Here's what to avoid buying on Black Friday

By Aimee Picchi

/ MoneyWatch

How to get the best deals for holiday shopping

Black Friday might serve as the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season. However, that's not always when you'll find the best prices. Experts say waiting until after the shopping bonanza for some purchases might be wise.

Here's a quick look at when you can find the best deals on popular products.

Wait for Cyber Monday

  • Laptops and personal computers. Cyber Monday offers great tech deals, especially on all things computer: laptops, desktops and gaming PCs, said Kristin McGrath, editor and shopping expert at BlackFriday.com.. That's because retailers will mark down these playthings starting the week of Christmas.
  • Clothing. Retailers such as Old Navy and others typically discount heavily on Cyber Monday, so it's best to hold off on clothing purchases until Cyber Monday, when you can find sitewide discount codes.

Wait for "Travel Deal Tuesday"

  • If you have travel plans coming up, your best bet may be to search for flights and hotels on Tuesday, December 3, which flight-tracking service Hopper calls "Travel Deal Tuesday."

Flight and hotel prices are consistently the lowest in the post-Thanksgiving shopping period on this day, based on analysis of about 25 billion flight and hotel prices.

When is the best time to buy a real Christmas tree this year?

Wait until closer to Christmas

  • Toys and games. If it's not a popular toy in danger of selling out, wait closer to Christmas to buy your toys and games.
  • Holiday decor and seasonal items. If you can hold off until a day or two before Christmas, you'll get great deals on holiday decor, she added. Of course, you'll get even better prices if you wait until the day after the holiday.

So what should you buy on Black Friday?

  • Televisions. The key here is to look for doorbusters, McGrath said. She notes that 4K televisions will likely to have their lowest prices of the year — and sales are likely to start on Thanksgiving day.
  • Gaming consoles. Prices should drop on Black Friday because they're hot holiday gifts this year.
  • Popular toys. You might be able to get a better price on toys closer to the holidays, but there could be shortages on hot items — McGrath recommends buying sooner these items rather than later.
  • Smart home devices. Assistants such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home fall in price during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Expert shares tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping deals

First published on November 26, 2019 / 9:54 AM

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