The official start of the holiday shopping season is right around the corner and that means it’s time to strap on your most comfortable shoes and hit the stores. There are sure to be plenty of deals on most of the items on your gift list but there are a few things you’re better off waiting to pick up after the holidays are over. If you’re planning to brave the crowds to try and snag some savings, here’s what to avoid on Black Friday.
1. Stand-alone video game consoles
If a new X-Box or Nintendo Wii is at the top of your kid’s wish list this year, you’ll want to pay close attention to the sale ads around Thanksgiving. That’s the time when retailers will start offering packaged deals that include the console, controllers, games and other extras for a price that’s comparable to what you’d pay for the unit by itself. If you want to keep more cash in your pocket, you’ll come out ahead by buying the bundle instead.
2. Workout gear and equipment
The holidays are all about friends, family and lots of feasting but your waistline usually pays the price if you’re not careful. You’ll see lots of sales on things like elliptical machines and treadmills starting on Black Friday but you should hold off a little longer if you can. Prices will start to drop even further in December and once January rolls around, you’ll see them go even lower as they try to entice shoppers whose number one New Year’s resolution is losing weight.
3. Winter clothes
While electronics are usually the big ticket items on Black Friday, clothing stores also try to get in on the action but you have to be selective about what you buy. Things like winter coats, sweaters and ski apparel are usually cheaper later on in the season. There’s an upside, though, since you should be able to find summer clothing at a steep markdown this time of year. If you do go shopping for winter clothing, keep an eye out for coupons to keep the cost as low as possible.
4. Holiday supplies
If you’re planning to deck the halls in style, you’re probably going to spend a good chunk of change if you stock up on decorations in November. Luckily, prices on everything from ornaments to outdoor lighting should start to decline as it gets closer to Christmas. If you want to be prepared for next year’s holiday season, you’ll find the best discounts during the last week of December and the first few weeks in January.
Furniture usually isn’t on many people’s holiday gift-giving list, but it happens to be on your list this year, you won’t find too many deals on Black Friday. That’s because you won’t see any real major sales on these items until February and the middle of the summer, when dealers start clearing out their inventory to make room for the new spring and fall models. If it’s a new patio set you’ve got your eye on, you’ll have to wait until September or October to get one at a good price.
Every year, there’s a new must-have toy that every parent is trying to scoop up and it usually means standing in line for hours on Black Friday to get one. You can save yourself some time and money, however, by waiting until closer to Christmas to make your purchase. About two weeks out is when stores start reducing prices on toys so if you have a little patience, you can make your kiddos happy without breaking the bank.
7. Brand-name HDTVs
TVs are always a hot seller during the holiday season and if you’re in the market for a new set, you’ll find lots of sales the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re not choosy about name brands, you’re in luck, since the lesser-known models are usually cheapest around this time. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for something more high-end, it’s worth waiting until January or March when prices are lower.
Shutterbugs know that buying a new camera in November or December isn’t the most budget-conscious move. Manufacturers release new models in March and again in September, with older models going on sale in the month or two prior. You’ll see a lot more savings on a new camera or accessories if you can put off buying until January or February.
Unless you’re just really in the mood to fight over bath towels in Walmart at 3 a.m., you can do yourself a favor and skip buying bedding or linens on Black Friday. January is traditionally the time of year that major department stores and other retailers hold white sales. That means you can score some big price breaks without the risk of bodily injury.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend but they’re your wallet’s worst enemy if you’re buying them on Black Friday. Whether you’re looking for costume pieces or a more expensive trinket, you’re actually going to save more by waiting until after Valentine’s Day to buy them. Jewelry is typically priced to move in March, May and the late summer months.