Thanksgiving is here. Whilst for many that marks the chance to eat a great meal surrounded by family or friends, others will be dreaming of gorging on bargains during Black Friday shopping sprees. Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, will as always see the big chains try to entice shoppers with big sales and “doorbuster prices”. But are these deals really worth fighting the crowds for?

Thanks to all the attention that surrounds Black Friday, it may seem like the perfect time to make all of the purchases you have been considering. But whilst it is the right time to buy some items, there are a number of products that you can get at other times in the year for much lower prices.

What Not to Buy on Black Friday

Televisions

Ahead of Black Friday, many manufacturers use catchy slogans and gimmicks to make their products sound better than they actually are. Don’t forget that many ‘bargain’ TV’s are specifically made for these large sale events and often have less features than other models.

While you can get a good deal on a TV on Black Friday, it’s important to avoid falling for slogans and clever marketing. Research the TV you have your eye on carefully in advance. Does it have HDR capabilities, good backlighting and sufficient ports? Look beyond the buzzwords to the “nuts and bolts” before battling crowds for a TV that may not live up to the hype. Bear in mind that the best time to purchase a TV is in the spring when new models are released.

Computers

This is another big ticket item pushed heavily during Black Friday. But most of the PC’s offered as doorbuster deals are for lower-quality systems and outdated models that the stores are trying to push out before bringing in the better ones in the new year. July through September are the best months for purchasing computers. During the late summer, there is significant competition amongst retailers for college students, particularly those about to start their time at university. That means deep discounts and sales for all customers.

In September, meanwhile, Intel & AMD release their new processors, prompting retailers to mark down older models to make room for the newest products. As most of us don’t need the absolute cutting edge from our PC’s and laptops, that can make the start of Fall the perfect time to purchase a new computer, as well as to enjoy the other benefits of the season.

Jewellery

Unfortunately, it is a fairly common practice for retailers to mark up the price of jewellery so that the sales price appears to be a better bargain than it actually is. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the biggest sales period for jewellery of all types.  But the best time to buy jewellery at a discount is after Valentine’s Day when jewellery stores are inclined to give their steepest discounts to move on unwanted stock.

Winter Clothes

Everyone loves thick, comfortable socks and snuggly sweaters at Christmas, but the best time to get great deals on these items is just after the holidays. In January, most retailers are clearing out winter items to make way for spring items. As a result, you can score some really great deals on holiday leftovers, which can make great gifts during the holiday season later in the year.

Holiday Decor

Just like clothes, you can find the best deals on these items after Christmas shopping clearance sales. This is the time to get ornaments, gift bags, and potentially even a new artificial Christmas tree.

Toys

Since toys are very much a staple of the Christmas shopping season, it’s easy to assume that Black Friday is one of the ideal times to shop the sales for them. However if you wait a couple of weeks, the best deals on action figures and playsets is just before Christmas. That said, if you hold out, you do run the risk of stores running out of the more popular items, so be sure to have a back-up plan.

So what items should you look at purchasing during Black Friday?

Black Friday Bargains to Watch For

Game System Bundles

Many retailers have steep discounts on games, game systems and even gaming bundles on Black Friday. These often include extras like accessories that normally aren’t part of the package.  Sometimes you can even get a game included at no extra cost.

Gadgets

Black Friday is a great time to get a good deal on smaller gadgets. This is the time of year where companies release new products to help them get traction in the market over the holidays. This usually means good incentives and initial savings.

Appliances

Many of the larger retailers have really great deals on small appliances during Black Friday.  If you have a loved one who’s been longing for an instant pot or you need a new coffee maker, the chances are you will find some Black Friday deals that make it well-worth a trip to your local shopping mall or outlet store. And whilst most people don’t consider a new washer and dryer when pondering their post Thanksgiving shopping trip, but this is the time of year retailers provide deep discounts on major appliances.

Apple Products

Apple products are expensive, but each year on Black Friday major retail stores like Target and Walmart discount previous-generation models. You’ll find price cuts and offers for free gift cards with purchases. So if you are in the market for iPhones, iPads or Apple Watches keep an eye out.

Other Tips

  • Don’t forget online doorbusters. Many major retailers are moving their deals online. Make purchases and have them shipped to you or even arrange to pick up your purchase at your local store for free.
  • Small business Saturday is the day after Black Friday. So don’t forget to shop local and support small businesses. There are plenty of benefits, particularly to your area, and you’ll find many local retailers will have good sales and incentives. For example, in your area small businesses might band together to do giveaways and other fun festive activities. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for events in your area.
  • Cyber Monday is another big sales day. Amazon and many online retailers offer bargain prices and free shipping.
  • Don’t be taken in by the urgency based sales gimmicks. Retailers push the limited time and quantity sales to manipulate shoppers into impulsive purchasing. This can cause you to end up over budget when even better sales roll out a week or two after Black Friday.
  • Be wary of “mail in rebate” offers. These offers require time and effort to fill out the paperwork and it often takes several weeks to get your refund. When possible stick to deals you can get immediately at the time of purchase.

Make the most of post Thanksgiving time by doing careful research prior to shopping and you’ll end up getting the best prices with fewer hassles. Have a list and a plan and avoid impulse purchases if you do shop the Black Friday sales.



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