Big Hits and What to Avoid When Shopping on Black Friday

When Black Friday hits, there will be plenty of deals out there as stores try to part you from your money. From clothing to tech to DVDs and Blu Rays, almost everything will be priced to sell, but not all deals are created equal.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday mark the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Here’s what you should buy and definitely avoid when you go shopping those days.

Buy: Apple iPhone

An Apple employee prepares Apple iPhone 7 phones
The iPhone 7 will be on sale. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

If you’re in the market for a new iPhone, Black Friday might be the time to score a deal, but this one comes with a big caveat. The recently-released iPhone X and iPhone 8 won’t be discounted, but iPhone 7 models will be priced to sell. Assuming you think buying an iPhone is even worth it, that is.
Next: Our first item to avoid buying on Black Friday.

Avoid: Winter clothes

Colorful winter down jacket
Wait a bit to buy your winter clothes. | Tanateph/iStock/Getty Images

Winter is quickly on its way, but you shouldn’t be filling your cart with winter clothes on Black Friday. Some winter clothing will be on sale, but DealNews says you should hold off on buying a new coat or other outerwear. Early in the new year is the best time to find deals on winter clothes as retailers start clearing shelves for spring fashions.
Next: A great day for gamers.

Buy: Video game systems

Xbox Controller
It could be the time to get a new gaming system. | Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Whether you prefer Xbox or PlayStation, Black Friday deals abound for you. Multiple retailers have multiple price points for both systems depending on the peripherals that come with them. (It’s worth noting that the new Xbox One X probably won’t be discounted). If you’ve put off upgrading to the latest generation of gaming systems, now’s the time to score deals.
Next: Hold off on decking the halls.

Avoid: Holiday decorations

black friday shoppers
Holiday decorations will get much cheaper after Chistmas. | PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Just like winter clothes, buying holiday decorations before the holidays isn’t a great idea. You may score some deals on decor but, as DealNews notes, holding off ensures you can score huge discounts just after the calendar flips over.
Next: Upgrade one of the most necessary items in the house.

Buy: Laptops

Shoppers look at laptop computers inside a Best Buy store
Black Friday could be the perfect time to upgrade your laptop. | MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Looking to upgrade your computer? Black Friday is here to help. Most major retailers offer huge discounts on models from several manufacturers, so there is likely to be at least one computer at your price point. The website BestBlackFriday collates the best deals, so you’ll know just where to go to find what you’re looking for. 
Next: No matter what you’re shopping for, beware of this.

Avoid: Black Friday doorbusters

You might be standing outside all night for nothing. | Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

When stores release their full Black Friday flyers, you’ll likely see an item and think, ‘Wow, that deal sounds too good to be true.’ That’s likely because it is. Doorbusters are just what they sound like — ways to get you to the store and spend your money. It’s one of the deals you shouldn’t fall for. Stores sometimes only have a limited supply (just 5 HDTVs, for example), or the item for sale is manufactured solely for Black Friday and is priced cheap for a reason.
Next: Shop for deals on things that make your life easier.

Buy: Appliances

There are some major deals to be had for appliances. | JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Is your washing machine just not cutting it anymore? Black Friday is good news for you. Sears and JCPenney both will have deep discounts on major appliances, according to BestBlackFriday, and Kohl’s and TrueValue, among others, will have deals on smaller appliances. As always, shop around and read the fine print to make sure you’re getting the best discount.
Next: Pay close attention to deals on this kind of item.

Avoid: High-definition TVs

Best Buy staff load a television during a Black Friday sale in Los Angeles, California on November 27, 2015. The US holiday shopping season kicks off with "Black Friday" -- the day after the Thanksgiving holiday -- with a frenzy expected at stores around the country as retailers slash prices. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON / AFP / MARK RALSTON
Double check what you grab. | MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

This isn’t to say you should take TVs off your Black Friday shopping list. After all, Best Buy (which will start its Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving) already released its sale flyer, and there are some great TV deals. Just make sure you’re getting the right deal. As the website DealNews notes, 4K TVs will be priced to move, so make sure you’re not accidentally snatching a 720p or 1080p set.
Next: These could make great stocking stuffers.

Buy: Video games and movies

Games and DVDs will be priced to sell. | Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

As we have seen, video game console deals are plentiful on Black Friday. Sales on the games for the systems as well as movies are also plentiful. Best Buy will have huge discounts on select Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One games, and other retailers will too, according to the website BestBlackFriday. When it comes to movies, Best Buy and Target (and you can bet Amazon, WalMart, BJ’s, and others) have cheap DVDs and Blu-ray movies.
Next: Stay the way you are — at least for now.

Avoid: Fitness equipment

Kmart store
Fitness equipment will be cheaper after the New Year. | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Chances are slim (see what we did there?) that you’ll see exercise equipment pop up as a Black Friday deal, but if you do, ignore it. Or run the other way and get started on your new year fitness goals. As DealNews writes, the truly deep discounts on fitness equipment will come in the new year as people start acting on their resolutions.
Next: Start planning for some post-holiday personal time.

Buy: Travel

Flights will get a discount as well. | PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images

The holiday season often brings a fair share of travel. If you can stomach traveling some more in the new year, then you should be searching for deals on Black Friday. As Refinery29 notes, flights, hotels, and travel packages are all likely to see deep discounts, meaning that your dream vacation is a little bit closer to becoming reality.
Next: Bling’s not the thing on Black Friday.

Avoid: Jewelry

Black Friday Jewelry shopping
You might want to wait until Valentine’s Day. | Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Giving the gift of jewelry is a romantic gesture, but DealNews writes it’s best to avoid jewelry on Black Friday. If you want to get a deal on jewelry, it’s best to wait until the new year and the run-up to Valentine’s Day. If you’re hoping to pop the question around the holidays, you might want to look into second-hand jewelry that is much more affordable.
Next: Shopping smart could lead to a new look.

Buy: Certain clothes

retail cashier
JCPenney is offering some insane discounts. | Kena Betancur/Getty Images

As we have already discussed, winter clothes (especially winter coats) aren’t a good deal on Black Friday. However, if you’re not picky about brands or where you shop, there are some clothing deals to be had. BestBlackFriday has pages upon pages of clothing deals from several retailers, and JCPenney includes lots of clothing on its Black Friday flyer.
Next: Playing Santa Claus might end up costing you.

Avoid: Toys

Toys will get even higher discounts with time. | Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images

If you have kids you’ll probably be hitting a few stores buying the toys they want for Christmas. Unfortunately, Black Friday is not the time for you. Sure, there may be some toys on sale, but as MarketWatch notes, discounts will be higher the longer you wait. Also unfortunate? If you wait too long, stores might sell out of what you’re looking to buy.
Next: The most priceless item you can buy.

Buy: More time

Going to the stores will be insanity. | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re going to hit up WalMart, Best Buy, or Target on Black Friday, it’s going to be crazy. There’s no way around it. There are going to be tons of people, many of them behaving poorly with great deals are at stake. If you don’t want to deal with the bad behavior and the mass of humanity, we can’t blame you. Shopping for deals at your own pace (and in the comfort of your own home) is easy on Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving. Amazon will have deals aplenty, and other retailers will, too. Just be sure to be smart when shopping online.
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