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9 Things NOT to Buy on Black Friday

Black Friday is around the corner and you might be plotting your strategy for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Due to the pandemic, there are changes in how Black Friday will take place this year with many retailers offering month-long online deals and significant discounts on everything from clothes to household goods.

You might be surprised to learn that some items aren’t worth buying on Black Friday. This doesn’t mean you won’t find discounts for these items, but depending on what you’re looking for, you might get better deals shopping at other times of the year.

Want to find deals? Head on over to your favorite store’s website and set alerts. Even better, use a cashback portal like Rakuten that helps you get the best deals online plus earn back cash. With Rakuten, you can easily find your retailers, shop as you normally do, and get cashback. Use our Rakuten link and spend $40 and you’ll get a $40 new signup bonus too.

Here is a list of nine items you can skip this Black Friday.

1. High-End HDTV

Judging by the long lines at Best Buy and Walmart each year, electronics are a top seller on Black Friday. But if you’re looking for a big name item, such as Sony or Samsung, don’t expect rock-bottom prices. The truth of the matter is, “most of the biggest discounts come from third-tier manufacturers,” which may include a company you haven’t heard of. If you want the best price from a company you know, the best time of year to shop is in January or February.

“Manufacturers typically introduce new models at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, and it’s those sets — which arrive as soon as March — that stores are making room for with current sales,” according to an article by Market Watch.

2. Jewelry for Him or Her

If your significant other has been hinting around for a new watch, tennis bracelet, a ring, or other jewelry, you might be saving up to shop on Black Friday for a great deal. But even if you find lower prices at a jewelry store, these discounts won’t compare to those advertised around Valentine’s Day. Wait a couple of months and get more bang for your buck.

3. Winter Apparel

It seems like every major department store has advertisements for winter apparel on Black Friday. But if you really want to get a good deal on outerwear and other winter accessories, hold off until later in the season. Around late December, January, or February, many retailers start discounting outerwear in an effort to quickly sell old merchandise to make room for spring items. So, if you don’t have an immediate need for a winter jacket, boots, scarves, etc., you’re better off waiting until this time of year.

“If you’re the picky type, you may not find the deal you’re dreaming of, but if you’re open-minded, you can get a steal. Look for deals up to 80 percent off select apparel,” says Allison Martin, writer for CreditDonkey.com.

4. Toys

If your kids have an endless list of toys, you may think Black Friday is the best day to get everything on their gift list. You can complete your shopping early and relax for the next three weeks. However, Black Friday may not be the best day to buy toys for the holiday. Sure, it’s a good day to find lower prices, but many retailers will continue to reduce the price of toys after Black Friday up until Christmas Eve. And if you really want to find a deal, you can snag the best prices about 2 to 3 days before Christmas. I know, shopping for toys two days before Christmas might be a bit crazy, and there’s always the risk that retailers will sell out. But if the items on your list aren’t in demand, and you don’t mind fighting last-minute crowds, you may get what you need for less.

5. High-End Laptops

You may feel Black Friday is the best time to upgrade your computer to the latest model. But if you’re looking for a deal on high-end machines, skip November and hold off until July or September. Prices for laptops usually drop for summer back-to-school sales; and according to Deal News, you can “get a high-performance laptop about 9% cheaper than buying in November.”

6. Outdoor or Patio Furniture

Since it’s the off-season for outdoor living, you may think this is the perfect time to buy outdoor or patio furniture – that’s if a local retailer offers Black Friday discounts on these items. But although you might find discounts in November, the best savings occur in August and September. This is when retailers drop prices to reduce their inventory and make room for other items.

7. Designer Clothes, Shoes or Accessories

Just about every clothing retailer will be having a Black Friday extravaganza. There will be “doorbuster” sales and discounts on top of already reduced prices. But if you’re searching for high-end luxury or designer brands, the discounts you find may not be the discounts you were expecting. Unfortunately, Black Friday sales offered by luxury retailers aren’t much different from sales offered at other times of the year. So, if you’re looking to add a new Coach handbag to your collection, you can score better deals at an outlet mall on Black Friday.

8. Gift Cards

If you prefer giving gift cards over actual gifts, you might find a few gift card deals on Black Friday. For real savings, however, hold off a couple of weeks. Deal News reported a surge of gift card deals in December – just weeks after Black Friday. As a matter of fact, “there were so many gift card deals in December, the site published a weekly feature just to keep track of them all.”

9. Airfare or Hotels

Looking to take a post-pandemic family vacation in the future? You might go online on Black Friday or CyberMonday in search of vacation deals with high hopes that your preferred airline or hotel franchise has discounts for future travel. But according to Deal News, Black Friday deals on airlines and hotels aren’t that significant or impressive. To save on vacation travel, the best time to book is January or when gas prices drop. Additionally, you can enjoy greater savings booking during the off-season. (Keep in mind your health and travel restrictions).

Black Friday might not be the best time to shop for the items on this list, but you can still find amazing deals on a variety of merchandise, such as home appliances, low-end laptops and tablets, off-brand HDTVs and doorbuster sales.

Remember, you don’t have to go out to these stores to score the deals. They are offering them online and through their apps.

Need other ways to shop and earn? Other notable apps include Dosh, Shopkick, and Ibotta. Many of these apps offer new signup bonuses as well so you can use them to earn more. You can also read our list of the best cashback apps.

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