Black Friday Sales: Never Waste Your Money on These 14 Things

Some deals may be too good to be true for the festive shopping day.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
girl friends shopping for clothes

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You can find some great deals on Black Friday to buy plenty of gifts for family and friends.

But not all Black Friday deals are actually deals, and some things on your list may not be the bargains you’re hoping for.

So before you head out to get those Black Friday deals, check this list to see if any of these items may be something you’ll want to rethink.

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ifeelstock/Adobe apple iphone xs

The latest iPhone model was released back in September, so it may be hard to find the newest addition to the iPhone line-up on sale.

Instead, consider an older model that may be more likely to be discounted now that the iPhone 15 is on the market.

You should also be cautious of any add-ons that retailers are pushing as Black Friday deals if they were things you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Things like Apple Care, gift cards, and other so-called bonuses aren’t really “free” bonuses if they’re getting tacked on to the price.


REDPIXEL/Adobe booking flight travel

Are you excited about giving your family a vacation for Christmas so they can go somewhere fun in 2024? You’ll want to book some parts of your trip now, but you can probably get better airfare rates after the holiday for travel next year.

If the tickets can wait, consider booking your travel through Costco. The wholesaler serves as a one-stop shop for airfare, hotel, car rental, and other vacation packages – all at a discounted rate.

Gift cards

Andrey Popov/Adobe female hand giving gift card

Gift cards are a good idea if you’re shopping for someone you don’t know well, but Black Friday may not be the best time to get those gift card deals.

In fact, you may want to check on gift cards now instead of waiting for Black Friday. Places like Sam’s Club and Costco sell gift cards below face value, and you might be able to take advantage of extra perks from these retailers (Target, for instance, offers a $5 Target gift card for specific $50 gift card purchases).

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Jon Anders Wiken/Adobe hand with tv remote

Black Friday ads are littered with deals on TVs, but make sure you check out the fine print. Some doorbuster deals might be for the base model, which can lure you into the store and encourage you to do more shopping.

It’s also a good idea to wait until after the New Year, as some retailers discount their televisions before the Super Bowl.

Winter coats

Jacob Lund/Adobe couple on a date

As the weather gets colder, more people are getting out their old coats only to realize that they’re too small or just won’t work this year.

If you can get away with your old coat for a while, consider waiting until after the holidays. That's when retailers start phasing out their winter wear via discounts to make room for warmer items.


Theerawat/Adobe bracelet with diamonds and pearls on the hand of the bride

Jewelry can be a beautiful holiday gift for someone you love, but it’s not necessarily a true bargain item on Black Friday.

You may want to skip the jewelry counter and revisit the idea in January when stores are more likely to have sales in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Fitness equipment

NDABCREATIVITY/Adobe senior couple working out at gym

Perhaps you want to get a head start on your New Year’s resolution and use new equipment to work out.

You’re better off waiting a few weeks, so check back in January when retailers start actually offering discounts on fitness gear.


Oksana Kuzmina/Adobe preschool teacher and cute kids

If you have a few toys on your list this year for your little ones, you probably won’t see great deals during Black Friday.

Instead, wait a little bit for prices to come down as last-minute shoppers try to add a few more items to their carts right before Christmas.

And if you really want this year's “it” toy, you might want to get it before Black Friday in the event it sells out.


Gorodenkoff/Adobe man working from home using laptop

Computers are a popular item this time of year, especially if you know someone who needs to upgrade their laptop.

But like smartphones, the latest computer models may not get the Black Friday sales treatment. So consider older models, which may have deeper discounts, or keep an eye out for sales at other times of the year to get the best deals.

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Power tools

kerkezz/Adobe building kitchen cabinets

There are plenty of gift options out there for someone you know who loves a good fixer-upper project.

However, plenty of shoppers have tools on their shopping lists, and some retailers may be less willing to mark them down for Black Friday.

Watch for deals at other times of the year, or consider gift cards to your giftee’s favorite home improvement store so they can pick out their own after the holidays.


deagreez/Adobe A girl is thinking while sitting on the couch in the living room and holding her phone.

This is another item shoppers put off until Black Friday, but the wait might not always be worth it.

In fact, the best furniture sales typically happen on other holidays. This holiday season, hold off on those big-ticket furniture buys until weekends like Presidents Day or Memorial Day, when you may be able to find better deals on furniture.


Syda Productions/Adobe young woman in hotel robe

A new set of sheets may sound warm and cozy for a holiday gift, but the markdown might not be as deep as you’d expect on Black Friday.

This is another instance where there are likely stronger discounts on holidays like Presidents Day or Memorial Day


George Bailey/Adobe buckeye candy box on white counter

Chocolate is another festive gift over the holiday season, and although your recipient might love it, you may not be getting a great deal on the sweet treat.

Particularly if the chocolate is coming in something like a festive gift basket, you’re likely paying a lot more than you normally would.

Holiday decorations

pressmaster/Adobe preparing Christmas gifts

You may want to get in a festive spirit by adding holiday decorations to your list. After all, why not pick up some holiday items for yourself while you’re out shopping for everyone else?

But right before the holidays is when decorations can be expensive, with ornaments, artificial trees, and other decorations selling at a premium cost.

Instead, consider heading back to your favorite retailers right after the holidays when decor is on sale and pick up some items at a lower price to store until next year.

Bottom line

Halfpoint/Adobe teenage girl with paper bags

Black Friday can be a great time to get good deals, but you should also watch out for sales that may be too good to be true.

If you do venture out for Black Friday, remember to take the best rewards credit cards with you to earn extra perks and points on your purchases.

It’s also a good idea to adjust your budget now and find ways to save money to cover the costs of the holidays (both on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season).

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and

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