10 Things NOT to Buy During Black Friday 2021

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Wondering what you should not buy during Black Friday 2021? 

crowded walmart store during black friday

This year’s Black Friday deals are right around the corner (some are even live NOW!), but not everything’s actually worth buying during Black Friday 2021!

Can you believe the holiday shopping season is upon us again already? 🤯 Although Black Friday will likely look pretty different this year due to the uncertainly surrounding COVID and many shortages all around, one thing we already know for sure is there will be no shortage of deals to be had!

Just like we saw in 2020, we suspect retailers will be offering more online deals rather than looking to draw large crowds of shoppers into their stores. In fact, we’re even expecting to see a long list of major retailers who will remain completely closed on Thanksgiving, which until last year, wasn’t something we saw happen in years! 😱

woman working in pajamas on the computer shopping Black Friday sales

Honestly, Black Friday felt like an entire month of craziness in November that had us feeling like every day was Cyber Monday! However, we absolutely love shopping in our PJs, so we say, “Bring it on, virtual shopping world!”

One word of caution: While Black Friday deals can be great buys if you know what to look for, you won’t always get the best price on everything during this savings event. There are definitely some items you may want to avoid buying during this time of year.

Here are 10 things NOT to buy during Black Friday 2021:

iPhone box with a bow on it

1. The Latest Apple iPhone… possibly.

The iPhone 13 was released in September 2021, and while we know many people will want to get their hands on it right away, we also know from past experience Black Friday probably won’t be the best time to purchase it.

While some stores may offer gift cards when you purchase the latest Apple iPhone at full price, you’ll usually be better off waiting until around December to score some savings on the newest iPhone. You may also have better luck getting a deal on the previous-generation iPhone 12, and may even be able to get it “for free” if you trade in another recent model.

That said, if you’re looking to switch carriers, start a new plan, and/or have a semi-recent model of an iPhone, you might be able to score a great deal on the iPhone 13… if not free! Some of these offers are available now, which are often just as good (if not better) than the Black Friday iPhone deals we’ve seen in the past.

Hip Tip: If you’re determined to avoid paying full price for these spendy gadgets, bookmark our Apple deals page. We’re always on the hunt for the best deals to help you get the latest tech at the lowest prices!

teal blue velvet quilt blanket and shams in target red cart

2. Linens & Bedding

Unless you’re having guests over for Christmas and have nothing for them to sleep on, you’re better off waiting until the January White Sales when these items usually hit their lowest prices.

During a White Sale, retailers deeply discount sheets, comforter sets, towels, and more as a way to move inventory and entice shoppers. These events date back to January 1878, when department store pioneer John Wanamaker held the first White Sale to sell his extra bedding stock during a slow time of year. Back then, bed linens were only sold in a basic shade of white, thus the name of the sale!

Hip Tip: If your linens could just use a good cleaning, here’s how often you should clean all your bedding and learn how to properly clean white sheets without bleach.

Sterling Silver Jewelry at Kohl's

3. Jewelry

Jewelry is an easy Christmas gift to give to that special someone. However, if you’re able to plan ahead, it’s actually better to shop for these items around Mother’s Day or late summer (July/August), when you’ll be able to score a better deal on your purchase.

Bookmark our jewelry deals page to check out the latest & biggest savings on jewelry before you head into a store, including the best deal on our favorite name necklace! 😍

Hip Tip: Planning to pop the question over the holidays and need to buy an engagement ring soon? 💍 Check out our team-tested tips on shopping for an affordable engagement ring!

Costco Fitness

4. Fitness Equipment

After the holidays, the New Year hits and people are motivated to get into shape. Stores know that shoppers are looking for deals on fitness equipment in January, and they tend to offer the lowest prices at this time of year. You’ll often get the best deal on a gym membership after the holidays, too!

Hip Tip: We recently found the best treadmills & the best exercise bikes to buy! Even better, many of them are super affordable even without a deal!

itunes gift cards sams

5. Gift Cards

There may be a few gift card deals during Black Friday, but if you wait until December, many restaurants, retailers, and even drugstores will offer deals on gift cards to get shoppers into the holiday spirit.

Hip Tip: Though this is one of the things NOT to buy on Black Friday 2021, if you’re planning to shop during Black Friday anyway, consider purchasing discounted gift cards from Raise.com. This is a great way to save a little extra money at the stores where you plan to shop!

smart TVs at Best Buy

6. Latest Brand Name TVs

You’ll be able to find discounted high-end TVs and electronics if you can wait until the end of December. This is when retailers start clearing out older televisions to make room for next year’s models. However, last year, we did see a Hisense 65″ Smart TV go for as little as $249.99 on Black Friday (regularly $499.99).

Also, January is a big month for TV sales as Super Bowl Sunday approaches – if you can wait that long. 😉

winter coats donate post giving back pay it forward

7. Winter Clothing

If you’re able to wait until January or February, that’s when retailers will be stocking up for spring which means many of their popular winter items will start hitting the clearance racks. Right after the holidays is when you’ll be able to find the biggest savings on highly rated and well-known brands of outerwear!

In fact, you’ll often be able to save 75% or more on jackets, winter apparel, gloves, and winter boots if you wait until then to shop. If you’ve got growing kids, consider buying the next size up so they’ll have new winter gear for next year’s cold weather!

Costco Holiday toys

8. Toys

Believe it or not, Black Friday is not always the best time to buy toys for the holidays. You may find some good deals on this year’s most popular toys (if you can find them before they sell out), but retailers will often mark those same toys down even lower about two weeks before Christmas.

In addition, Target hosts its Toy Clearance events in January & July which is a great time to stock the toy closet with toys and games that have been discounted up to 90% off!

Hip Tip: Wondering what the top toys will be in 2021? Target already announced their list of top toys – likely to be on every kid’s wish list this Christmas!

lenovo yoga laptop and box

9. High-Powered Laptops

It might seem like there are a ton of deals on laptops during Black Friday, but most of the laptops advertised are basic, mainstream computers without many bells and whistles. You’ll be able to find better deals on laptops with superior graphics and faster processors during the months of July and September.

Hip tip: These are the best laptops to buy on the market right now!

light up Christmas trees

10. Holiday Decorations

Unless there’s something you absolutely can’t live without, you’re better off waiting for the huge after-Christmas clearance events in January. Stores usually mark holiday items up to 50% off the day after Christmas, and then markdowns continue until items reach as much as 90% off.

When you do shop the after-holiday clearance sales, start stocking up on holiday items you may need for next year while the prices are at rock bottom.

Hip Tip: Check out these tips on how to shop the after-Christmas clearance sales so you’re ready in time for the big sales!

Bookmark this page for all the latest Black Friday news & hottest sales in 2021!

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 10

  1. JMcRayde

    Thank you! Curious you all thoughts on a new refrigerator purchase?! Wondering to either get one now with Labor Day sale or wait until Black Friday?? Advice on Bosch or Cafè brand? We just bought and got a great deal last week at Standard TV and Appliance on all other appliances we needed.

    • Heather

      Honestly, with the smart chip shortages, I wouldn’t wait until Black Friday. I personally think things will get more limited and deals might not be as good due to supply/demand at that time.

    • NV2007

      If you NEED a fridge, just order one now. They are not easy to get. My refrigerator needed repairs last month and the repair guy said NOT to buy a Cafe – it’s what he had and he absolutely wishes he didn’t. He also said to never buy Samsung. Now, I don’t know how accurate all of that is so take it FWIW. But he told us what brands to stay away from if I want a new one.

      • Anita

        I had a Samsung and hated it. From day 1 the refrigerator kept freezing and anything in the deli drawer also. I had them out to repair more times than I can count. They kept replacing a part but it would still malfunction in time. After almost a year I gave up and bought an LG. Won’t buy another of these either.

    • Faith

      This may be too late, but we bought a Cafe after an extensive search in August. We love it! It was so expensive for us, but all of the fridges seem to have issues. The only thing we didn’t love is that it doesn’t have a dual icemaker which we were used to from our crippled Samsung. However, we’ve gotten used to it and plan ahead for bigger gatherings. I personally love the look and space of most Samsungs, but that freezing up condenser issue needs to get fixed. I felt like it took a lot to run out of room on that sucker. The Cafe is really great about space as well though. It’s been a few months and we’re happy. We got it at Home Depot and it had to be shipped which took several weeks but we received it on time. I hope that helps.

  2. ienotaryservices

    Thoughts and suggestions on air fare deals ?

  3. ryanhaase

    NEVER buy a Samsung fridge. Just look up the “Samsung refrigerator recall USA now” group. 87k+ members with major issues. I, too, was burnt by their crappy warranty and service

    • ryanhaase

      *facebook group

  4. Andrea U

    I heard that there is big problems with the TVs sitting out in the ocean, waiting to get into LA/Long Beach Ports … between sitting out there for months and salt in the air.

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