It’s tempting to do just about anything to get the gift your kid covets and your wallet will appreciate. But despite the 40 percent of Americans who believe the biggest sales of the season are on Black Friday, the best time to purchase toys is the two weeks leading up to Christmas. “You’ll find a lot of toy sales closer to Christmas as retailers start clearing up inventory,” says Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert. Considering parents spend an average of $271 per child on Christmas gifts, waiting a couple of weeks could save you a few precious bucks. The one exception: If you’re looking for the hottest new toy it may be worth scouting for sales on Black Friday. These popular items sometimes sell out closer to the holidays.
“Some TVs are made specifically for Black Friday,” says Woroch. “So we see low prices, but they may not have certain features.” If the retailer worked out a deal with the manufacturer to produce Black Friday-specific products (known as “derivative products”), your discounted TV may have a lower-quality display, lack certain audio features, or be impossible to repair past its warranty. Popular companies like Sony and Samsung have manufactured derivative TVs in previous years. Here’s a good way to tell: Research the TV model number. If you don’t see the model offered at other retailers, it was likely manufactured specifically for that store’s Black Friday deals. A better time to find TV discounts? The week leading up to the Super Bowl. Retailers push to move inventory, and big screens run 5 to 10 percent cheaper than they do during the three months before and after the game. Find out the history of Black Friday.