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Let’s be real: Black Friday is the freaking best time to shop for a lot of things — but not everything. At The Krazy Coupon Lady, we absolutely hate wasting money and time, and throughout the years we’ve learned what you shouldn’t buy on Black Friday.
For example, let’s talk mattresses. On Black Fridays in the past, we saw some pretty stinking good deals on air mattresses at up to 70% off at Walmart or 80% off mattress pads at Macy’s. But the best deals we saw on actual mattresses were more focused on freebie offers, like free shipping on your mattress purchase. And this is not to say that there aren’t great mattress deals out there. We just know that there are better times to shop and save.
Knowing what to skip can help you focus on the deals that matter — like these Black Friday deals that we’ve researched firsthand. Be sure to text BLACK FRIDAY to 57299 and receive real-time text alerts when deals go live.
Here are some Black Friday deals that are better off skipping, plus better times to save on certain items:
1. Don’t buy a new mattress on Black Friday — wait for beginning and end of summer sales, like Memorial Day or Labor Day.
The best time to buy a mattress is during the long weekend holiday sales of summer, Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can also find better discounts on Presidents’ Day than on Black Friday.
For instance, in the summer of 2021, shoppers got $399 in freebies and 33% off when they bought a Nectar mattress during the summertime sale. In August 2021, Home Depot gave out $300 store gift cards if you purchased a Tempur-Pedic Mattress (which were also $300 off the regular price with free shipping).
Related: Can’t wait ’til then? Here are some hacks on how to save on mattresses all year long.
2. Wait to buy holiday decor after the holidays to score up to 90% off.
I know, you really need those ornaments now — but holiday decor is at the top of the “what not to buy on Black Friday” list. If you hang tight after the holidays, you’ll find serious deals (like 70% – 90% off) in the days and weeks surrounding Dec. 25. You’ll get to show off your new Christmas decorations next year and spend a lot less in the long run.
If you’re patient enough, you might even score a few decorations on sale in time for the holidays this year at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, and JCPenney — they all start rolling out Christmas clearance at least a week before the holiday. I’ve also seen 50% off sales in January 2022 at Dollar Tree, Walmart, Target, and Hobby Lobby.
For the most up-to-date details, you’ll definitely want to keep KCL’s ultimate guide to Christmas clearance schedules bookmarked.
3. Find more discount gift cards for cheaper than their face value in December and January.
We all get gift cards we’ll never use. Thankfully, Raise and Gift Card Granny will buy them from you — and you’ll be able to trade them in for the gift cards you really want.
Instead of buying gift cards on Black Friday, buy them in December and January and use them as another layer of savings throughout the year. Plus, retailers like to offer bonus gift card deals during the holiday season. So buy one for your friend and you could get a deal on a second one.
After Christmas, plenty of unwanted gift cards will be out there for you to snatch up. It’s easy to use discounted gift cards to save more. If you’re a big Target fan, consider them for discounted store gift cards. Did you know that the store hosts a 2-day, 10% off Target gift card sale during the first weekend in December?
4. Skip buying cheap 4K TVs and get quality TVs in December and around the Super Bowl.
Some of the Black Friday TV deals are truly unbeatable, but deals that seem a little too good are probably just that. Like when you see a 50-inch 4K TV for just $199 on Black Friday, you’re certainly paying for what you get.
Sure, you’ll pay a lot less for off-brand TVs, but you may run into frustrating glitches and technical issues early on. TVs at these prices will probably need replacing in just a couple of years. That’s certainly not getting the best value for what you paid for.
For great prices on higher quality TVs, wait until the end of December (after the holiday madness) or January (just before the Super Bowl). On some occasions, I’ve seen some deals weeks before Christmas on Amazon and Best Buy.
After Christmas, retailers want to make room for newer models, so they’ll discount the ones not sold.
Deals around the Big Game focus less on rock-bottom prices and more on overall TV quality. In January 2021, an RCA 55″ 4K Ultra HD LED TV was just $260 (regularly $700) at Walmart. Not bad. For reference, these were the best Big Game TV deals in 2022.
Check out our tips to help you get the best Black Friday Deals online.
5. Summer is a better time to save on jewelry at up to 70% off.
The best time to buy jewelry is in the summer, hands down. A lot of the prices are still jacked up on Black Friday for the seasonal demand. So even a seemingly steep discount may not be the best deal.
Visit jewelry stores or department stores like JCPenney in the summer months when demand is low. Sale prices drop to around 60% off, and you’ll have much better luck negotiating a great price.
HINT: Shop Macy’s for jewelry. During Macy’s Black Friday in July (which yes, is still Black Friday, but the summer sale really is different), you could find 70% off fine jewelry, 80% off diamond earrings, and fashion jewelry for under $20.
If you miss the summer jewelry sales, a lot of stores like Kohl’s have online-only jewelry deals in the weeks leading to Christmas.
6. Get better deals on power tools around Father’s Day.
The absolute best time to buy power tools is right before Father’s Day, and you’ll find the greatest deals at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Maybe you’ll see some Black Friday deals for 20% – 50% off, but you can get similar (if not better) deals on power tools in June. For instance, in June 2021 Walmart offered a Hart 6-tool combo kit for $198 (regularly $298).
7. Shop for furniture the first half of the year when Wayfair and Overstock have competing sales.
As much as we love to save on furniture, Black Friday isn’t the best time to do it. Unless you’re looking for an item that urgently needs replacing, don’t waste your time searching for Black Friday deals on furniture. The discounts aren’t nearly as good as other sale periods throughout the year.
Instead, shop for great deals on furniture during Presidents’ Day sales in February. Most furniture stores will run big sales for the entire 4-day weekend.
In April, Wayfair holds their WayDay sale where you can get up to 75% off furniture, decor, bedding, and more. Overstock will typically compete with a 48-hour flash sale at the same time — like they did in 2021.
Here are examples of savings we saw in 2021:
- Up to 70% off rugs
- Coffee and end tables from $49
- Outdoor seating under $499
- Sheets and pillowcases from $19
8. Find crazy clearance deals on outdoor grills in August and September.
Black Friday falls in the off-season for grilling, so it makes sense that grills would be super cheap, right? Not exactly.
By the time November hits, most stores have already sold what’s left of their outdoor grill inventories. As a result, the selection for Black Friday is scarce, and so are the discounts.
Instead, look for deals on outdoor grills in August and September. I saw grill deals ($20 – $40 off) at Amazon and Target during those months in 2021. That’s when the curtains close on peak grilling season and whatever’s left gets a price drop.