Wait…Don’t Buy That Just Yet

Each day it seems I hear another story about how a retailers Black Friday sales were leaked online. I have to laugh when I hear this. It’s the retailers themselves who are leaking the information. They are trying every marketing trick in the book to woo you into their stores on the biggest shopping day of the year.

But if you’re a bargain hunter like me you’ll want to stay away from stores on Black Friday. Now I know that sounds crazy since Black Friday deals are some of the best we’ll see year round so let me explain.

Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday do represent days when you can get really good deals. I don’t avoid stores and online shopping entirely that weekend. But there are a handful of items that top mine and nearly everyone else’s Christmas list that will not be good deals that day or for the rest of this month. Retailers know this so they put out ads for these products on Black Friday that are a bit discounted to lure you in. But the trick is to wait. Hold off on buying these things until December to get the lowest prices of the season.

What, pray tell, are these items? Like I said they are items that frequently top our Christmas lists. Let’s go through them and examine why it’s better to wait to buy these items till the holiday season is nearly over.

Televisions

This one is definitely at the top of everyone’s Christmas list. We all want thinner, lighter, more high-tech televisions than the one’s we’ve got right now.

There will be sales galore on new TV’s on Black Friday and the weeks immediately following it. But in this instance the deals will get better if you hold off on buying it. Waiting until December will snag you a savings of 20 to 25 percent off list price.

As with most things high tech, if you’re buying the latest and the greatest versions on the market, you’re not going to be getting a huge discount. To get the best deal on a new TV look at last year’s models. If you are waiting for a little monetary help from Santa Claus to buy a new TV, don’t worry great post-holiday sales stretch into the first weeks of January. So you don’t need to rush out the day after Christmas to buy.

Engagement Rings

December is the most popular month to get engaged. Jewelers often make 30-35 percent of their yearly sales this month alone. Because of this, bargains on diamond rings are weak.

Of course you’re going to see stores advertising mark downs and sales leading up to Christmas. Jewelers often mark-up their wares so that they still make a huge profit even when they put them on sale.

If you can hold off on buying an engagement ring till after Christmas, you’ll get a great deal.  If you can’t wait that long, wait until the week before Christmas to reap some savings.

In the grand scheme of things, December is not a great month to get a good deal on a diamond ring. Demand is already high, so jewelers don’t need to put their stock on sale. If you are thinking about buying an engagement ring for your sweetie soon, hold off until you read my diamond buying guide coming out December 5th. In that week’s issue of Easy Street I’ll detail how to get fabulous deals on diamonds and other jewelry.

Cell Phones

Cell phones have become a common holiday gift over the last decade. They are highly desirable and retailers know this.

Good deals can be found on cell phones if you can hold out till December to buy one. Stores offer their best deals of the year because they know they are competing against other cell phone companies.

The second cheapest month to buy a new cell phone? June. Cell phones have become the go to gift for graduates.

Holiday Collectibles

Those cute reindeer mugs and holiday themed dishware you see for sale at department stores are cute, but they are not cheap this time of year. Stores started putting holiday collectibles like china, stemware, dolls, ornaments, and such on their shelves earlier this month.

You likely won’t find them on sale in November or anytime soon. You can expect a good deal on these items only if you wait until after New Year’s. The caveat to waiting is that there are no guarantees that the item you want will still be in stock. Holiday collectibles are sold in very limited quantities. So if you see something you just have to have, buy it now. Just know you are paying full price.

Calendars and Planners

Though planning doesn’t stop this time of year, our calendars do. By November we start to realize we need calendars and planners for next year.

The bad part is that if you buy one now, you’ll be paying list price. The longer you wait to buy one, the better deal you’ll get. To get the best deal on a 2013 datebook you’ll need to wait until after New Year’s. By holding off on buying a new one until January you’ll save yourself 20-40 percent off list price. Not a bad deal if you can wait.

While having to wait another week to get going on your Christmas list and find good deals definitely isn’t fun, there is some good news I can tell you. Retailers this year are climbing all over each other in order to lure you to their store, which is highly beneficial to you. In fact, some retailers are trying to outdo their competitors by offering their Black Friday deals to you before next Friday!

Sears will open their doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and stay open all night long until 10 p.m. on Friday, the 23rd. While Sears is publicly saying they are doing this to give their customers more flexible buying hours, the real reason has to do more with beating its competitors than customers.

Department store rival Kohl’s has announced that its Black Friday deals will be available online starting at 12:01 a.m. the day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday the 21st and it will open its doors at midnight on Thanksgiving.

While last year we saw Toys-R-Us and Wal-Mart open their doors Thanksgiving night for Black Friday shoppers, this is the first time we’ve seen retailers offer their online deals early. Generally, retailers try to push their customers to come out to their locations, where it’s much more likely they’ll overspend and make impulse purchases. This year it seems no one wants to be last in line for consumer’s dollars.

It seems none of us will have to wait too much longer to get a good deal. Enjoy!

Keeping Money in Your Pocket,

Nancy Patterson


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