Black Friday buying tips: what to buy (and skip) in 2021


Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, making it this year’s shopping holiday on November 26. But you can already find Black Friday deals out in the wild at several retailers where the discounts will be spread out over the next few weeks.

As you browse through promotions – and headlines about supply chain issues and shortages – aim to shop strategically. Here are some product categories worth buying Black friday, as well as the ones you might be better off skipping until they go on sale in a few months.

Buy: Laptops

Black Friday usually means big electronics sales, and this year is no exception. Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, Costco, and Target each announced sales this month on various types of laptops.

TO Costco, expect deals on Dell, Lenovo, HP, LG, Samsung and MSI laptops, depending on when and how you shop. (Costco flaunts the promotions, and some are only available online.)

Skip: Bedding

Sure, you’ll likely find some great deals on bedding on Black Friday, but wait until January if you can. This is when many retailers offer discounts on bedroom and bathroom items, such as linens, pillows, towels, and linens.

Towards the end of the year, watch for upcoming promotions on bedding and other furniture. You can find offers from Pottery barn, Overstock, West Elm, Macy’s, Case and barrel and Wayfair.

Buy: Televisions

As usual, you’ll see big price drops on TVs during Black Friday and in the weeks leading up to it. For example, Walmart will offer a 60-inch Samsung 4K Smart TV with HDR for $ 548 starting November 10. Also expect TV deals on multiple brands from Amazon, Costco, Best Buy, and Target.

DataWeave, a retail price and data analysis company, has tracked the prices of more than 200 types of TVs sold by Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Karthik Bettadapura, CEO of the company, said the prices of the TVs they track rose 7.4% this year between April and October.

So, these Black Friday price drops may not be as big as they seem, given that many TVs have likely had their base price up. But there’s no denying that retailers are offering some of their biggest TV discounts during Black Friday, so if you’re in the market, you might want to take advantage of it anyway.

Skip: Winter clothes

Retailers can typically charge more for seasonal (and in-demand) items and less for non-seasonal items. Winter clothes like coats and jackets are about as seasonal as they are now, so you probably won’t find the biggest discounts of the year.

If you are able to wait a few months, look for cold weather clothing on the release rack as spring approaches. At this point, retailers will likely be keen to sell their off-season inventory at a discount.

If you can’t wait until 2022, you’ll likely find plenty of deals on coats and other comfy gear this month at Macy’s, Amazon, Kohl’s and other stores.

Shopping tips for Black Friday

Shop for vacation essentials soon. Between supply chain disruptions and potential shortages, it may take longer than usual for products to reach you. You might find that what you want is out of stock, for example, or delivery times are lengthened.

So if you need something by the December holidays and it’s available, grab it. “There’s no good reason to wait,” says Eric Anderson, retail chair and professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Plus, Black Friday deals are already being promoted at many retailers, so there is no need to wait to find great deals.

Avoid scams. In all the excitement of the Black Friday deals, be careful, too. When you see advertisements in your social media feeds, dig a little before giving out your information.

If you see the perfect sweater advertised on Instagram, for example, check out the seller’s website. Beware of sites that don’t seem trustworthy and those that don’t feature products other than the one advertised to you. And if you can’t find a physical address for the online retailer, or if the site accepts payments only through gift cards or peer-to-peer payment companies like Venmo or Cash App, you might be looking at a crook.

While this year’s Black Friday can come with shortages and even scams, you’ll likely be clear with vigilant and early shopping.

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Laura McMullen writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @lauraemcmullen.

The article What to buy (and skip) on Black Friday 2021 originally appeared on NerdWallet.


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