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By Miller KernMashable Shopping
Black Friday is Nov. 29 and it’s going to be here before we know it. The holiday is literally centered around shopping, but sometimes the deals aren’t as good as they may appear to be. There are some dos and don’ts of Black Friday, and you’ll want to use discretion when buying stuff this season.
While Black Friday is the shopping holiday of all shopping holidays, some items are better bought at other points in the year. For example, mattresses are hot ticket items during three-day weekend holiday sales, but don’t see as many fantastic deals on Black Friday.
Ultimately, if you see a great deal you can’t live without, we won’t dissuade you from going for it. But keep in mind that the following items are typically better to buy outside of Black Friday.
Clothing sales happen all year long, and Black Friday is honestly one of the weaker times to buy. We’ll probably see some decent Cyber Monday clothing sales, especially from fast fashion retailers like Forever 21. But the real time to buy is after Christmas when stores will be trying to get rid of seasonal lines and being more generous with discounts.
Even if exercising isn’t part of your New Year’s resolution, you should wait until after the new year to buy any sort of exercise equipment. Because getting fit is such a popular resolution, retailers tend to drop prices on workout products during January and February. So, it’s best to skip out on any Black Friday deals you see and wait a couple months.
Black Friday is right in the sweet spot of when you shouldn’t buy toys. You should snag this year’s hottest toys before Black Friday to ensure you’ll actually get your hands on them before they sell out. As for other, less in-demand toys, it’s better to wait until the few weeks before Christmas, where you’ll see better discounts.
Mattresses reign supreme during three-day weekend sales, but not so much on Black Friday. Either hop on mattress sales on Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 or wait until Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20 for the best deals.
You might want to get cozy under some new sheets and blankets this holiday season, but take it from us and wait. Most retailers actually hold “white sales” in January during which you’ll find the best prices on bedding. You’ll just have to put up with your old comforter for a little bit longer.
Jewelry is a common holiday gift — Christmas is the after all — but Black Friday is not the best time to buy new bling. If it’s not absolutely vital that you have some fresh jewelry by the holidays, we suggest waiting to buy until after Valentine’s Day when prices begin to dip.
Winter is when everyone needs winter gear, which makes it the worst time to buy it. If you can stand to wait, summer is the optimal time to stock up on ski and other winter sports gear. It’ll be cheaper when it’s less in demand — which is true for lots of seasonal items.
This one should come as no surprise. The absolute best time to buy holiday decor is after the holidays are over and stores are trying to get rid of their surplus. If you don’t have any decorations for this year and are in need, go for that Black Friday discount if you see one. But otherwise, wait until the holidays are over.
What you should buy on Black Friday
Now that you know what to steer clear of this Black Friday, there are some things you should be on the lookout for. This shopping holiday is a good time to buy smart home accessories and electronics — so pay attention to Amazon because we’ll likely see some good discounts on the company’s tech devices.
Wearable tech is also a good category to snatch up on Black Friday, though we aren’t sure if we’ll see any further price drops on Apple Watches, as Series 3 and Series 4 have already experienced significant discounts. (Maybe we’ll see a sale on the new Series 5 if we’re lucky.)
If you come across a discount on a product you need ASAP, it might be a safe bet to just go for it. Make sure you do your research and compare prices, though — we want you to get the best deal possible.