(CBS MoneyWatch) If you are one of the brave souls who will venture out on Black Friday (and the newer version, "Gray Thursday"), one of the best ways to save money is to not fall prey to retailers' seemingly "great deals." According to dealnews.com, not everything will be a good purchase on Black Friday. The site has compiled 10 items that are not worth buying this Black Friday.
1. Toys. Were you tempted by the "Toys-R-Us 2012 Holiday Hot Toy List"? Well, you may want to wait to buy that coveted Furby. Most retail experts say that without a "must-have" toy this season, many will see deep discounts within two weeks of Christmas.
2. Apple iPad mini. While there may be an iPad mini promotion out there, chances are the price will remain close to the current $329. Early adopters should be aware that the iPad mini is fairly close to the iPad 2, and that's the version that is likely to see a steep Black Friday discount.
3. Microsoft Surface RT Tablet. If you aren't an Apple fan boy or girl and wanted to give the new Microsoft Tablet, you may want to show a little restraint. If the new Surface sales are weak, the tablet's price could fall considerably by the spring.
4. Windows 8 PC. This item was not on the dealnews.com list, but ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols warns that "before you buy a new Windows 8 PC at any price you should keep in mind that many of your old applications aren't supported on Windows 8. Some older Windows applications, such as Quicken, aren't supported on Windows 8."
5. Jewelry and watches. The worst time to buy these items is the holiday season and Valentine's Day, when demand peaks. Deal News says this category should be on the "Do Not Buy List" for the entire holiday season. Save the purchase of these items for the spring and summer, when the best deals occur.
6. Game consoles without a bundled item: If you're looking to buy any of the major video game consoles this holiday, you will probably get a better deal with bundled products. In the past few holiday seasons, consoles that included premium accessories and two or three game titles were frequently discounted 30 to 40 percent off their retail prices.
7. Name brand HDTVs. If you have been holding out for a sweet, new HDTV and plan to splurge on Black Friday, make sure to skip the name brands. The best prices will be found with third-tier manufacturers. If you really want the big name, wait until after the New Year, when manufacturers mark down older models in preparation for the new ones due in spring.
8. The latest digital cameras. Like HDTVs, your best bet for a digital camera is an older model. If you are hoping for a new digital SLR, hold off until February or later when it becomes an "old model."
9. Holiday decorations. You may not be able to put this off if you have no left over holiday paper from last year, but not surprisingly, holiday decorations tend to be terrible items to purchase on Black Friday. Remember that deals on Christmas items get better the closer we get to the holiday itself -- and of course are the best after the holiday.
10. Winter apparel: Unless you really need that winter coat or scarf, wait until January, when winter apparel goes into the clearance bins.
Don't forget that if you are going to brave the crowds this holiday season, conduct research before you go out. Many of the large brick and mortar stores will have online coupons, so you can easily compare prices from the comfort of your home. If you have a smart phone, load it up with shopping apps like Nextag, TGI Black Friday and Snip Snap. As always be sure to bring a list of the items you want so you don't blow your whole holiday budget early with spur of the moment, emotional purchases.
But if you Must.. There's an App For That
(MoneyWatch) As my grandfather might have said in his youth while gazing upon an airplane: "What an age we live in." Once upon a time, the only way to know about holiday sales after Thanksgiving was to comb the newspaper or trudge from store to store at the mall. These days? Technology.
More specifically, you can use the web and an assortment of smartphone apps to get out in front of the busiest shopping season of the year. In fact, there are so many Black Friday resources available, it can be hard to know where to start. Here's my take on the sites, tools, and services that'll give you the best mileage this week:
Start at Amazon. Honestly, folks, do you really want to leave the house at all? I certainly don't. Amazon has you covered with its Black Friday Deals page, which not only keeps you in the loop op special deals for Friday (and the following Cyber Monday), but it lists early deals that are in effect right now.
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Scan for deals. Even if you do head out to the stores, make sure you have Amazon's app installed -- you can use it to scan product codes while standing in the aisle to find the best online price and read reviews. Don't forget: Some stores will price match even online prices this Black Friday, so it's convenient to be able to point to Amazon's price on your phone.
One site to rule all the ads. No self-respecting serious Black Friday shopper would start the day without researching deals at BFAdsnet, a site that aggregates advertisements and deals from every major retailer in the country, from AAFES (the on-base military exchange department store network) to Walmart, and everything in between.
Google pulls it all together. Before you buy anything, be sure to check out Google's Shopping page, which will feature some Black Friday deals from major retailers.
Check out retailer apps. If you don't mind installing specific apps for the various retailers you plan to visit, there can be some good deals and information locked within. Take Walmart for the iPhone, for example -- you'll find store layout maps as well as a guide to Black Friday deals in the store.