Black Friday is only a week away, and that means most people are making their lists, checking them twice and hoping that all the mass retailers of the world have a few of those amazing (or so they seem) deals still in stock by the time they get up and ready to shop on Friday morning. I’m doing it this year; call me crazy, but my husband has taken next week off work to stay home with us and when one of the grandparents offered to stay with the kids so we could go shopping on Friday (which we’ve never done), we didn’t want to seem rude by declining such a kind offer, obviously. So, we are going to make a date of Black Friday and do some shopping.
Unlike a number of people who are already making lists and planning on camping out in front of stores with great deals, we are not so stressed about it. We have no expectations other than that we will shop and get some deals on things we want for one another, our kids or our home (Bath & Body Works soaps and lotions, children’s pajamas and things that we always use at home and know for certain are good deals). We don’t want to stand in line for limited quantity items we don’t really need or know for certain are good deals, so we are just going to shop for other stuff and take advantage of the sales being offered in our favorite stores.
With that in mind, there are some things that we keep hearing are not worth purchasing on Black Friday. Why? It seems that shopping experts have gone through recent Black Friday sales ads from the past decade and decided that most of the things we *think* we are getting for a great deal on Black Friday are actually less expensive as December enters the picture and Christmas is closer than ever. That’s right; Black Friday might not actually be the best day of the year to go shopping. What should Black Friday shoppers wait to purchase next week? We have a list of items you should not add to your cart on Black Friday.
Wrapping paper, tree ornaments, that really cute sign that just has to go on the wine barrel table on the front porch; I’ll load up my shopping cart with holiday items on Black Friday. I know myself. However, I also know that this is the worst time to pick up holiday décor. Christmas decorations are far more affordable as you get closer to Christmas, and they’re the most affordable once the holiday is over. That does not, however, stop me from loading up on adorable new décor when I see it in the store. Just call it a lack of willpower, since I know I’ll be back the day after Christmas to pick up more items when they are on sale. I’m weak; I know.
“I’m going Black Friday shopping for our upcoming winter getaway to the mountains,” said a friend a few weeks ago. I thought it seemed like a great idea until I read an article that states Black Friday is actually the worst time to pick up winter apparel. In fact, you should wait until spring to buy these things so that you are able to pick them up at the lowest possible prices. I know, I know; who wants to wait to buy their winter clothes when they’re no longer needed? I choose to think of it more like you’re preparing for the upcoming winter when you shop this way. It makes me feel more productive and on top of my game.
Brand Name Televisions
Sure, you’ve all seen the deals for impressively sized televisions on sale for less than most of us pay for a massage this Black Friday, but they’re not good deals. Every time I point one out to my husband and say something like “I bet my parents would love this,” he says in response, “You are not buying whatever that brand is; I’ve never even heard of it,” and he’s right. The big deals are on cheap televisions that are actually worth the price you’re paying. The good deals on name brand televisions don’t usually occur until later in December when retailers are looking to get rid of old models for the new ones. Wait a few weeks for a name brand television. Even though you will pay more for a discounted name brand television when it goes on sale, you’re getting more quality for your money so it’s a much smarter buy.
As a huge fan and collector of little blue boxes, my husband will tell you straight up that there is no good time to buy jewelry since it’s never on sale. However, many people look forward to Black Friday sales so that they can pick up new jewels for their loved ones, or even a new watch. It turns out that shopping experts recommend waiting until around Valentine’s Day to buy jewelry and watches since the deals on Black Friday are actually nowhere near as good as they are when you shop during the most ‘romantic’ time of the year. When you see pieces that are considerably marked down on Black Friday, look for the original price to have an “MSRP” next to it. This means that this is the suggested retail price, but it’s not the price that item was ever listed for in the history of its time in a jewelry store.
Video Game Consoles
If you are looking for an Xbox or whatever the hot new video game console is this year, wait a few weeks. Unless you are purchasing one as a bundle with some games and other additions to it, experts claim it’s not a good buy on Black Friday. Either go ahead and pay full price for these (the newest ones will never see a discount the first year they are released) or look for the games that are offered as a package with other items so that you are getting the best possible deal.
Home Gym Equipment
I know that you feel now is a good time to buy home gym and exercise equipment. You see it on sale, you think about all the eggnog and holiday treats you’re going to eat, and you know in advance that you’re going to need to do some working out. Additionally, you know you’re about to make an empty promise at the New Year to work out more and get healthy, and buying some home gym equipment right now is going to make you stick to that resolution, right? Not so much; let’s stick to our budgets first. Black Friday is not the day to buy a new treadmill. January is actually the best month in which to do your exercise equipment shopping. Retailers and manufacturers know that everyone has just overindulged, feels terrible about their bodies and their health and they want to go ahead and keep their New Year resolutions to get fit and healthy; so they drop the prices. Don’t buy it on Black Friday. Just wait about six weeks and you’ll get some really good deals.
There are plenty of us who don’t even really bother with real cameras anymore since we have phones that take such good photos (except professionals; they know the value of a real camera). However, anyone interested in a real live digital camera for Christmas should consider giving this as a Valentine’s Day gift instead. It seems that it’s the end of January and into February when these cameras are at their lowest price. New versions are released and retailers want to do whatever it takes to get the old ones out and the new ones in; that means selling the current year models at steep discounts so that they can bring in the more expensive new models for the upcoming year.
I know it’s tempting to toss some toys into your cart on Black Friday (that’s why most of us are shopping, right?), but experts say not to. They say that historically, toy prices drop significantly about two weeks into December, making it a far better deal to wait a while before you do your Black Friday shopping. That makes sense when you stop and think about it, but I know that many people want to make sure they get what they need and want before it’s sold out; rest assured, wait to buy the toys. There might be a few toys here and there that are significantly discounted and worth the splurge on Black Friday (trust me, I have four kids and I buy a lot of toys so I can tell you what any and everything sells for at any given time), but for the most part it’s worth it to wait a few weeks to do your Christmas toy shopping a little closer to the holiday itself.
Why is bedding on the list? I add this to the list because you would be surprised how many families choose the holidays to redecorate their kids’ rooms and their own master bedrooms. They assume that bedding is on sale big time on Black Friday, which makes it the best time to buy their new bedding and redecorate. Let’s just stop right there; I love the idea of re-decorating a child’s room as a Christmas gift because it is oh-so practical and it saves you a ton of money not having to buy other toys since you are ‘redecorating’ as a gift. It’s genius, really. However, it’s not the most affordable time to do this. If you really do want new bedding, wait a month after Christmas when retailers and manufacturers introduce something they refer to as a while sale. This is when bedding and other items that are for the bedroom tend to go on sale more than ever before.
I know that this is going to get a few side-eye glances, but I am an advocate for not buying electronics on Black Friday. Sorry, but there are too many experts that tell you that these are items that are not good quality, and I am not a fan of buying anything that is not good quality just because it is cheap (you get what you pay for, you know). These are items that are typically offered on sale for such big discounts because they are specially made for Black Friday by off-off brands, without as many pixels or HDMI outlets or whatever else that electronics need that make them so expensive. They’re not good quality, so you should steer clear. The only time I’d recommend buying a new electronic or two during the holidays is when you know they’re good deals by name brand companies that are offering sales.
I realize that I just crossed 95% of your Christmas gifts off your Black Friday shopping list, but I don’t apologize. I don’t want you going broke buying things that you could get for less in a few weeks. I do, however, think that a few recommendations of things you should definitely buy on Black Friday are worth mentioning since you’re now wondering what’s left (might I recommend always stopping for a drink at the bar of your favorite mall restaurant while Black Friday shopping? That always seems like a good idea when done responsibly).
- DVDS and Blu-Rays
- Home goods (think blenders and things like that perfect for the college student or first-time young homeowner in your life)
- Stocking stuffers
- Gift cards – You likely are not getting a discount on gift cards, but many stores offer their shoppers gift cards of their own when you make a minimum purchase, so buying gift cards in your favorite stores in lieu of actual gifts could mean you score smaller gift cards of your own to use at a later date, too, and that’s a pretty good deal.
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