While I love a good deal, I have my limits. Waking up at dawn and tangling with sometimes aggressive shoppers desperate for a “great deal” on Black Friday is it. However, I have some friends whose Black Friday ritual is as much a part of the Thanksgiving weekend as the turkey and leftovers are. Each year they have a plan and the wherewithal to execute it. And some years they’re richly rewarded with steep discounts on some pretty nifty stuff.
I still prefer to sleep in on Black Friday and wake up to a breakfeast of leftover stuffing. But if you are one those intrepid souls who plan to “go for it” this year remember: not every deal is created equal. It helps to know what to go for and what to avoid until later in the season when you can get it for a better price. Our friends at dealnews offer some expert tips to help you plan your Black Friday adventure and maximize savings.
Ten Things NOT to Buy on Black Friday
We’ve said it many times already, and we’ll say it once more: Black Friday is not the best time to buy toys for the holidays. They’ll likely still be discounted, and it may feel pretty good to get your shopping done early, but you won’t love that sinking feeling you’ll get when you see those toys listed on dealnews for less about two weeks before Christmas.
Black Friday is an excellent time to get a cheap TV, with numerous sizes prepped to hit their lowest price points we’ve ever seen, but don’t expect the best deals to be flooded with brand-name sets. Those will come with a bit of patience.
Wait until the end of January or early February to see the first significant discounts on 2012 calendars, and keep your appointments in your smartphone in the meantime. Wall calendars are mainly just eye candy for your cubicle anyway, right?
While you’ll get fantastic deals on Christmas items the closer you get to the holiday itself, and of course after the holiday, you can still score a relatively good deal if you skip Black Friday and shop on Cyber Monday for these festive goods.
This entire category is flagged “do not buy” for the holiday season. Jewelry can be tough to avoid this time of year (especially if you’re set on buying something sparkly for a lady friend), but as you might imagine, the discounts on jewelry before the holidays are nowhere near as good as times when people are less inclined to be gifting something special.
The North Face Denali Jacket
This is one of the brand’s most-popular standard styles, and its price will go up and down as new colors are released each season. But the lowest prices we’ve seen on this style in the past three years have come in the late spring through summer months (with the occasional outliers).
Roku 2 XS
This media player is on Amazon’s list of best-selling electronics, so it’s reasonable to think that shoppers will be on the hunt for a deal on this popular item come Black Friday. But let’s take a look at the deals we saw on last year’s hot Roku, the XD model: We saw an excellent offer on Black Friday from Amazon, but then an even better deal (again from Amazon, for $8 less and bundled with a streaming media credit) came along in mid- and late December. Therefore, we’d recommend holding out until December for the Roku 2 XS this year.
Game Console without a Bundled Item
As we’ve suggested before, now is not the smartest time to buy a console that’s several years old when two of the major names are planning refreshes in the next year. However, this advice is mainly geared toward people who already have a console and are thinking about replacing it. If you just can’t wait to jump on the gaming bandwagon, you should at least make sure you’re getting a sizeable free gift card or a few top-name game titles with your purchase. (Price check the games though, as you might be able to get the bundle cheaper if they happen to be on sale over the Black Friday weekend.)
Although we’ll see some of the best coupons of the year from numerous clothing retailers during Black Friday weekend, you should consider using them to stack with items that are already heavily discounted in the sale section to get the greatest value; winter apparel will see better base discounts in January.
Just like jewelry, watches usually don’t see their best prices during Black Friday weekend, likely because of the proximity to the holiday season. We see far more Editors’ Choice caliber deals during the spring and particularly during the summer.