Consumer Wise: Best Black Friday deals

The start of the official holiday shopping season is almost here.  So what are the best things to buy and not to buy on Black Friday? Read on to find out.

Black Friday Mayhem

Let the mayhem begin. Black Friday is just days away and shoppers are ready to get those deals.

“The madness, I kind of look forward to that, you know,” Jarvis Walker, a shopper at Best Buy in Tampa said. “Seeing all the people wrapped around the building. Some people wait all year, just for that one day.”

Shopper Mike McIsaac is one of those who looks forward to it every year.

“I just like the excitement. It’s part of Christmas for me,” he said. “It signals the countdown. Get the shopping done.”

Best deals on TVs

The quest for deals leads many in search of electronics at stores like Best Buy.

“They go for the TVs. I would think that’s everyone’s number one,” McIsaac said.

He’s absolutely right. Best Buy Manager Jim Murphy says, hands down, you get the greatest savings on TVs.

“It can be over 50 percent off right now, so you get substantial discounts. Yeah, 50 inch TVs for $180, for a 4K TV. It’s a really, really, good price,” he said.

Appliances

For major appliances, there’s no need to even wait for Black Friday. Prices are already slashed in anticipation, trying to get folks in early.

“Prices we have right now are going to be the same as we have on Black Friday and Saturday and stuff. So don’t wait for that,” Murphy said.

For small appliances, on the other hand, you should wait for Black Friday.

“Vacuums, air fryers, microwaves, wine coolers, things like that. Those are things you want to wait ‘til Black Friday,” Murphy explained. “That’s when you get the best deals on those.”

Clothing

Definitely buy clothing on Black Friday and designer handbags. Department stores like Kohl’s and Macy’s offer some of the best sales of the year — especially if you combine discounts with in-store coupons from places.

“You do get great deals,” shopper Kim Suarez said. “I have a 14 year old, so it’s fun to go with her.”

DealNews.com says you can find even better clothing deals on Cyber Monday, but you might find it harder to find the size or style you want.

Computers

If you’re looking for a computer, check out the mid-level and cheaper models for the best deals on Black Friday.  Most high end models don’t offer deals, but there are a few.

“We’ve got a MacBook Pro you can save up to $250,” Murphy said, “but where you really see the deals, from a computer standpoint, are the mid-levels and some of the value-type laptops.”

Not to Buy List

On the "Not to Buy" list, if you’re looking for a deal, that is, are the latest versions of Apple products — like the Series 3 Apple Watch; but if you’re looking for an earlier version like the Series One or Two Apple Watch or the iPhone 7, you could actually snag a deal on those.

“Apple Watches, you can save 50 dollars for a Series One,” Murphy said.

Also on the list of things you’re better off waiting to buy:

Tools — wait until DecemberJewelry — wait until JanuaryExercise equipment — wait until JanuaryVideo Games

And don’t expect deals on the latest video game consoles, like the new Nintendo Switch, PS4 Pro, and Xbox One X.  Manufacturers know plenty of folks will buy those, anyway.

“Everybody’s talking about 4K TVs, well, these are the systems that are truly going to use that 4K, so you can get the best picture quality out of your game system,” Murphy explained.

Once again, however, you can get some deals on older models.

“Right now, we’ve got an Xbox One S that’s gonna be on sale for that day for $190. That’s a steal!” Murphy said.

While you won’t see a lot of deals on the newest and best gaming systems, you will see great deals on video games.

“This is the best time of year to get video games themselves.  That’s where you’ll see the best discounts,” he said.

Best Strategy

To get the best deals, be sure to check out all the fliers and plan ahead.  You can also compare prices for major retailers on websites like TheBlackFriday.com and DealNews.com.

Don’t forget about social media, too. A lot of stores will post special deals on their Facebook pages or send you special, exclusive offers if you join their email lists.

Get ready. The holiday shopping season is here!

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” Murphy said. “It’s kind of exciting to have customers rushing in to get those deals. That’s what Black Friday is all about!”

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