24. Target says that it will honor price adjustments for any purchase made with the retailer if the price is lowered during the shopping season.