The Worst Items to Buy on Black Friday, According to Retail Experts

You can get better deals at other times of the year.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

Black Friday is like the shopping Olympics. There's prep work involved: Before the big day, you must list what you need and devise a plan for which stores might have the best options. Then, there's the day itself: You load up the car with coffee and snacks and race around to everywhere on your list, swerving other over-caffeinated shoppers as you go. But there is such a thing as going overboard—and purchasing items that would be best left for another day. Read on to learn the worst things to buy on Black Friday, according to retail experts. There will be better sales in just a few weeks!

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1
Jewelry

luxury engagement Diamond ring in jewelry gift box
iStock

Fine jewelry is one of the most expensive things many of us will buy. But if you're looking for savings, you might want to wait a few months longer.

"In general, I recommend steering clear of jewelry purchases during Black Friday, especially when looking at high-ticket items like an engagement ring," says Dustin Lemick, CEO of BriteCo Jewelry Insurance. "This is because the holiday season tends to be when jewelers have the least available stock due to this being one of the busiest times of year for them."

2
Exercise equipment

incline walking on treadmill
Microgen / Shutterstock

If you have your eye on pricey exercise equipment, like a treadmill or a set of weights, Black Friday might not be the best day to purchase.

"We tend to see exercise equipment go down in price in January and February after those New Year's resolutions have faded for some people," says Todd Stearn, founder and CEO of The Money Manual.

The deal experts at the New York Times agree, pointing out that last year, the Peloton bike was on a somewhat continuous sale from December into January and that there were many New Year deals on smaller exercise equipment, as well as shoes, workout wear, headphones, and water bottles.

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3
Doorburster electronics

POV of watching television
Blackregis/Shutterstock

Doorbuster electronics deals are practically synonymous with Black Friday. But according to money-saving expert Andrea Woroch, you'll want to be wary of them.

"These are usually off-brand and could be made specifically for Black Friday, missing key components and features to keep prices cheap," she says. "However, a low price on a low-quality product isn't a good deal."

She says you're better off looking for highly rated name-brand options, which will also be on sale but might not be as steeply discounted.

4
Outdoor winter gear

man using a snowblower in the yard
Shutterstock

You might think outdoor gear like snowblowers and patio heaters fall into the category of electronics that typically see slashed prices on Black Friday. But because they're in season at the time of the sale, they don't.

"It will be cheaper in February when the season starts winding down," says Woroch.

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5
Travel

ticket flight air plane travel business traveller trip passport traveler airplane passenger journey air ticket booking aircraft boarding concept - stock image
Shutterstock

During the week of Black Friday, you'll probably get tons of emails from airlines and hotel groups touting their upcoming sales. But if you can hold off a few hours, you'll see stronger markdowns.

"For the biggest discounts on airfare, hotels, and car rentals, check out Travel Deal Tuesday on Nov. 28," says Woroch. "Hopper, a travel tracking site, says they see more offers on this day than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined."

6
Clothing and accessories

iStock

Clothing, beauty, and fashion accessories aren't terrible to buy on Black Friday, but Woroch suggests skipping them unless the sale is more than 30 percent off.

"You may see a few select doorbuster deals on clothing, shoes, and accessories, but many items will be full price, or you may get a small 10 to 20 percent discount on your order," she explains. "Historically, I've seen better discounts on fashion, beauty, and accessories on Cyber Monday."

To ensure you're making the most of your savings, she recommends looking for coupons on sites like CouponCabin: "These types of retailers typically offer an additional 10 to 50 percent off with a coupon on these holiday sales events." The more savings, the merrier!

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Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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