With holiday shopping season fast approaching — actually it is here — advertisements for the latest and greatest goods are surely flooding your snail mailbox and email inbox.
Avid shoppers are gathering Black Friday ads, making lists and setting shopping budgets — and the super savvy ones know that not everything out there is a deal.
Several years ago, I raced out during Black Friday for a doorbuster deal — a first generation Flip Video camcorder. I had not done the proper research. I just wanted it. I paid $70 for a battery operated camcorder that I used exactly three times and realized later that it was #notadeal.
You live and learn.
Now consumers have so many resources at their fingertips to help avoid bad buys this shopping season. Recently, the experts at Dealnews and Kiplinger released pretty comprehensive lists of what NOT to buy on Black Friday and during the holidays. Use them to help you plan your attack. I’m summarizing the items here, but click the links above for more details:
Apple iPad mini/Microsoft Surface RT Tablet: No discounts for months on the long-awaited iPad mini which runs about $329 and Microsoft might only offer a marginal deal on the Surface this season.
Bicycles and Cars: Winter is a bad shopping season for transportation which means you get better deals. Bikes go down after Christmas and car deals happen on New Year’s Eve.
Broadway: No one wants to brave NYC in wintertime. Book your Broadway adventure for Jan. and Feb.
Cameras: Experts from both sites say wait until February to buy digital cameras when “older” models will see deep discounts.
Christmas Decorations: Avoid the impulse buy. Buy these items closer to holiday or after.
Cruises/ luggage: Go ahead and plan your ocean liner getaway, but buy it in Jan. through March… and get your luggage for the trip in Feb. or March.
Brand Name HDTVs : Yes, Black Friday brings deals on TVs, but mostly models from third-tier manufacturers. Brand name TVs see their best price of the year in January and February.
Jewelry and Watches: Don’t even think about it. Just don’t. Wait until spring or summer.
Laptops: New laptops are released just in time for the holidays. Its best to buy a older model during back-to-school season, according to Kiplinger.
Linens: January brings white sales. Wait for them.
Office Supplies: Don’t be fooled by ads from Office Depot, Office Max and Staples. Deals are no better on Black Friday than they are through the year, say Dealnews eds.
Skis: If you’re headed to the slopes, get your skis in spring.
Suits/winter apparel: Wait until end of season when suits/apparel from the previous season go on sale.
Tools: Pre-Black Friday and June are best times to buy tools.
Toys: Black Friday is not the best time to buy toys for the holidays, say the editors at Dealnews. They may be discounted, but if you can wait a few weeks before Christmas you’ll get a better deal. And don’t buy game consoles without a bundled item.
What are the worst Black Friday deals you’ve seen?
– Nedra Rhone, for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog