Buyer Beware: 8 Terrible Black Friday Deals to Avoid

black friday dealsBlack Friday is undoubtedly the most exciting shopping day of the year, with an estimated 97 million shoppers planning to get gifts checked off their list on this day alone, according to the National Retail Federation.

But just because your favorite stores are advertising Black Friday deals doesn’t mean you should jump on every one you see.

Believe it or not, there are some items you should pass up on this major shopping holiday. Here are eight items for which retailers rarely offer the best Black Friday deals:

1. Top Brand Gadgets and Electronics

You’re going to see great savings on gadgets and Black Friday electronics from major brands, but the discounts won’t be as deep as for comparable items from lesser-known brands.

As you probably know, a brand name doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better, usually just more expensive. So you can take this day to either purchase a not-so-popular brand or wait a few weeks to see if the top brands reduce their prices even more before Christmas — which they usually do.

2. Jewelry and Watches

Retailers are well aware that significant others are looking for shiny gifts for the holidays, so while you may see slight discounts during your Black Friday shopping trip, you’re better off buying these types of items during a time when people are less inclined to gift something special, such as during the spring or summer (note: avoid buying near Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day as well).

If you’re intent on clustering your holiday shopping closer to Christmas, there’s a better window of opportunity to shop for these instead of Black Friday.

The best time to buy apparel and accessories, including shoes, jewelry and handbags, will be Cyber Monday with all the major online retailers offering significant site-wide deals,” Melissa Heffernan public relations at Savings.com shares. “However, the highest volume of deals will be available from December 15-24. As the days go on, the quantity of deals will go down, but the percentage off will go up.”

3. Toys

Toys are on the list of extremely popular items to purchase for Christmas. It’s for this reason that you’ll see advertisements for huge discounts on the most popular toys of the season (remember the release of the original Tickle Me Elmo?). However, prices will fall much lower post-Black Friday, as Christmas draws nearer and retailers push to get rid of their inventory.

4. Winter Apparel

If you’re a veteran shopper, you know it’s always best to purchase apparel out of season. For instance, if you want to get the best deals on summer clothes, get them now. And if you want winter apparel, find it in the spring and summer.

With Black Friday only weeks away from the start of winter, you’re not going to find the best discounts on clothes. However, if your kids need winter items now, wait until the days just before Christmas to save money.

5. Christmas Decorations

As with winter apparel, it’s not a good idea to look for big discounts on Christmas items among the best Black Friday deals because the price reductions won’t be very good.

In fact, the best time to buy your Christmas decorations is for the following  year in the weeks after New Years Day. That’s when retailers start moving these items out of their stores.

6. Outdated Products

Retailers will often provide the biggest discounts possible when the latest and greatest version of a product is to be released within a few weeks. While buying outdated products isn’t always a bad thing, depending on how old it is, you may not be able to receive support for it anymore.

Also, keep in mind that the discounts on outdated products are, in reality, only few dollars cheaper than their higher-quality counterparts.

7. Celebrity-Endorsed Products

There are likely many things you would normally never purchase, like last year’s “Kardashian Kollection” clothing line at Sears. More celebrity-retailer partnerships are popping up like weeds these days to the detriment of shoppers’ wallets.

These products are often overpriced from the get go, and use celebrity names to push poor quality garments onto unsuspecting fans. So don’t let the allure of Black Friday deals convince you to buy celebrity-branded items now — the apparel doesn’t get any better just because they go on sale.

8. Online Items that Are Cheaper in Stores

A lot of retailers will be offering online specials at the same time they’re offering discounts that can only be found in stores. Most times, the in-store discounts will be much better than those found online. Unless you absolutely cannot make it to retailer, it’s better to avoid Black Friday deals on the web and instead focus on the discounts found in stores.

There’s no doubt Black Friday is a great time to take advantage of deeply-discounted items, but shopping smart is the best way to save money on this major shopping holiday. So before running out and buying the first deals you see, take time to make sure your prospective purchases will actually benefit your bank account.

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