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Stop! Don’t Buy These 8 Items on Black Friday

Not everything is a good deal on the biggest shopping day


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The massive discounts available Thanksgiving weekend make the next few days a great opportunity to get most of your holiday shopping finished.

However, it’s also an opportunity to overspend or make purchases that leave you with buyer’s remorse. Not every item is a good buy — even on Black Friday. Experts say it’s better to wait to buy the following items since prices may fall further — or you might reconsider the purchase:

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Furniture and mattresses

If you’re looking for large home purchases this weekend, focus on big appliances like refrigerators or washers and dryers. Although you’ll also see discounts on furniture and mattresses, the best prices on these items typically appear on other holiday weekends throughout the year, such as Labor Day and Memorial Day.

Bedding and linens

The best prices of the year on soft home goods like sheets and towels occur during the white sales that traditionally take place in January.

“Not only do retailers including Pottery Barn, Macy’s and JCPenney plan for big sales around that time since it’s a known promotional event, but they will also be further discounting any holiday merchandise that’s in that category that didn’t sell,” says budget consultant Andrea Woroch. 

Travel

You won’t have to wait long to get the best prices on flights and hotels. These historically appear on “Travel Deal Tuesday,” which will take place on Nov. 28 this year. Last year, Travel Deal Tuesday saw 78 percent more deals in the category than Cyber Monday and twice as many as Black Friday, according to the travel site Hopper.

(Most) toys

In general, retailers increase the discounts on toys throughout December, so the longer you can wait, the better price you’ll get on items like blocks, dolls and video games.

“If you’re not picky about toys and just want some generalized stocking stuffers and good evergreen gifts for birthday parties in the coming year, shop right before Christmas,” says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert with RetailMeNot. “Retailers will be eager to offload remaining toys and games and will start marking them down the week of Christmas. So, these items make great last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers.”

Two exceptions to keep in mind: First, If you’re looking to purchase a “hot” toy (this year, that may include the Barbie Dreamhouse or the new, interactive Furby), take advantage of any discounts this weekend. The price may still go down later, but you run the risk of the item selling out entirely. Second, Lego sets have sold at Target, Walmart or Lego.com for 40 percent off during Thanksgiving weekend. Lego discounts don’t get much lower than that, so snag one when available, says Julie Ramhold, a senior staff writer and consumer analyst at DealNews.

(Most) winter clothing

Despite what the thermometer says, winter hasn’t even officially started yet, Ramhold says. “Because of that, the Black Friday sales will boast modest saving, at best, on heavier winter clothing such as heavy coats and snow boots.

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“The one exception we may see is cold-weather accessories, which are often marketed as gifts during Black Friday sales, so there’s a good chance we’ll see decent offers on things like scarves, beanies, gloves and even sets in giftable packaging,” Ramhold says.

Gift cards

Gift cards represent the most wanted holiday gift of the year, with 55 percent of shoppers saying they’d like to receive them, according to the National Retail Federation. But you can stretch you holiday budget further by waiting to purchase them in December, when many retailers (and restaurants and other consumer businesses) look to bring in some extra cash before the end of the year by selling gift cards at a discount from their face value.

Off-brand doorbusters

If you see an item (especially electronics or kitchen appliances) with a price that appears too good to be true, look closer before making the purchase.

“While there are some great deals on electronics to be had on Black Friday, it’s important to be discerning,” says Michelle Madhok, CEO of the fashion news and deals site SheFinds. “Avoid buying cheap, off-brand electronics that may not last long.”

Instead, Madhok says, focus on reputable brands and check the model number and product reviews before completing the transaction.

Full-price items

Retailers are hoping that customers will get so caught up in the excitement of shopping Thanksgiving weekend that they’ll buy not only discounted products but also full-priced items. Don’t fall for it. You won’t lose any money by waiting to see whether the item you want goes on sale in the next week or two.

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