Tips for the Black Friday shopping list

Shoppers walk through the Westfield Valencia Towncenter the week before Black Friday. Cory Rubin/The SIgnal
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The madness that follows every Thanksgiving dinner is returning, and with that rush comes sales that cause customers nationwide to bust down store doors in hopes of catching some savings.  While there are great deals on some products, there are even better deals later in the year on some items, for those who wait. 

Being able to navigate the sales through the holiday season is crucial in ensuring you get the best prices of the year. Black Friday may be a great time to purchase electronics, but probably not the best time to stock up on Christmas decorations. 

According to Katie Hernandez, creator of KouponingwithKatie.com, she finds the best deals for Black Friday by looking through different social media and deal sites. On her website, she provides readers with scans of advertisements from different stores and a section dedicated to Black Friday deals. In addition, she uses her Facebook group, Kouponing with Katie, as a forum for members to come together to share different deals and coupons with one another. 

“I share (deals and coupons) with the community because I wish there was a community to support me when I first started couponing, so I want to be that support,” said Hernandez. “Plus, there are so many deals that I do not know about, which in turn helps my family, as well.” 

A few shopping experts helped us create a Black Friday guide on what to buy and skip on this  Black Friday, according to different local Black Friday and savings experts. 

BUY: Game consoles

During the holiday season, rather than releasing a new console altogether, most gaming brands release a limited edition console along with the hottest game of the year.

Most stores offer bundles during Black Friday that intrigue gaming fanatics to their core. This year, the new Nintendo Switch lite, which is a non-dockable version, is hitting stores and is predicted to be a hot sell, according to Anton Domingo, a local Black Friday expert.

In addition, The Oculus Quest, which is a stand-alone VR headset with no wires, will also be available.

SKIP: Children toys

Unless the toys you want to buy are on sale during Black Friday, it’s better to wait until closer to Christmas to pick one up. “Some advertised toys will have low prices, but they will also have regular priced toys, too,” said Krystal Briscoe, who’s spent years looking Black Friday specials, “so just make sure you’re getting the best deals — typically, these are referred to as the ‘doorbusters.’” Even if toys are marked down 70%, be sure to check if their prices were inflated and check other outlets, Briscoe says. Local experts suggest looking into these doorbusters prior to coming into the store, so they are positive they’re getting the best deals. 

BUY: TVs

Whether televisions are cheapest on Black Friday or not is an ongoing debate among the discount community.

According to Briscoe, shoppers could see a discounts on TVs as high as 50% off; however, she offers a warning. “Make sure you are not sacrificing quality for price,” said Briscoe.

Televisions are well-priced during Black Friday, but it’s important to note that they are about the same price they will be during Super Bowl weekend, too, Domingo says.

If you can’t wait until that weekend, grabbing one during Black Friday offers the same savings. 

SKIP: Home Decor 

Black Friday is primarily a shopping cycle that favors electronics and major appliances, not one that necessarily works to help furnish your home for a low price during the holidays.

The best times to shop for this decor is during July, September and October, according to savings experts.

These also happen to be the months that couples are most likely to say “I do.” Experts even expect to see deals as early as the beginning of the new year, so those who are itching to redecorate will not have to wait too long. 

BUY: AirPods 

Apple AirPods were the hottest purchase in 2018, an item that nearly sold out during the holiday season.

According to AppleInsider, more than 35 million AirPods were sold in 2018 and it’s currently the most popular “hearable” brand.

Because of their popularity, these buds rarely go on sale, and since they are in such high demand, it’s best to get them while you still can.

This year, Apple released their newest addition of AirPods which are expected to be a popular purchase this holiday season, according to technology officials. 

SKIP: Christmas decorations 

As tempting as Christmas decorations may seem on Black Friday, they will likely be marked down more than 50% less than a week after Christmas.

Every store after the holiday season ends, has a dedicated clearance section with heavily marked down holiday decorations.

It’s similar to the clearance chocolate sold at stores after Valentines Day. “Unless you absolutely need them before this holiday, or you must have a certain product, wait until after the holiday, and for the clearance section,” said Briscoe.

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