NOT EVERYTHING MUST GO
Most people don't want to wade into the Black Friday shopping madness unless they absolutely have to. Although it seems like everything is on sale, the reality is that there are plenty of purchases that are unwise to make on America's biggest shopping holiday. Even if you can't skip Black Friday shopping altogether, be wary of types of items that won't pan out to be desirable deals.
In the market for a warm winter coat? Late November is not the time to buy, according to savings expert Kendal Perez of Coupon Sherpa. "Clothes are a great buy during Black Friday weekend, especially on Cyber Monday," Perez said. "But winter coats are a better buy in January when the winter season — for retail, anyway — is coming to a close and bulky jackets start moving to clearance racks."
According to Kendal Perez of Coupon Sherpa, buyers will definitely see some toys marked down on Black Friday. They should, however, wait for bigger savings that are likely in the coming days and weeks. "Toys are big buys during the holiday season and retailers often discount them more heavily closer to Dec. 25 to tempt parents just before the holiday," Perez says.
THE LATEST SMART PHONE
There's always a lot of hype about the latest iPhone, but Black Friday may not be the time to buy. "Walmart, Target, and Best Buy will likely offer these devices with store gift cards of up to $250, but deeper discounts on the device will arrive when it loses its novelty," Perez says. Look for iPhones to come down in price about nine or 10 months after release.
Avoid things that sparkle, says Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot. "Shoppers should hold off on any jewelry purchases until after the New Year," Skirboll says. "While jewelry is a go-to gift for a loved one during the holidays, January brings savings in the form of Valentine's Day discounts."
Before splurging on new workout gear, remember that January is prime time for discounts. "There might be a few deals during Black Friday week on fitness equipment," Sara Skirboll of RetailMeNot says. "But shoppers should expect these retailers to dive into deeper discounts after the new year. It is no secret that New Year's resolutions encourage a stronger workout regimen, and stores know it."
Tools are often a standard gift for men, but that's a purchase that should be delayed. December is likely to bring even lower prices.
The time to buy holiday decorations is definitely not when retailers are heading into the holiday season. Target has been known to offer significant discounts on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but other major clearance sales usually arrive just after the holidays end.
Patio furniture will be in short supply on Black Friday, as most outdoor products are put on clearance as soon as summer ends. Still hoping for a deal on a patio set? Wait until Labor Day next year.
HIGH-END LAPTOP COMPUTERS
Budget and mainstream laptops should enjoy steep discounts on Black Friday, but that's not the case for more expensive models with blazing processors and better graphics. They'll be cheapest in July and September.
The tradition of retailers discounting bedding at the start of the year is a long-held tradition. It's not unusual to see discounts of 50 to 80 percent during January white sales, so don't buy bedding on Black Friday.
According to Consumer Reports, February is the time of year when people in search of better sleep stand to save the most on mattresses. Wait a few months after Black Friday to get the best deal on a mattress.
Boxed chocolate makes a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, but the time to buy is not Black Friday. The weeks between Valentine's Day and Easter are the undisputed best time for chocolate savings.
Although it may seem logical to buy an air conditioner when demand is almost non-existent, that's not usually the case. The best deals are usually available at the very tail end of summer in August and early September.