Unless you want to ruin your daughter’s life forever, scoop up that McKenna American Girl doll right away. But your average toy? Sakraida says to hold off. “We see quite a few fairly decent toy deals, but things will get cheaper later in December,” she says. “Unless it’s a really hot item that you’re after, wait for them to get cheaper in the two weeks before Christmas.”
TVs, digital cameras and laptops are huge Black Friday draws, but it’s not necessarily the time to buy one. The generic brand TV that the big-box store is offering is, likely, a huge bargain, says Sakraida. But anything name brand — Sony, Samsung, Canon, etc. — will see its best price in the first couple months of 2013, right before the latest models hit shelves.
The exceptions are Apple products, says Sakraida. They don’t usually go on sale, so take advantage of any promotion if you were planning to buy them this year.
If you’re shopping for yourself, wait. “You’ll see a lot of good coupons — but if you’re looking for something like a heavy down winter coat, you’ll see a better price in January,” says Sakraida.
“When it comes to Christmas decorations, these are things they’re hoping you’ll just grab while you’re out,” says Sakraida. “Wait until it’s closer to Christmas to get a better price.”
Jewelry and watches
If you’re shopping for gifts, go ahead and buy these on Black Friday. But if you’re looking for yourself, wait until after the holidays to buy jewelry or watches, says Sakraida. These are popular gifts, so retailers aren’t offering their best deals.
Black Friday:?There’s an app for that
CNET Scan and Shop: Not sure about that digital camera that’s on sale? Use this app to scan the bar code of electronics, then read editor and user reviews.
shopkick: Earn “kick points” just for walking in to popular Black Friday destinations including Macy’s, Target, Best Buy and Old Navy. Then, cash them in for rewards including Starbucks drinks, iTunes gift cards and more.
iStoreHours: This one’s priceless on Black Friday: Download it to find out when your favorite stores open.
SnipSnap: Don’t want to carry around an envelope of coupons? Use this app to snap pictures of offers, which are converted into mobile coupons that cashiers can scan. Or, browse their database for coupons that other users have uploaded.
RedLaser: This top-rated app is like a shopping genie: Scan bar codes at major retailers for on-the-spot price comparisons. Then, buy that TV instantly on Amazon if the price is better, or get the store to match the online offer.
Black Friday App: Custom-built for this weekend’s deals, this app from Dealnews.com lets you browse the “leaked” ads from major retailers, which you can then share with friends.