Nov. 15, 2012 at 9:50 AM ET
With all the Black Friday ad leaks and sneak peeks we've unearthed in the past few weeks, this season's shopping extravaganza is looking ripe with deals and discounts for all. But even though many product categories will see new all-time low prices, not everything will be a good purchase on Black Friday. In some cases, you would be better off skipping certain deals and waiting for a better offer later on in the coming year. Here are 10 items that are not worth buying this Black Friday.
We've said it many times already, and we'll say it once more: Black Friday is not the best time to buy toys for the holidays. 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.
Game consoles without a bundled item
Speaking of toys, if you're looking to buy any of the major video game consoles this holiday, you're likely to get more bang for your buck by opting for one that comes with a few extras. While we've already seen a few choice Xbox deals in the leaked Black Friday ads, in years past, the vast majority of Editors' Choice console deals went to holiday bundles that included premium accessories and two or three game titles. These were frequently discounted 30 to 40 percent off their retail prices.
Brand Name HDTVs
Black Friday is an excellent time to invest in a new HDTV, as we predict a variety of size categories will hit their lowest price points. But don't expect the best deals to be tagged with name brands. Typically, the rock-bottom prices will mostly apply to third-tier manufacturers. Instead, brand name TVs tend to see their best price of the year in January and February as manufacturers look to clear stock in preparation for new models in the spring.
The latest digital cameras
There's no shortage of digital camera deals around Black Friday, but keep in mind that the premium current-generation models are just a few months away from being replaced by a new line of 2013 options. If you're eying a brand-new digital SLR, we recommend waiting until February or later when it becomes an "old model," resulting in more aggressive discounts from retailers.
While not typically on anyone's "To Buy on Black Friday" list, Christmas decor tends to end up in-cart on impulse buys. Sure, that string of lights or holiday wreath might be on sale, but deals on Christmas items get better the closer we get to the holiday itself — and of course are the best after the holiday.
For some, it may seem silly to advise against office supply deals on Black Friday, as it's not typically a category associated with the shopping event. But for several years running, office supply stores like Office Depot and OfficeMax have released Black Friday ads in the hopes of encouraging an uptick in business. Unfortunately, these deals are generally no better than those we see throughout the rest of the year. In fact, during the entire Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday stretch in 2011, we only found a measly three Editors' Choice deals in this category.
Jewelry and watches
We're flagging this accessories category "Do Not Buy" for the entire holiday season. Much like Christmas items, there will be lots of sales advertising shiny, metallic objects perfect for him or her. But the discounts on jewelry around the winter holidays are no better than those around Valentine's Day, when baubles are at their most in-demand. And instead of buying a watch now, consider holding off until the spring and summer when we see more Editors' Choice deals.
During Black Friday, we'll likely see some of the best apparel coupons of the year from a variety of retailers. However, if winter apparel is on your list, it's smarter to hold off until January, when those items are added to clearance sales that take much deeper base discounts. We will inevitably find additional stacking coupons then too, to make those stronger sales even better for your wallet.
Apple iPad mini
The long-awaited iPad mini will set you back at least $329, and if it follows the price pattern of its distant predecessor, the first generation iPad, it won't see a discount until several months from now. While there's an off-chance that an attention-seeking retailer could offer an iPad mini promotion (the latest full-size iPad is included in the Target Black Friday ad, after all), the bottom line is this: 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.
Microsoft Surface RT tablet
Microsoft has seemingly made a concerted effort to position its products in line with Apple's, thus exerting a considerable amount of control over where the Surface is available and for how much. And like Apple's tendency to offer minimal discounts on the iPad, Microsoft might only offer a marginal deal on the Surface this season. But if Surface sales are weak, the tablet may instead go the way of the BlackBerry PlayBook, wherein we'll see its price fall considerably by the spring.
While we advise against purchasing the above products around Black Friday, keep in mind that nothing is written in stone, and we may still see some stellar deals within these categories; however, it's more likely that we'll encounter so-so offers, so it's best to temper your expectations.
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