25 Things You Should Never Buy on Black Friday

Diamonds, off-brand TVs, and "exclusive" deals are some of the things you should never buy on Black Friday.

25 Things You Should Never Buy on Black Friday

Black Friday tends to be a polarizing holiday: there are those who think it's a great time to save big on those holiday presents, and there are those who recognize it as little more than a cash grab for retailers eager to clear their shelves before the new year. And while there are deals to be had for those who embrace the shopping holiday, if you're not a savvy shopper, you could be emptying your bank account for products that you neither want nor need in the long run.

Case and point: According to a 2014 study by NerdWallet, 93 percent of stores offered at least one product at the same price on Black Friday for two successive years, meaning some of those seeming steals are no bargain at all. So how do you know when what looks like a deal is actually a dud? We've gathered all of the products you should never buy on Black Friday so you can focus on the super savings that are still out there. And to make sure you actually save money when you go Black Friday shopping, check out these 17 Secrets for Scoring Black Friday Deals.


A diamond engagement ring in a box Shutterstock

While it may be tempting to purchase those perfect diamond studs or that engagement ring during a Black Friday sale, you'll be better off in the long run if you abstain. According to research from the International Diamond Exchange, 32.8 percent of jewelry is purchased in November and December, meaning retailers don't offer the biggest discounts during this time of year.

Don't believe us? According to PriceScope, during a single year, round-cut diamonds from four to 99 carats were approximately 25 percent more expensive in November than they were in March. And for more killer Black Friday knowledge, make sure you know these 17 Dirty Secrets Retailers Don't Want You to Know About Black Friday.


Man at the jewelry store buying a watch Shutterstock

Along with jewelry, avoid trying to pick up any worthy watches at a steep discount on Black Friday. These luxury items will maybe seem enticing with a few sales here and there, but wait until you creep closer to Christmas to cash in on significant savings.

Gift Cards

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While gift cards are always a safe bet when it comes to gift giving, that doesn't mean you should buy yours on Black Friday. Just waiting a few weeks can mean far greater savings.

"Gift cards are usually cheaper in December, leading up to Christmas," says Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot. "For example, iTunes has offered $100 gift cards for $70 to $80." And if you want to get a more personalized gift, check out The 20 Best Holiday Gifts From Best Buy at Any Price Point.


teddy bear and legos Shutterstock

If you're looking to buy this year's hottest toy for your kids, Black Friday won't be your best bet. According to NerdWallet, toys don't significantly dip in price until December, so if you can wait a week or two, you'll save even bigger.

Patio Gear

Man Cleaning Grill Summer Shutterstock

Don't wait to score savings on a new stainless steel gas grill or a complete teak furniture set. Though it might seem like stores would wait until the winter to get rid of their outdoor furniture, if you wait until Black Friday to do your patio furniture shopping, you're going to be too late to get a good deal. "The best discounts on patio furniture happen between August and September," says Skirboll.


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If you're looking to upgrade your bedding, you'd be better off waiting until Black Friday has come and gone. While Black Friday will yield some discounts on those sheets and comforters, you'll save more just over a month later when, in January, stores roll out their White Sales.

According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, you can save at least 10 percent more on bedding at big retailers like JCPenney if you buy in January instead of hitting up a Black Friday sale.


hardwood floor in a home Shutterstock

Renovators hoping to get their house holiday guest-ready and impress the in-laws with nice, new hardwood flooring should reconsider and wait until after the new year. Sales on flooring of all kinds typically hit in late December or January as most people aren't doing any construction then and that's when new models drop. And if you want to save money and upgrade your house in one fell swoop, check out these 27 Amazing Home Upgrades for Every Budget.

Sound Systems

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That stereo system you've been eyeing likely won't have a major price reduction on Black Friday. Unfortunately, electronics don't tend to get discounted as much as shoppers might hope during the shopping holiday. "This is particularly true for electronics such as sound equipment," says Brandon Ackroyd, head of insight at Tiger Mobiles. And if you do want to score a new sound system at a steal, These Are the Best Places to Score Savings on Electronics.

Off-Brand Electronics

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If that wild deal on a 55-inch flat screen or 15-inch laptop seems too good to be true, that's probably because it is. Unfortunately, some of the best deals on electronics are on those of the no-name variety with a questionable track record.

"You'll find that most doorbuster sales are actually for off-brand electronics. If you don't know a brand's reputation, you don't know what you're getting with your purchase—so even though you might be spending a low amount now, it's not worth it if you have to replace it in six months," says Skirboll. "Make sure to check the details of the sale and thoroughly research (check online reviews!) for any off-brand electronics."

High-End Cameras

salespeople often hide cheap stuff around expensive stuff Shutterstock

The newest models of high-end DSLRs will have some discounts on Black Friday, but if you wait until after the new year, you'll be able to save even more money as fresher models come in and make stores more eager to get rid of the older models. According to NerdWallet, electronics like cameras only typically get discounted 26 percent on Black Friday, while during other holiday sales, they're much more likely to see greater price reductions.

Wrapping Supplies

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It may be convenient to hit up your local big box store for both presents and wrapping paper in one trip, but doing so may actually mean you're paying more for the latter.

"You might find small discounts on wrapping paper during Black Friday, but the real savings come right before Christmas," says Skirboll. "If your schedule allows, wrap all your gifts last minute and stock up on paper right before Christmas, when retailers are anxious to get rid of their inventory!" And if you're short on wrapping paper before the holiday, remember that a bunch of stores offer free wrapping or free supplies.


Statement Furniture in Small Apartment celebrity home design tricks Shutterstock

Want to redecorate your home? Don't assume that shopping for furniture during Black Friday sales will yield any significant deals.

"You may find ads for doorbuster deals on furniture from your local department stores or retailers, but don't give in to the hype," says Skirboll. "Indoor furniture prices are lowest in January and July through August."


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You may see a few vacation packages or deals on airfare pop up here and there on Black Friday, but the real travel steals start at the beginning of the year. "Contrary to popular belief, buying airline tickets far in advance does not always get you the best price," says Skirboll. "Wait until after January to purchase airline tickets for spring travel."


Middle Aged Women Shopping Shutterstock

It might seem like you're getting a great deal on clothing on Black Friday, but the fact of the matter is that you'd be better off postponing that shopping trip.

"While everything looks like it is on sale during Black Friday, people should avoid purchasing clothing," says Jon Vincent, founder of EarlyBlackFriday.com. "These items [are] offered at larger discounts as you get closer to Christmas."


woman circling a date on a calendar Shutterstock

If you need a new calendar for the upcoming year, it's in your best interest to wait until the new year to actually buy it.

"Most places put calendars half off in January, so why not wait a few weeks? Also, set yourself up for success next year: Buy a 14- or 16-month calendar so you can take advantage of next year's calendar sales while still getting the benefit of having a calendar," suggests Skirboll.


cheap mattress Never Buy Shutterstock

A good night's sleep is priceless, but retailers certainly won't shy away from selling you their mattresses for a high price—even on Black Friday.

"Black Friday is not the time to buy these items," says Skirboll. So, when should you drop some serious cash on a new mattress? The three-day weekend sales that happen on Memorial Day, President's Day, and Labor Day will typically yield steeper discounts.

"Exclusive" Discounts

man and woman shopping on Black Friday Shutterstock

Think those "exclusive" discounts are as limited as stores make them out to be? Think again. According to Sarah Hollenbeck, a shopping and retail expert at BlackFriday.com, many stores will claim they're offering an exclusive deal or product when, in fact, that's far from the case.

Stores will "advertise certain sales (especially deep discounts during Black Friday) as 'exclusive' or 'limited' to drum up hype," she explains. Many retailers will count on the "exclusive" nature of a sale to be enough to get shoppers to buy—and forgo the price comparison with other stores.

In-store Doorbusters

Black Friday crowds worst rated stores Alamy

These are the white whales of Black Friday, the blockbusters that make the news and whip people up into a frenzy. Skip trying to grab one of these insanely discounted items in the store and instead look for online doorbusters. You'll still get a good price while saving some shreds of your humanity.

Beauty Products

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Though there may be some tempting deals on all things beauty on Black Friday, the pendulum has swung to Cyber Monday being the best time for killer deals on beauty products. Hold your horses until the following Monday and you'll find truly deep discounts.

Electric Fireplaces

woman holding a cup of cocoa by a roaring fireplace Shutterstock

Don't let those warm thoughts of cozying up in front of a fire cloud your judgment when you're shopping on Black Friday. Since the colder weather has only recently set in in many parts of the country by November, many retailers won't offer major discounts on their electric fireplaces just yet.


rows of suvs at car dealership Shutterstock

While you'll see plenty of cars on sale for Black Friday, it's not actually the best time of year to buy one. According to TrueCar.com, waiting until the following month will yield the most savings. If you purchase your new vehicle on New Year's Eve, you stand to save up to 8.3 percent on it!

Weight Loss Products

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Retailers know that most people recommit themselves to getting in shape and leading a healthier life after January 1st, and they plan their sales accordingly. That means there aren't going to be many great deals for weight loss plans and associated products on Black Friday—so relax, eat some more pumpkin pie, and leave that healthy lifestyle for 2020!

Gym Memberships

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You should also wait until the new year to sign up for a gym membership. As GoBankingRates notes, gyms tend to drop their enrollment fees in January to coincide with New Year's resolutions.

Apple Store Merchandise

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While you may find some deals on Apple products at your preferred big box store, shopping from Apple directly won't yield the deals you're likely hoping for. In 2017, the company's Black Friday promotion was even more lackluster than shoppers could have anticipated, with the electronics giant giving out gift cards on older model products, but only with the purchase of a full-price piece of merchandise. Considering that countless Apple products will run you upwards of $1,000, that hardly feels like much of a deal at all.

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