8 Things You Shouldn't Buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Save your money—better deals on these items are ahead.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner (literally—Black Friday is Friday, November 25 this year, with Cyber Monday coming just after it on Monday, November 28), savvy shoppers across the United States are likely making lists and checking them twice and putting together shopping plans for any in-store shopping.

So many great gifts, essentials, and gadgets are available at incredibly low prices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and stores are competing with each other for the best Black Friday deals—but not all these deals are as great as they sound. Some categories of items are known to have the lowest prices of the year during Black Friday, but others don’t have such great savings.

Personal finance site WalletHub ranked product categories by the potential discount shoppers could get by buying items from each category on Black Friday. Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, also has suggestions for what not to buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because lower prices for certain items are available later in the year. Together, their lists offer a pretty comprehensive guide to what’s a good deal—and what’s not—this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Woman shopping online in a cafe with a credit card
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“The best time to snag these items is in January and the three-day holiday weekends throughout the year (like Presidents Day and Memorial Day),” Skirboll says. Ignore Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads for these items; they can wait.

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Apparel and Accessories

WalletHub ranked apparel and accessories as the fourth-worst category to shop on Black Friday in 2021, with an average discount of only 33 percent. (The average discount for Black Friday, across all categories, was 37 percent.) Skirboll says now is a great time to purchase winter wear inexpensively, though, and select clothing stores may be offering deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so keep an eye out for any savings opportunities that may be more than 33 percent.

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Spring Airfare

Skirboll says the best time to buy airfare for spring trips is six to eight weeks ahead of the planned trip, not on Black Friday. For post-holiday travel in late winter, though, Skirboll says airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and booking sites will be offering deals on Cyber Monday.

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Black Friday is known for having deals on appliances, but WalletHub’s 2021 analysis found that, on average, savings are only 30 percent off the standard retail price. That could still add up to huge savings on thousand-dollar appliances, but appliance deals certainly aren’t the best of Black Friday.

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“The best deals on toys are found about two weeks before Christmas,” Skirboll says. Instead of picking up toys for Christmas gifts in late November, wait until mid-December. (There will still be plenty of time to practice gift wrapping secrets.)

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Consumer Electronics

Last year, on average, retailers were only advertising 26 percent savings on consumer electronics (televisions, speakers, et cetera), WalletHub found. Like appliances, though, these savings on high-priced items can add up quickly and are attractive to shoppers looking for any sort of deal; Skirboll predicts electronics will sell out quickly on Black Friday.

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Fitness Equipment

New Year’s resolutions can wait—Skirboll says the best discounts on exercise equipment are in January.

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Computers and Phones

WalletHub’s 2021 analysis found that computers and phones were the worst category to shop on Black Friday in terms of potential savings percentages. Most retailers will only offer 25 percent, on average, off these products, though Skirboll expects older laptop models and smart home devices will be deeply discounted.

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