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Do You Have Your Black Friday Game Plan, Fairfield?

Shoppers out in full force looking for Black Friday deals.
Shoppers out in full force looking for Black Friday deals. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

Black Friday is here and retailers are touting deep discounts across every product category. But how do you know which deals are actually worth your time and money? 

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Check out, the authority on all things Black Friday, with live updates and premium content to help you get the most out of the biggest shopping holiday of the year. What follows is an abbreviated list of do's and don'ts.

The Best Things to Buy 

  • Smartphones: The newest models will likely come with gift cards or even be completely free with a trade-in. And with three new iPhones and the Google Pixel 2 debuting this fall, older models and less-popular brands will be thirsty for business. Target, for example, has already released its Black Friday ad — and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will come with $250 in Target gift cards.
  • Smart-home … everything: Amazon and Google are in fierce competition in their Alexa vs. Google Home showdown and Amazon just released several new Echo products and its smart home-security-and-door-lock system (Amazon Key). Look for bundle deals as well. 
  • Computers and tablets: Sales on laptops, desktops and tablets will be featured all Thanksgiving weekend long and into Cyber Monday. Make sure to check store hours so you can be there for your top tech items, as they tend to sell out fast.Keep in mind: it pays to know which brands and models you’re interested in, so you can pounce before limited supplies run out. 
  • Older-gen gaming systems: While everyone rushes to get the newest gaming systems, there are great deals to be had on older models. Kohl’s and Target, for example, will both have the Xbox One S on sale for $189.99 (marked down from $279.99), as well as the PlayStation 4 on sale for $199.99 (marked down from $299.99).
  • Smart wearables: Everything from your basic Fitbit Flex to your high-end smartwatch will be on sale at big-box stores, including Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s. In its already-released Black Friday ad, Kohl’s revealed it will have the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Blaze marked down by $50. In general, if you’re willing to get a previous-generation model, you’re positioning yourself for significant savings. For example, if you don’t need the Apple Watch Series 3, scope out deals on the Series 2.

The Worst Things to Buy 

  • Clothing: On Black Friday, retailers feature tempting, dirt-cheap prices on clothing, but these deals will generally be very item-specific and may be in-store only. You’ll also be dealing with disorganized, picked-through clothing bins and limited selection. Cyber Monday is a better day to shop for clothing, as retailers are more likely to have flat sitewide discounts. 
  • The lowest-priced doorbuster TV or laptop: Doorbuster TVs are often off-brand or pared-down versions of well-known models. Components are often cheapened for mass production, so they can have a low price but then don’t last as long. 
  • Jewelry: Department stores and jewelry stores will often mark down their jewelry on Black Friday, but be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals.
  • Holiday decor: Home-goods and hardware stores heavily advertise holiday decor in their Black Friday ads and it’s tempting to buy ornaments, lights and inflatable lawn decorations while you’re in the spirit. But Black Friday Sales on holiday decor are nothing compared to what you’ll find the day after Christmas. So wait … and save those decorations for next year.
  • Appliances and mattresses: Black Friday price cuts on appliances and mattresses can be quite good, but the industry is better known for its “three-day-weekend” sales — Memorial Day, Labor Day, President's’ Day, etc. New Year’s Day is also a big sales day for large appliances and mattresses.

Full read: What Not to Buy on Black Friday & What To Buy Instead.

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