‘Tis the season for shopping, and one of the busiest shopping days of the year is coming up on Friday with some of the sales even starting on Thanksgiving.
So what should you buy on Black Friday and what should you skip?
We looked through the ads and went to the experts for advice.
The big retailers will have doorbuster deals on TVs, but they’re usually in limited quantity, and they’re most likely older models.
Walmart will be selling a 39-inch TV for $125, and one of Target’s doorbusters is a 32-inch TV for $90.
“The thing to really look out for is what is exactly being offered,” advised Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii president. “It might be a big screen TV, but does it have all the bells and whistles of something that might be a little more expensive?”
If you don’t find a TV you like, you can also wait until January or February, when many stores have sales on TVs, since many of the new TV models start arriving in March.
Buy: Gaming systems
Game Stop is discounting its Playstation 4 consoles, including the Pro model, along with some game bundles.
Target is selling an Xbox One for $190 bucks, plus a $25 Target gift card.
Walmart also has special prices on its Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo gaming consoles.
“The older versions you’re going to get a lot cheaper than the newer ones coming out at the end of the year,” Yamaki said.
Apple iPhones rarely go on sale, but on Black Friday, there are gift card incentives.
Walmart will give you a $300 gift card if you buy an iPhone, and that includes the top of the line iPhone X.
Target is offering a $250 gift card for buying the 8 or 8 plus, and Best Buy will give you a $200 gift card.
“Toys do go down (in price), believe it or not. It depends on what you’re looking for,” Yamaki said. “Some of the electronics, it’s the older model type of toys, because that’s what all the kids really like is the electronic things that make noises.”
Toys R Us has doorbuster savings of 40 or even 50 percent off certain toys.
If you don’t find what you like on Black Friday, the sales continue through the holiday season, but keep in mind some of the most popular toys may not go on sale, and may even sell out.
Macy’s is discounting some clothes 50 or even 60 percent off as a doorbuster.
“A lot of people bring in specialty items just for Black Friday. Some of them are trying to get rid of their inventory, so Black Friday sales, it’ll be like 50 percent off only on Friday, and it’s the entire store,” Yamaki said.
Sears has doorbuster sales on a bunch of Craftsman tools. You can even get a 41-inch tool chest for $300, which is less than half the retail price.
City Mill also has tools on sale for Black Friday.
“One of the hot items we’re going to be having is our Genesis rotary tool. This is regular, almost $40, and it’s going on sale for $19.99,” said Frank Suster, City Mill facilities manager.
Walmart has the popular Instapot, the small, 5-quart version, for $49.
Macy’s is selling some small kitchen appliances for only $8 after a mail-in rebate.
“There’s going to be a lot of deals out there. I mean unemployment is low, people are making money, so I think it’s going to be a pretty good Black Friday,” Yamaki said.
But there are certain items you may not want to buy on Black Friday.
Stores have white sales in January. That’s when you can get some of the best bargains on sheets, bed covers, pillows, and pillow cases.
Skip: Christmas decorations
The best deals on artificial Christmas trees, ornaments, décor, and wrapping paper will be right after Christmas.
Skip: Exercise equipment
Stores often have deals on treadmills and other exercise equipment in January, since many people have a New Year’s resolution to get fit.
That’s just generally speaking. No matter the category, you may find an amazing deal that’s hard to pass up.
So just make sure you know your prices and compare the ads.
If you don’t find something you’re looking for on sale on Black Friday, there’s also Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.