11 Things Not to Buy Before Black Friday

Getting your holiday shopping done early can reduce stress, but if you wait a few weeks, you can also nab a great deal on a number of popular tech products.
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11 Things Not to Buy Before Black Friday

Year after year, the holidays arrive a little earlier, and 2018 is no exception. Amazon has already announced its “pre-Black Friday” sales that will run from Nov. 16 until Thanksgiving Day, if you truly have a desire to drain your bank account. And it won’t be the last.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, was traditionally the day retailers met their costs, with each sale propelling them further into “the black,” or profits. Today, Black Friday simply means great deals. “Doorbuster” offers are designed to entice shoppers into stores, where they can batter their fellow shoppers to seize the newest must-have gadget.

How do shoppers learn about these great deals? In years past, holiday advertising circulars were published in newspapers. Then enterprising young bloggers began putting them online. Now, retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy publish news of their own sales, weeks before Black Friday ever takes place. And our sister sites and keep track of them all.

But perhaps you don’t buy into the hype. “How much can I really save?” you wonder. Truth is, you’ll need to keep tabs on opening times and lightning rounds, but deals can be had. As a result, there are a number of gadgets you shouldn’t buy before Black Friday. Check them out below.

  • 1 Televisions

    As footage from previous Black Friday sales might suggest, shoppers are eager for deals on massive TVs. Don’t let the fact that you’re only 5’2″ stop you from throwing that discount 70-inch set over your shoulder. 4K TVs are now increasingly more affordable, and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have added more ultra HD content, so now is the time to buy. If you’re not sure where to start, check out PCMag’s roundup of the Best TVs, as well as our explainers on 4K, HDR, and the buying guide video above.

  • 2 Low-Priced Laptops

    Everyone went tablet crazy for a little bit, but turns out consumers aren’t quite ready to give up on laptops. The iPad Pro is lovely, but not necessarily conducive to typing out long reports or conducting business that requires a little screen real estate. But don’t pay full price for a laptop just yet; Black Friday is just around the corner. Check out PCMag’s roundup of The Best Laptops and Best Budget Laptops to see what type of machine you should look to nab. And don’t forget about those Chromebooks.
  • 3 Tablets

    That said, Black Friday is a good time to nab a tablet you can use to stream Netflix or keep the kids entertained. Target’s Black Friday ad scan is already out, for example, and it tips discounts on the Apple iPad and Amazon Fire 7. Amazon itself will also discount its own Fire tablets in the coming weeks and on Black Friday proper.
  • 4 Smart Speakers

    Smart speakers have gone from niche gadgets to must-have devices. And this Black Friday, you can grab one of these voice-activated gizmos on the cheap. Target tips the $ 49 Google Home Mini for just $ 25, while the newest Echo Dot will be half price. Amazon will also have some nice price cuts on Echos, too. Before you buy, check out the differences between all the Echo devices and how Echo compares to Google Home.

  • 5 Headphones and Earphones

    If your kid has been begging for a pair of Beats earphones, wait a few weeks. They are reliably discounted each year on Black Friday. Target will have the Solo3 Wireless headphones for $ 179.99, down from $ 299, and the Studio3 Wireless headphones for $ 279.99, down from $ 350. Kohl’s will have them too, plus the Powerbeats3, with some extra Kohl’s Cash thrown in. To see which other brands we recommend, check out PCMag’s roundup of the Best Earbuds, Best Headphones, and Best Wireless Headphones.
  • 6 Fitness Trackers

    Around this time of year, a lot of us plan to live our best lives…next year. You know, after all that turkey and pie. A fitness tracker can help you get there, but it’s probably a good idea to wait for Black Friday to pick one up. Target will shave $ 50 off the Editors’ Choice Fitbit Versa (pictured), and will discount the Samsung Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch Series 3.
  • 7 Smartphones

    Black Friday isn’t typically the best time to get deals on the newest smartphones, though you can save on older models or less flashy budget devices. Instead, big box stores often offer gift cards with the full-price purchase of a new smartphone.

    Target will serve up $ 250 Target gift cards if you buy an Apple iPhone XS or XS Max on Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint, a $ 300 gift card when you buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 on Verizon or AT&T, and a $ 200 gift card when you buy a Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL on Verizon.

  • 8 DNA Testing Kits

    In the last year, one of the more popular items during “shopping holidays” like Prime Day and Black Friday were DNA testing kits. We know Target will discount a 23andMe kit by $ 40, plus throw in a $ 10 gift card, but Amazon will likely join this bandwagon, too. If you’re not sure which kit to get, peruse PCMag’s roundup of the Best DNA Testing Kits.
  • 9 Video Games and Consoles

    Whether you’re on Team Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch, there is a game for you on Black Friday. Forget about spending $ 60. Retailers like GameStop, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and more typically have two-for-one deals or rock-bottom sales. Will all the great games arriving in the coming weeks, make sure you don’t blow your whole paycheck on new titles.

    If you want to upgrade your console, meanwhile, Black Friday gaming discounts usually involve bundles that pair a console with a popular title or accessories like controllers or carrying cases. Target is teasing a Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 bundle for $ 299.99, which is usually the cost of the Switch console alone.

  • 10 Cameras

    While it might seem like most people have ditched traditional cameras for their phones and Instagram filters, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And Black Friday always features discounts on high-end digital cameras, affordable point-and-shoot devices, and action cams like the GoPro. You can probably snag a drone alongside your action cam, too.
  • 11 DVD/Blu-rays

    With more and more people subscribing to streaming services like Netflix, most of us don’t have a huge DVD collection taking up space in the den anymore. But there are those who still like to own their piece of movie history, and Black Friday is a good time to stock up on cheap flicks for as little as a few dollars. Once you do stock up, check out How to Rip Blu-ray Discs to Your PC.

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