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 DealNews.com 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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.