The holiday shopping season kicks off this weekend with the annual orgy of spending and violence known as Black Friday. And while there are sure to be plenty of sales worth checking out, the truth is, some things just aren’t worth buying during the holidays.
That’s because no matter how good the deals you see on Black Friday may look, there are even better sales later in the year. What’s more, some of the products that retailers want you to buy for your loved ones are actually terrible gift ideas.
So whether you’re making a pilgrimage to the mall or doing all your shopping in your bathrobe from your computer, you’ll want to avoid these gifts.
Nearly every major retailer is going to be advertising some kind of smartphone sale on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And, hey, if you’re in the market for a new handset, by all means take advantage of those sweet, sweet deals.
But unless you’re a parent buying a new phone for your kid, or you’re buying for your spouse or significant other with whom you share the phone bill, getting a smartphone as a gift is a terrible idea.
That’s because in order to buy the phone, you’re more than likely going to have to sign up for a carrier agreement. That means if you buy your niece or nephew a handset, you’re going to be responsible for that person’s monthly bill. And unless you’re some kind of oil baron, that’s a pretty over-the-top gift.
Your best bet is to simply avoid giving smartphones as gifts.
TVs have become the quintessential Black Friday purchase. How many times have you seen local news segments covering Black Friday sales with customers pushing shopping cars stacked with four or five TVs?
Despite the hype, the TVs you see on sale on Black Friday aren’t really worth being bitten by a sale-hungry shopper for. Sure, you might see a 50-inch TV selling for $200, but that TV is more than likely a budget model and won’t have all the same features or quality of a big-brand TV.
What’s more, TVs are actually less expensive following in mid- to late January following the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES), where TV makers introduce their newest models. That’s also around the time you’ll see sales leading up to the Super Bowl. Sales get even better around March as retailers begin to clear out their remaining stock for newer models.