22 Things You Should Never Buy on Black Friday, According to Experts
Here's why you should avoid those "exclusive" deals on Black Friday.
Black Friday can be an overwhelming day: While it's the seemingly perfect time to save big on those holiday presents, it can be hard to differentiate the great deals from the deceiving ones. 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. 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 your shopping attention elsewhere.
While it may be tempting to purchase those perfect diamond studs or even an 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, nearly 33 percent of jewelry is purchased in November and December, meaning retailers don't offer the biggest discounts during this time of year. In fact, according to PriceScope, during a single year, round-cut diamonds over 4 carats were approximately 25 percent more expensive in November than they were in March.
Along with diamonds, 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.
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. 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."
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 more just before the holidays!
Outdoor Furniture and Gear
Though it might seem like stores would wait until the winter to get rid of their outdoor furniture, if you hold off 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.
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 Christmas Eve, you stand to save up to 8 percent on it!
If you're looking to upgrade your bedding, you'd be better off waiting until Black Friday has come and gone. While the day after Thanksgiving will yield some discounts on sheets and comforters, you'll save more just over a month later in January, when 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.
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.
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 very much during the shopping holiday. "This is particularly true for electronics such as sound equipment," says Brandon Ackroyd, head of insight at Tiger Mobiles.
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 for any off-brand electronics." That's where online reviews come in handy, she says.
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 ones. 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.
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.
Want to redecorate your home? Unfortunately, investing in a new sofa during a Black Friday sale won't 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."
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."
Apple Store Merchandise
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, for example, 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.
A good night's sleep is priceless, but mattresses are quite pricey—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.
Though there may be some tempting deals on all things beauty on Black Friday, the pendulum has swung to Cyber Monday as the best time for killer deals on beauty products. So hold out until the following Monday to find truly deep discounts.
Weight Loss Products
Retailers know that most people recommit themselves to getting in shape and leading a healthier life after Jan. 1, 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!
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.
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?" suggests Skirboll. "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."
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" label to get shoppers to buy something. But a deeper look will prove you can get similar or better deals at other stores.
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 yourself from the crowds. And for more online shopping tips, check out 17 Tricks for Scoring Big on Cyber Monday.