It’s almost that time again! Black Friday is almost upon us!
For those of you who dig this non-holiday, you’re probably already thinking about your in-store strategy. They’re going to open those doors, you’re going to run in there as fast as you can, maybe trip over a person or two, and -- and then what?
What should you get? What should you avoid?
You see, many stores are guilty of promoting Black Friday "deals" that aren't actually deals at all. So what should you be on the lookout for? We’re glad you asked. That's what we're here for.
As you sit there camped out in front of some big box store, people crowding you, take a few moments to consider the following. Who knows? It might save you a bundle.
The following are the top five Black Friday "deals" you should think twice about:
There’s a reason certain flat screen TVs run real cheap on this blackest of Fridays: They’re not very good.
A high-quality, brand name HDTV is pricey, but worth the wait. Unfortunately for the person who has their heart set on getting one for Christmas, the best time to invest in an HDTV is in January and February, when retailers need to make room for new models. Hopefully, the person on your shopping list can hold out until then (and if that person also happens to be your significant other, you can say you bought it for them for Valentine’s Day. You’ll score so, so many points).
Bottom line: Unless you want a third-tier, low-quality product, we suggest you stay far away from TV deals that seem too good to be true.
You’d be surprised.
Decorations are a major impulse buy on Black Friday. A string of lights here, a Nativity set there, a 20-foot inflatable Frosty the Snowman here -- why not?
Why? Because you’ll save a whole lot more if you wait just a couple of weeks. Decorations tend to decrease in price the closer we get to Christmas. (Of course, decorations are also ridiculously cheap after December 25, but what’s the point?)
First off, if you’re looking to save money this Christmas, an iPad mini is probably a bad place to start. They retail for about $330. But let’s say you’ve been saving up for a fancy Apple gadget. Is the iPad mini still a bad idea?
We’d say yes.
See, if the iPad Mini is anything like the first generation iPad, it won’t see a significant discount for a couple of months (unless, of course, a desperate retailer for some reason decides to offload Apple’s newest toy at discount prices).
But you know what? The iPad 2 is basically the same product and it might be cheaper.
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,” Deal News notes.
So there you go. Sure, it might be a little bigger than the mini, but at a cheaper price and for the same basic product, the iPad 2 seems like a perfect alternative.
Small home appliances
In fact, according to data collected by DailyFinance, certain small home appliances such as vacuum cleaners are cheaper before Black Friday. Other items, including microwaves and blenders, are cheaper in Mid-December.
Of course, there may be the stray small appliance deal here and there, but, as always, be wary.
Trust us, Black Friday is a terrible time to buy toys. Like small home appliances and decorations, toys decline in price the closer we get to Christmas.
“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,” Deal News notes.
So take your pick: Would you rather spend more and buy early, or spend less and wait a few weeks?
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All photos courtesy Getty Images.