Black Friday Advice: What to Wait For, What to Buy

The day after Thanksgiving may be the biggest shopping day of the year, but experts say it may not be the best day to snag discounts.

By Ana Garcia and Keith Esparros
|  Friday, Dec 21, 2012  |  Updated 12:39 PM PDT
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From toys to televisions, Lindsey Sakriada, of dealnews.com, explains which bargains are best on Black Friday and which items consumers should wait to purchase. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2012.

Ana Garcia

From toys to televisions, Lindsey Sakriada, of dealnews.com, explains which bargains are best on Black Friday and which items consumers should wait to purchase. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2012.

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Black Friday Deals

Shoppers eager to get a leg up on their holiday shopping and snag some deals along the way are already camping outside their favorite stores. Mekhalo Medina has a look at some of the best deals – including a 15-inch laptop for $187 – for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2012.
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The biggest shopping day of the year is nearly upon us, and Angelenos have already started camping out for Black Friday, when millions of shoppers pack malls jockeying for position, elbowing perfect strangers, and searching endlessly for parking spaces that appear to be rarer than a White Christmas in LA.

Black Friday may be the biggest shopping day, but an expert told NBC4 it may not be the best day to find bargains. And it all depends on what shoppers are looking to buy.

Shoppers forsaking sleep and a couple good football games for a bargain on toys might do better to stay home, said Lindsey Sakriada, of dealnews.com.

The best price for toys won’t come around until about two weeks before Christmas, Sakraida said. So, for toy hunters, it’s best to wait.

The single exception to the no-toy rule might be video game bundles.

“We see a lot of good deals on special holiday game bundles around Black Friday, but otherwise, stay away from most toys,” Sakraida said.

Jewelry and brand name televisions will be priced much better after the first of the year, experts said.

“They will see better prices in January and February right before the manufacturers release the 2013 models,” Sakraida said.

But if shoppers must have a TV by the time holidays roll around, the way to go might be budget.

Lower-end models from manufacturers like Emerson and TCL will be priced to sell on Black Friday. WalMart is offering a 50-inch Emerson set for under $300.00.

“That’s an amazing bang for your buck,” Sakraida said.

And if you’re worried that a budget TV may be finding its way to the e-waste pile before too long, that’s not necessarily so. Experts say the televisions might not have high-tech apps or even internet connectivity, but if you’re just looking to watch your favorite shows, a lower-end TV may be just the option for you.

Dealnews.com note that Black Friday is not becoming obsolete, but rather is expanding to cover more than just the day after Thanksgiving. They say stores want to capitalize on the idea of Black Friday, but actually start pricing bargains for weeks before Thanksgiving.

And here’s a fact that could make even the most ardent Black Friday shopper see red: Some retailers can’t help themselves. With stores packed with motivated shoppers, some actually raise prices on some items on Black Friday.

And that might be just enough to turn off the alarm, drift back into that post-Thanksgiving, tryptophan-induced slumber, and dream about the bargains you can find when you wake up and shop online, where experts said most of those in-store Black Friday deals will also be available.

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