Holiday Shopping Guide: Black Friday Do Not Buys

Black Friday Do Not Buys

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but there are some things you should avoid if you want to save the most money.

Most of us have already made our Black Friday shopping lists, some slightly more spectacular than others. Mine mostly includes teas and mugs to give friends along with homemade biscotti. I always buy my Christmas gifts Black Friday weekend if I can because the sales make it easier, and I love shopping way too much to miss out on the biggest shopping day of the year. But there are some items on your list that you should avoid next weekend, and I’m here to tell you exactly what they are.

Top five things not to buy on Black Friday

About a month ago released a list of things to avoid buying on Black Friday this year. I, along with Money Crashers financial expert David Bakke, took a look at Deal News’ list, and broke it down for you. Together, we tell you not only the top 5 items to avoid, but when it is best to go and buy those items and some highly rated alternatives to supplement your shopping list.

Jewelry and watches

What Not To Buy On Black Friday

If you can avoid buying jewelry between now and Valentine’s Day, we definitely recommend it.

Jewelry is such a popular gift during the holiday season, whether you’re proposing or giving something special to a girlfriend, wife or mother. But that is also exactly why you will rarely ever see discounted jewelry or watches between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.

“Jewelry and watch sales are typically strong during the holiday season, giving retailers little motivation to discount,” Bakke explained in an email. “You’re better off waiting until summer time if at all possible.”

You can’t exactly skip the ring if you plan to propose this holiday season, but if you’re jewelry and watch shopping simply for gift giving, there are other alternatives:

  1. Anything she might show you online and say “That is so cool!” is an option. Or ask her friends if there is anything she has been fawning over you might not know about.
  2. Another option is perfume or cologne. Macy’s has not released its discounts for beauty items yet, but, according to a press release, it expects fragrance sets to be a hit item this year, and will be having exclusive Black Friday deals on them.
  3. If the person you’re giving a gift to loves to cook, there are also sales at both Wal-Mart and Macy’s this Black Friday on kitchen appliances. Black & Decker, Bella and Westinghouse appliances will be selling for $9.99.


Toys are a hot item every Christmas. Parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents and family friends go hunting for toys every year for a little one in their lives, but you might want to wait until after next weekend to buy them.

“Wait until mid-December for your toy purchases. The deals then are better than on Black Friday,” David Bakke confirms.

Look at Wal-Mart’s toy prices for Black Friday compared to what they currently are. Big Hugs Elmo is currently $49 and will only go down to $44 Black Friday weekend, and the Fisher Price Barbie Jeep is actually going up a dollar, from $88 to $89.

If you are going to wait until December, do you know what toys you’re going to buy? According to Wal-Mart spokesperson Molly Blakeman, the superstore is anticipating educational cool toys to be top sellers: the LeapPad Ultra, InnoTab3 and other kid-friendly tablets. For more toy ideas and where to buy them check out this article by our expert Jessie Veith Rouleau.

Game consoles without a bundled item

What Not To Buy On Black Friday

The PS 3 is currently priced at $199, but Black Friday bundles has it going for that same price plus some extras.

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Shopping for the gamer in your life? This Black Friday you’ll be better off buying one that includes a few extras.

“Never buy a standalone game console on Black Friday—always get it with an extra or two thrown in like a game or other accessory. What you’ll find is the price of the bundled package is about the same as purchasing the console by itself,” explains Bakke.

This Black Friday, Best Buy will be selling a bundled package for the PS3. You get the gaming system and two games for $199. The PS3 is not only going to be priced great, but it is rated 91/100 on Viewpoints based on 518 reviews. Many love it for acting like a gaming system and as a Blu-ray player.


Apple isn’t known for giving Black Friday specific discounts on its merchandise, so the newest iPad mini will probably not see a discount until after the New Year. The same goes for the Kindle HDX.

Bakke explains, “Any electronic item that was recently released just won’t be on special on Black Friday, and that includes the iPad mini with retina display. What you will find deals on are previous versions of the iPad mini and other high-end electronics.”

So if you have someone who really wants a tablet on your shopping list what are your alternatives? There are two Black Friday deals we found that cater more toward your wallet and will answer your electronic demands.

  1. Best Buy will have the Kindle Fire HD available for $99.99, down from $139. This might be an older version of the Kindle Fire line, but with a Viewpoints score of 94/100 based on 160 reviews, you will still be investing your money wisely.
  2. Wal-Mart will have an iPad 2 bundle available for $349. This is still a lot of money, but also includes a Bluetooth speaker and an accessory kit. The current price of the iPad 2 by itself is $399. Viewpoints reviewers also rated this tablet highly, at 93/100 based on over 400 reviews.

Brand-name HDTVs

What Not To Buy On Black Friday

The Roku is available in different versions, offering different features and going for prices between $40 and $100.

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If you want to buy a new TV this Black Friday, that’s great, but you probably won’t be able to buy a brand name one.

“Deals on brand name HDTVs like Samsung will be few and far between on Black Friday. However you can find great prices on off brands like Seiki, Sceptre, and Dynex. Just proceed at your own risk—these TVs are generally of rather low quality. Brand name HDTVs (older models) are usually reduced in price at the beginning of the year, when new models hit the shelves,” explains Bakke.

If you’re looking for an alternative to buying a new TV, particularly a Smart TV, you should look into the Roku. It is only discounted $10 at Best Buy, but going for $39.99 it is much more affordable than a new TV. The Roku is a small box that plugs into your TV and lets you watch Netflix, HBOGO, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and more. And with a Viewpoints score of 93/100 based on 88 reviews, many people find this to be a great alternative to buying a new TV and paying the cable bill.

Keep your eyes peeled

Even though we tell you to avoid buying these items, and give some cheaper alternatives to keep an eye out for, that does not mean this advice is set it stone. If you’re walking through the mall, or a toy store, and see something at a great price, then by all means grab it. Items that are in high demand might not reach their lowest prices until later, but if you wait too long they could sell out first.

Allegra Pusateri Allegra Pusateri (70 Posts)

Allegra Pusateri is an intern at Viewpoints. She recently graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing.

  • penny0314

    I live on a fixed income. The grandkids (5) get inexpensive gifts. Period. There’s not a lot of savings on that. I anticipate less than $50 total and plan on shopping Amazon for the gifts. Already selected, waiting on my disability check. This is the reality of life on Social Security–those Republicans who think we’re living high on the hog notwithstanding.

    • crookedwren

      I’m on disability. I used to be a Democrat. Now? I’m a conservative. Why? Because the lie is that Dems are compassionate. They’re not. They are bankrupting the programs that we (you and me) depend upon. The true conservatives in the GOP are working to PROTECT your income.

      True conservatives understand full well that high taxes actually decrease the amount of money they take in. Coolidge and JFK both lowered taxes and increased revenues. Dems keep increasing taxes — which actually lowers the amount of money coming into the Federal till.

      I wish we could sit down and chat. Those Republicans do not believe that you and I are living high on the hog. They know that our best interests are served by prosperity in this country — small businesses are the economic engine of our country — and it’s the Dems who are hand in glove with the major corporations. GE, whose head (Imelt) has been part of this Administration received billions of dollars of bailout money, even though they were not in economic danger. GE is being protected by the Dems because GE keeps funding them — and they return the favor.

      Read Hayek’s Road to Serfdom or some Milton Friedman. They helped open my eyes.

      This Admin. keeps “printing” money — which means the dollars you and I are receiving are worth less — they buy less — each year.

      God Bless you and yours at Christmas and into the New Year. I pray you’re not offended by my reply.

      • penny0314

        I understand your sincerity, but I couldn’t disagree with you more. The Republicans are the lot who have vigorously wanted to (and succeeded in) cutting food stamps, which primarily harms children and seniors, and simultaneously slashing funding for food banks. I think you must be spending an extraordinary amount of time listening to FOX news, but remember that FOX is the broadcast entity that was denied a license in Canada. Why? The Canadian law says that news broadcasters have to primarily broadcast verifiable, fact “checkable” news, not editorials disguised as news. FOX could not stand up to that standard.

        Your “facts” are sadly skewed and mostly not facts at all. By the way, I am not exonerating the Democrats, but they have tried and tried in these last two congresses to get things accomplished. It is verifiable fact that the Republicans have made two pacts: one to obstruct this president in every way possible for as long as he is in office, the good of the country be damned. The other is to do everything possible to thwart the ACA, while determinedly not introducing ANY workable alternative. I am on disability BECAUSE I could not buy health insurance at any cost (believe me, I tried–I was literally laughed at), yet 1000% of the Republican approach has been to try and repeal the ACA WITHOUT offering any alternative. Medicare had much the same degree of problems at its rollout. ACA is steadily improving, and is working fabulously in the states that set up the machinery to get people covered instead of just being obstructionist (like the asshole Florida has–Rick Scott). Obama has worked amazingly also in the area of foreign relations. The Republicans have screwed with the Ag bill to reduce food stamps and the poor’s access to adequate nutrition. They have steadfastly blocked a superb immigration bill (actually, that is the congressional Repubs–the Senate cooperated across the aisle to get it passed there). I could go on and on. The pacts to prevent anything good moving forward disturb me the most–they are absolutely unAmerican.

        I am not offended by your reply–the wonder of our Constitution and country is that we can disagree and do it publicly. And I wish you and yours a most excellent holiday!