5 Things to Buy and 5 Things to Skip on Black Friday


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Black Friday ads and promotions are designed to create urgency among holiday shoppers. The day after Thanksgiving does bring some of the "lowest prices of the year" on many popular gifts -- but not all. Some seasonal goodies and other items will see bigger price cuts down the line. Use this guide to zero in on the product categories worth an early start on Black Friday and those you can pass on by.

This should come as no surprise; TV sales helped make Black Friday a huge event in the first place. HDTVs with 1080p resolution, especially those in the 29- to 60-inch classes, are must-buy items every year on Black Friday. This year 4K ultra-high-definition screens are also appearing in ads. Many of the best Black Friday deals are expected on off-brand TVs, but deals on popular brands such as Samsung are popping up as well.

Designer brands don't often go on sale -- that's part of what makes them elite. That said, if you happen to live near an outlet mall, you'll probably find deals on designer brands the day after Thanksgiving. For apparel and accessories that hardly ever go on sale, the discounted duds will be hard to pass up.

With all the holiday cooking coming up and the fact that cookware also makes a welcome and affordable gift, it's no surprise that hot cookware promotions are a regular Black Friday feature.

Okay, this one may be a little far-fetched. Who wants to head to the car lot the day after Thanksgiving? Not many people, which is why deals abound. Moreover, with the year nearing its end, dealers will be ready to close a sale -- even at a low price -- into December.

DealNews notes that years past have presented money-saving deals on tea and wine, product categories not typically associated with Black Friday. We're talking big names such as Teavana and nationally distributed wine labels. If a tea or wine connoisseur is on your list this year, keep an eye out for excellent discounts, especially online.

If you think about it, this one is a no-brainer. Buying clothing at the height of the season is never a good deal, and that includes sweaters, jackets, boots, and mittens on Black Friday. The challenge here is to ignore the sales hype and avoid falling into the trap of thinking that every Black Friday deal must be claimed. Wait for prices to drop to rock bottom in January and February.

The iconic consumer electronics company doesn't usually mount sales except on Black Friday. That said, the Apple Store's efforts historically have been lackluster -- which hasn't stopped shoppers from going crazy. Truth be told, the best Black Friday deals on Apple products will be found at retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Target, where products may be discounted or paired with a valuable gift card that beats the 10 percent or so typically marked off merchandise from the Apple Store.

This one is tricky for consumers. Will Black Friday sales include toys? Yes. But will the reductions be outstanding? Probably not. In the case of toys, there is a sweet spot right smack in the middle of December. Toy prices historically have been lower about two weeks before Christmas than on the big post-Thanksgiving shopping day -- although the hottest toys may sell out in the interim.

Who doesn't want to wake up Christmas morning and find something sparkly under the tree? This makes the demand for baubles climb during the holiday season, which only keeps prices high. Cheapism has spotted a few Black Friday deals behind department-store fine-jewelry counters, but don't expect many glittery promotions. Jewelers don't need to offer discounts to drum up business during the holiday rush.

Black Friday may see some deals in this category, but not the best. Again, retailers count on consumers getting caught up in shopping mania and snagging one of those "Baby's First Christmas" collectibles. But again, the real bargains on these items surface later in December or even in January. The same goes for calendars, which make good stocking stuffers but will be at their lowest prices right at year's end or just after Jan. 1.

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