It’s no wonder Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Enticed by unbelievable buy-one-get-one-free deals, irresistible deep discounts, and jaw-dropping doorbusters, bargain shoppers across the nation flock to stores as soon as they polish off their Thanksgiving dinner. The average in-store discount on Black Friday is 37% and, for online products, discounts average 24%.
Not everything is discounted, however. This means that customers should be strategic when it comes to what to buy—that big discount may not be on the product that you actually need. So which purchases should you skip this Thanksgiving weekend? Here are nine of the worst items to buy on Black Friday.
1. Winter Gear
While some clothing will be deeply discounted during Black Friday sales, retailers know many shoppers need snow boots, cold-weather jackets, and other winter gear this time of year. Therefore, they’re much less likely to mark down this snowy weather apparel to generate additional retail sales. If you can, hold off until January to buy cold-weather items, when many stores will kick off their winter clearance sales.
- Black Friday and its deeply-discounted merchandise bring shoppers out in droves.
- The average discount on Black Friday is 37%.
- Not all products are discounted, however, and it is better to buy some items at other times of the year.
- Winter clothes, cars, expensive jewelry, and airfare are examples of the worst things to buy on Black Friday.
Historically, October is when you’ll find the deepest discounts on the car lot. This is because October is when dealerships are anxious to clear inventory to make room for the next year’s models. While you may find car deals on Black Friday too, you would do well to wait for even better deals in December, as the auto industry is becoming more like the retail industry in offering end-of-year mega sales.
Whether you’re looking to replace your shabby sofa or those rusty patio chairs, you probably won’t score phenomenal deals on indoor or outdoor furniture over Black Friday weekend. Typically, retailers don’t mark down indoor furniture until June when they’re trying to make room for the new product lines. And by late November, patio furniture sales are long over.
If you didn't take advantage of them, try to make do until August, which is when you’ll typically find deep discounts at next year's patio clearance sales.
4. Exercise Equipment
After you gorge yourself on turkey and pumpkin pie, you might be thinking about buying a treadmill or stationary bike. While these items can certainly help with your battle of the bulge, they’ll put a strain on your wallet on Black Friday.
Put off your exercise-equipment purchase until January. That’s when fitness stores have the biggest sales on treadmills, elliptical machines, and other equipment, as they appeal to the New Year’s resolution crowd and make room for new models.
Unless you’re absolutely desperate to replace your lumpy old mattress, hold off on replacing it. The month of May is when you’re more likely to find the biggest discounts on mattresses and box springs.
6. Airfare and Hotels
While you’ll probably see plenty of Black Friday promotions for hotel and airfare discounts, these sales are usually mediocre at best. You might wait until December or January to score the best travel deal. According to Hopper, a site dedicated to tracking airfare prices, domestic flights are cheapest to purchase in December.
7. Gift Cards
Because gift cards are one of the most popular holiday gifts, you may be tempted to load up on them during the Black Friday weekend. Try to resist the temptation. You’ll find the best deals on gift cards if you hold off until December or January.
8. Anything at the Apple Store
While you may bag an incredible deal on the latest and greatest Apple gadgets during Black Friday, you won’t find them at the Apple store. In previous years, Apple-authorized resellers have some fantastic deals if you're looking for an upgrade. If you’re on the hunt for Apple products, check out Black Friday deals at retailers such as Target, Best Buy, or Walmart.
9. Expensive Jewelry
Now is not the time to buy your girlfriend that diamond engagement ring or pearl necklace. Jewelry stores may advertise can’t-miss Black Friday sales, but don’t fall for it. You won’t find the best deals on fine jewelry until the summer months.
The Bottom Line
While you can certainly find some astonishing deals and save a bundle on Black Friday, you should probably wait before buying these nine items. This just isn’t the best weekend of the year to purchase fine jewelry, furniture, or cars—despite the car ads with the giant bows.
On the other hand, you’ll find plenty of deep discounts and slashed prices on casual jewelry, books, movies, toys, kitchenware, appliances, and apparel.