The turkey has been eaten, the pie sliced, the football game over. Time to get ready for Black Friday, that infamous shopping day on which consumers believe that they will find the best deal on the best things they’ve ever seen in their life. While Black Friday does offer some pretty stellar deals, don’t pitch a tent outside the mall just yet. Keep in mind that every sale on Black Friday is not the ultimate bargain. In fact, mixed in with those few phenomenal steals are some major rip-offs. Buyers beware. Here are some things NOT to buy on Black Friday.
Thou Shalt Not Buy A High End HDTV. Yes, yes, I know that retailers often offer HDTVs at super low prices on Black Friday, but the super low-priced items are not high-end products. DealNews.com predicts 32″ LCD TVs for as low as $159, but that price will only apply to lower-end TVs. The best time to buy a good quality HDTV? In January, just before the Super Bowl. While doorbusters may be the exception to this deal, remember that, like Best Buy’s $199 Sharp 42″ HDTV last year, only a few models are available per store. Only ten people per store scored the TV last year.
Thou Shalt Not Buy More Toys For Jimmy. While it may be tempting to get an early start on little Jimmy’s Christmas wish list, save it for Santa. You can actually save up to 63% on popular toys by waiting until two weeks before Christmas. Looks like there’s a big, fat worm for the late bird, too. Obviously, that one insanely popular toy of the season (Tickle Me Elmo, anyone?) will sell out soon, and prices can skyrocket when demand increases, so keep in mind what you’re looking for.
Thou Shalt Not Propose On Christmas Morning. Jewelry prices steadily increase beginning in October, and by December hit their highest prices. The best time to buy something shiny and sparkly for that special someone is during the spring and summer, when demands are lower.
Thou Shalt Not Buy Everyday Staples. Winter clothes and other seasonal staples are often marked up, since consumers assume that everything they see in the store on Black Friday is a good deal. Decide.com tracked prices on a popular style of Ugg boots at the suggested cost of $160. While the boots were a mere $85 in September, the price upped 59% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you do decide to brave the crowds on Black Friday, keep price matching in mind. Many larger retailers, such as Best Buy and Target, are willing to match the price of some online competitors like Amazon and WalMart.com
And if you’re too stuffed with turkey to bother going out at all, take heart. The best deals of Black Friday are actually found online. Takes a bit of fun out of the whole experience, but staying home and shopping in your jammies can actually score you some of the best deals.