10 things not to buy on Black Friday


Shoppers pay for their purchases at an Old Navy store as "Black Friday" shoppers get an early start in Los Angeles last year. Better deals on some products might be available later in the season.

With all the Black Friday ad leaks and sneak peeks we've unearthed in the past few weeks, this season's shopping extravaganza is looking ripe with deals and discounts for all. But even though many product categories will see new all-time low prices, not everything will be a good purchase on Black Friday. In some cases, you would be better off skipping certain deals and waiting for a better offer later on in the coming year. Here are 10 items that are not worth buying this Black Friday.

We've said it many times already, and we'll say it once more: Black Friday is not the best time to buy toys for the holidays. Many will likely still be discounted for Black Friday, and it may feel pretty good to get your shopping done early, but you won't love that sinking feeling you'll get when you see those toys discounted for less about two weeks before Christmas.

Game consoles without a bundled item
Speaking of toys, if you're looking to buy any of the major video game consoles this holiday, you're likely to get more bang for your buck by opting for one that comes with a few extras. While we've already seen a few choice Xbox deals in the leaked Black Friday ads, in years past, the vast majority of Editors' Choice console deals went to holiday bundles that included premium accessories and two or three game titles. These were frequently discounted 30 to 40 percent off their retail prices.

Brand Name HDTVs
Black Friday is an excellent time to invest in a new HDTV, as we predict a variety of size categories will hit their lowest price points. But don't expect the best deals to be tagged with name brands. Typically, the rock-bottom prices will mostly apply to third-tier manufacturers. Instead, brand name TVs tend to see their best price of the year in January and February as manufacturers look to clear stock in preparation for new models in the spring.

The latest digital cameras
There's no shortage of digital camera deals around Black Friday, but keep in mind that the premium current-generation models are just a few months away from being replaced by a new line of 2013 options. If you're eying a brand-new digital SLR, we recommend waiting until February or later when it becomes an "old model," resulting in more aggressive discounts from retailers.

AP file

The best deals on cameras are likely to be had in the new year.

Christmas decorations
While not typically on anyone's "To Buy on Black Friday" list, Christmas decor tends to end up in-cart on impulse buys. Sure, that string of lights or holiday wreath might be on sale, but deals on Christmas items get better the closer we get to the holiday itself — and of course are the best after the holiday.

Office supplies
For some, it may seem silly to advise against office supply deals on Black Friday, as it's not typically a category associated with the shopping event. But for several years running, office supply stores like Office Depot and OfficeMax have released Black Friday ads in the hopes of encouraging an uptick in business. Unfortunately, these deals are generally no better than those we see throughout the rest of the year. In fact, during the entire Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday stretch in 2011, we only found a measly three Editors' Choice deals in this category.

Jewelry and watches
We're flagging this accessories category "Do Not Buy" for the entire holiday season. Much like Christmas items, there will be lots of sales advertising shiny, metallic objects perfect for him or her. But the discounts on jewelry around the winter holidays are no better than those around Valentine's Day, when baubles are at their most in-demand. And instead of buying a watch now, consider holding off until the spring and summer when we see more Editors' Choice deals.

Winter apparel
During Black Friday, we'll likely see some of the best apparel coupons of the year from a variety of retailers. However, if winter apparel is on your list, it's smarter to hold off until January, when those items are added to clearance sales that take much deeper base discounts. We will inevitably find additional stacking coupons then too, to make those stronger sales even better for your wallet.

Apple iPad mini
The long-awaited iPad mini will set you back at least $329, and if it follows the price pattern of its distant predecessor, the first generation iPad, it won't see a discount until several months from now. While there's an off-chance that an attention-seeking retailer could offer an iPad mini promotion (the latest full-size iPad is included in the Target Black Friday ad, after all), the bottom line is this: the iPad mini features essentially the same innards as the iPad 2, and we're predicting that the latter will fall to $299 this Black Friday. Therefore, the iPad 2 will offer more screen real estate at a lower price.

Microsoft Surface RT tablet
Microsoft has seemingly made a concerted effort to position its products in line with Apple's, thus exerting a considerable amount of control over where the Surface is available and for how much. And like Apple's tendency to offer minimal discounts on the iPad, Microsoft might only offer a marginal deal on the Surface this season. But if Surface sales are weak, the tablet may instead go the way of the BlackBerry PlayBook, wherein we'll see its price fall considerably by the spring.

While we advise against purchasing the above products around Black Friday, keep in mind that nothing is written in stone, and we may still see some stellar deals within these categories; however, it's more likely that we'll encounter so-so offers, so it's best to temper your expectations.

This story originally appeared on dealnews.com as "10 Things Not to Buy on Black Friday."

More from dealnews.com:

If you're ready to begin the holiday shopping blitz, TODAY contributor Elizabeth Mayhew has tips on what to buy this month, including the best deals on electronics you'll find on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as low prices on cookware and kitchen appliances.






Discuss this post

I'm single, and a batchlor. I don't buy ANYTHING on Black Friday. People get trampled for Gods sake. I shop at Amazon for almost everything except clothes. Why deal with malls and lines of crazy people?

  • 11 votes
Reply#1 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:10 AM EST

Kudos! My rule as well.


You could find the same deals online, in fact, better. Or hell, I just pay regular price in person. The money I spend is saved on avoiding the stupidity of Black Friday.

Note, I am glad it exists. Just to get those people away from me on other shopping days.

  • 4 votes
#1.1 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:51 AM EST

You should hole yourself up, buy everything online, order your food through the mail, and screw shut your doors.

    #1.2 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:57 AM EST

    Since I don't go near a store on Black Friday, I will stay away from these and all other items. However, while Christmas decorations may be a better price after the holidays, your house looks really silly decorated in January.

    • 14 votes
    Reply#2 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:14 AM EST

    If only there were a way to buy decorations after Christmas, keep them somewhere, and use them next year.

    • 7 votes
    #2.1 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:21 PM EST

    Looking at some houses, the thinking is "Why take them down?" Leave them up all year and then just plug them in when needed.

    • 1 vote
    #2.2 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:20 PM EST

    i always enjoy the crowds and shopping. all the great conversations. i just wish that they hadn't changed our SUPER FRIDAY to black friday. it makes you feel sad and depressed. black is for mourning and death. it doesn't make me feel happy.never mind the black mathmatics thats not for the people ok.ours is walmart cause its all we have but its fun.

      Reply#3 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:43 AM EST

      Surface RT wins my award for probably THE worst thing to buy on Black Friday. It'll sell for top dollar since it's newly released for this Xmas season, and they'll want to tout it as an iPad competitor, so count on minimal to no discounts. I wish I could take bets on how much the price will drop, or if Microsoft is even SELLING it this time next year though. They have a loooong record of marketing the crap out of a launch day, and then only lukewarm-and-fading commitment thereafter.

        Reply#4 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:44 AM EST

        The launch has already happned on the RT tablets and models are sold out online. I am waiting for the Surface Pro and then will be in the market for one

        • 2 votes
        #4.1 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:50 AM EST

        Good on you for supporting The Company. How's that Kin phone and Zune treating you?

        • 1 vote
        #4.2 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:05 PM EST

        I dunno. I got a Vivo (Asus' windows 8 RT tablet) for my birthday because my spouse didn't understand the difference between android and windows. However, after having it for almost a week, it's steep learning curve was worth it. This is coming from a hardcore android guy -- I really think they're on to something.

        • 2 votes
        #4.3 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:05 PM EST

        Well Sullyness. Both my Zune HD and Windows Phone are both doing fine. (Never had issues with either device). I was an Android phone user for awhile and converted to Windows Phone when I could upgrade and try out a WP for $20. Best 20 I've ever spent because this phone never drops calls, never crashes, has all apps I use including some specific industrial control apps.

        I assume you only ever use Apple products Sullyness? Hating MS has become sort of pathetic at this point. Apple has done just as many negative things and had the much more conceited creator in Jobs yet it still has it's fans put it on a pedestal.

        • 3 votes
        #4.4 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:51 PM EST

        Actually, my guess from him calling MS "The Company" is that he's more likely a Fandroid.

        99% of these people couldn't code a line to save their lives but still ramble on about the greatness of open source. They'll claim anything you have on a MS or Apple platform device is walled in and you'll never get your data back if either one of these companies go belly up. Even when you prove them wrong they continue on their rant and bring up some of the most insignificant selling points of Android/Linux.

        There's no pleasing those people no matter how much your technology does what you want it to do. They'll still claim that you're wrong and that there are alternatives that are better and if you'd just please please please listen to them they'll lead you to a magical land of GPL licensing and free (as in speech) for all.

        They just don't get that if you know a technology and if it works fine for you there is no reason to try to bend people's ear for something that they're just not looking for.

        Oh, and in all my time dealing with this technology and the fanboys that go with it? I have never once seen anyone do a device bump for any reason let alone to trade a play list. I've never had the desire to have a play list bumped to me either. It's just one of those insignificant things that they try to turn into a selling point.

        DISCLAIMER: I've owned and still own a few Android devices and I've run several flavors of Unix in production environments and even have a Linux laptop. It's not the end-all-be-all of the computing experience and I have no problem moving my data from one platform to the other. I have never had a virus and I'm not paid by Microsoft, Apple or any other company for posting this.

        • 1 vote
        #4.5 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:21 PM EST

        Actually, no, I don't worship Apple, though I do own some of their products. They have their own issues which are annoying as all get out, but they're mostly well ahead of the competition in usability, build quality, and having an all-around package. The saddest thing about every manufacturer jumping to China is the disappearance of that "middle" where you pay a little more for something you have some confidence in actually working worth a damn. Apple today reminds me of that old middle ground.

        Actually, I worked at Microsoft during the launch of their Kin phone. Amazing the amount of hooplah that went into that launch only to be a dead product days later. Feel sorry for the suckers who bought one.

        Congrats on your Windows phone. My mom bought one when they were first released, and she couldn't answer it when it rang. I thought I'd show her, but for the life of me, there was no obvious button, swipe, etc. to just answer the damn phone. How do you develop a phone and make it that difficult to friggin' answer? I'm assuming that's been addressed in a series of software patches.

          #4.6 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:40 PM EST

          Sullyness...it's actually just as easy to answer as any other smartphone. They just went with a swipe up rather than to the side. How is that so difficult?

            #4.8 - Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:16 AM EST

            to bad we can't have a january winter wonderland gala. that would be fun.lots of fun activities. and of course the january white sale.

              Reply#5 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:48 AM EST

              happy thanksgiving... merry christmas..felize navidad...happy new year..felize ano new wavo..let it snow..let it snow..let it snow...ha ha ha.. this is houston,texas.

                Reply#6 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:51 AM EST

                That does it. I'm going to convert to Russian Orthodox. Christmas is January 7, and I'll get GREAT deals on my Christmas shopping. ;)

                • 6 votes
                Reply#7 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:58 AM EST

                I got a better idea. Don't buy anything. All those same prices will be on and even better before Christmas.

                There are only about at best 5 good deals in any given store. We go to the show, have a brunch waiting for us when we get home and put up the tree.

                There are just to many nuts waiting to get in that door and get that big deal.

                  Reply#8 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:15 AM EST

                  If I go black friday shopping, it's for more for items that were a maybe anyways, that way no dissapointment should there not be enough available. Also, the holiday bundles for consoles are only worth it if you like the attached games.

                    Reply#9 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:51 AM EST

                    Some on the list make sense, but come on, toys and Christmas decorations? I think we've all seen what's left over if you wait until the last minute on those two items. Yeah, there are some great late-season deals, and we got a great, fake tree that way, but it's largely the stuff not many people wanted.

                    • 2 votes
                    Reply#10 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:20 PM EST

                    The advice on some of these items just doesn't work. Like, wait until February of next year? That's all fine and dandy if I'm buying something for myself, but that advice doesn't do much for buying other people gifts for Christmas.

                    Every year I tell myself to stop waiting until the last minute. But it looks like I've already waited too long. But hey, I guess since I'm already thinking about it, I'm taking strides from how it used to be. I can still remember running around on Christmas eve for last minute gifts. That was hell, let me tell you.

                    • 1 vote
                    Reply#11 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:50 PM EST

                    If your child wants a particular toy and it's a Black Friday deal -- better get it!!! If you wait, they are likely to run out and you'll be paying top dollar on eBay to track it down. (remember when Zhu Zhu pets first came out and the shelves were wiped clean?) As for the other items on the list, definitely wait -- especially jewelry, much cheaper near Valentine's, Mother's Day, etc. Shop for TVs around Super Bowl time.

                      Reply#12 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:51 PM EST

                      Okay - so what SHOULD we buy on Black Friday that's a true deal? It's always the same - telling us what we SHOULDN'T do instead of what we should...

                      Seems they about covered everything on their list of things except lingerie and tools (one is a bedroom item, the other is not; get your minds outta the gutter...)!!!

                        Reply#13 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:57 PM EST

                        Personally...I go for the $5 pajamas at Walmart and Target. My kids outgrow that stuff every year. Other than that, I just have fun with the girls and get gifts for me. It's actually kind of fun if you don't go with an agenda. Though I have seen bloodshed over the microfiber track suits.

                        • 1 vote
                        #13.1 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:17 PM EST

                        Kroeger always has socks for half price. I usually don't bother though because that small savings isn't worth the aggrevation of working my way into the mass of sock shoppers and ending up with socks that I don't care for anyway.

                        • 1 vote
                        Reply#14 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:48 PM EST

                        No-shopping here. My Christmas is already done. Too bad there is no Santa Clause, because my Christmas wish list would be a true vote (every vote counts do away with electrorial votes), flushing of government, senate and congress and the radication of all people who is stricting God from every public meeting, forum and schools.

                          Reply#15 - Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:08 PM EST

                          Living in Canada, we are just starting to have Black Friday to keep us from crossing the border, well there are no borders for me (i live in Newfoundland) so I'm stuck where I am. But I do like to shop online and love to watch the news about the Black Friday sales in the U.S. I think its awesome and would love to be among it. Even if I don't shop it seems to put me in the Christmas spirit. Happy Holidays everyone!

                            Reply#16 - Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:43 AM EST

                            pointless article. from this, they've eliminated just about everything on Black Friday. Let's see, don't buy toys, electronics, clothes, or decorations. What is left that you would exactly suggest to buy then?

                            • 1 vote
                            Reply#17 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:05 AM EST

                            The little-known and under-emphasized Eleventh Commandment: S/he Who Shops on Black Friday Deserves To!

                              Reply#18 - Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:15 PM EST
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