Black Friday is undoubtedly the most exciting shopping day of the year, with an estimated 135.8 million shoppers likely to shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and/or Sunday, according to the National Retail Federation.
But just because your favorite stores are advertising Black Friday deals that doesn’t mean you should jump on every one you see. Believe it or not, there are some items you should pass on during this major shopping holiday.
Here are nine items for which retailers rarely offer the best Black Friday deals:
1. Brand-Name Gadgets and Electronics
You’re going to see great savings on gadgets and Black Friday electronics from major brands at retailers such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy and the Apple Store. But, the discounts won’t be as steep as those from comparable, lesser-known brands. In fact, DealNews reports that this year’s Apple Store Black Friday sale will be one of the worst Black Friday sales you’ll see. And, the site also found that “Windows tablets tend to see better quality deals than Androids and iPads.”
But Howard Schaffer, vice president of merchandising at coupon site Offers.com, recommends “spending the extra money” on brand names if you value high-quality products. And he specifically advises staying away doorbusters from no-name brands. “Many of the doorbusters from last year — the reviews going into the New Year were low,” he said. This means Offers.com found some 2014 doorbuster reviews that contained complaints or had three stars or less.
So, if you want to save money, take this day to either purchase a less popular, cheaper brand that’s not of the highest quality 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 might 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. According to Cheapism.com, April is the time of the year when you can find sales on jewelry. Jewelry stores tend to compete for business with sales in July as well.
And although some retailers might claim more savings opportunities on jewelry this year, some of these items will have the same price as last year’s Black Friday deals. For example, a recent study from WalletHub found that this year’s Black Friday deal on a diamond bracelet at Macy’s carries the same price tag as it did during Black Friday 2014: $1,999. The same goes for JCPenney’s Black Friday deal on a diamond ring, which costs $2,199.99.
Toys are extremely popular to purchase for Christmas, which is why you’ll see advertisements for huge discounts on sought-after toys (remember the release of the original Tickle Me Elmo?). However, prices will fall much lower after Black Friday, as Christmas draws nearer and retailers push to get rid of their inventories. But, this push to clear inventory might be why you’ll actually want to buy certain toys sooner rather than later.
Because many retailers offering Black Friday deals on toys only get into the toy business during the holidays, “hot categories like ‘Star Wars’ are going to run out,” said Schaffer. With retailers pushing to sell all of their toys before January and February, there’s a possibility that a popular toy you might have your eye on will quickly vanish from shelves before Christmas.
When shopping for toys on Black Friday, be on the lookout for repeat Black Friday deals on toys. For example, the WalletHub study found that Amazon’s 2015 Black Friday deal on the Peg Perego XP850 Polaris Sporstman Ride On battery-powered ATV for children is nearly the same price as last year’s Black Friday deal. In 2014, the toy cost $549.99; this year, the price tag says $539.94.
Speaking of Amazon, you might want to skip this retailer entirely if you’re looking for the best Black Friday deals on toys. Instead, shop at Belk — the retailer has an average Black Friday discount rate of nearly 61 percent on toys, according to another WalletHub study. Kohl’s also has an impressive average discount rate of 49 percent on toys. Toys “R” Us’ and Amazon’s average Black Friday discount rates of 27 and 23 percent on toys pale in comparison.
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 if possible.
With Black Friday only weeks away from the start of winter, you’re not going to find the best discounts on seasonal clothing items. However, if your kids need winter items now, wait until the days just before Christmas for maximum savings.
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 impressive.
In fact, the best time to buy your Christmas decorations is in the weeks after New Year’s Day for the following year. That’s when retailers become desperate to move 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 soon to be released. While buying outdated products isn’t always a bad thing, depending on how old the product is, you might not be able to receive support for it anymore.
Also, keep in mind that discounts on outdated products only make them a little cheaper than their higher-quality counterparts.
7. Celebrity-Endorsed Products
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 quality doesn’t get any better just because it’s 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. Often, in-store discounts will be much better than those found online. Unless you absolutely cannot make it to a retailer, it’s better to avoid online Black Friday deals and instead focus on the discounts found in stores.
9. 2-for-1 and BOGO Deals
In general, two-for-one or buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) deals are rarely actual deals — unless you actually need two of the same item. But, many shoppers fall victim to these deals and end up buying more than they actually need. If you come across these deals while shopping on Black Friday, really take the time to think about whether you will use those items before purchasing.
For example, according to the 2015 Walgreens Black Friday ad on TheBlackFriday.com, there are multiple BOGO deals available. But, do you really need two boxes of Mrs. Fields Cookies or two Godiva Chocolate Gift boxes? Perhaps, but always do the math first to find out how much you’d really be saving.
Keep Reading: 5 Ways to Earn Extra Money Before Black Friday
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. One way to shop smart: Visit a site, like Offers.com, for coupon codes to increase your Black Friday savings. Schaffer said this strategy is especially useful if the retailer you want to visit on Black Friday is also offering Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving Day.
Before running out and buying the first items you see on sale, take time to make sure your prospective purchases will actually benefit your bank account.
Sydney Champion contributed to the reporting in this article.