Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday. Black Friday laptop deals are traps that trick you into thinking you can save money on a computer. Smart shoppers who know how to get a great deal on a laptop don’t buy laptops on Black Friday.
Black Friday 2015 falls on November 27. Experts predict the big bad shopping day will draw record crowds and shatter sales records. While the promise of a cheap computer can be tempting, resist the hype. Consumers who don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday will dodge the hassles below.
|Reasons You Shouldn't Buy a Laptop on Black Friday|
|Shoddy brands||A low price on a terrible brand is not a deal. Know the top brands before you shop.|
|Shoddy models||Trusted manufacturers make cheap models to compete with bad-brand deals. Check online ratings of models in stores before you buy.|
|Even the Real Deals Are a Trap||Truly great deals are shiny lures that run out fast. Most shoppers get stuck paying full price or walk home with a garbage "deal" (see above).|
|There are much better times to buy||Buy right after the holidays or in late spring when new models arrive to get a price drop on an older laptop.|
|Avoid the Hassle and Danger||Panic buying on Black Friday strips consumers of their natural defense against getting ripped off. It's also frustrating and dangerous.|
1. Shoddy Brands
Need a great deal on a laptop? Then don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday. The #1 reason is the brands. According to Laptopmag, 8 laptop brands have consistently held the top 9 slots for best laptops in all the land. The chances of coming home with a great deal on a laptop by one of those 8 makers on Black Friday are slim to none. The reason is, stores have learned they can lure in lots of customers on Black Friday with prices that are too good to be true.
The problem is, a low price on a bad laptop isn’t too good to be true. It’s just plain true, and the truth is, you got ripped off. Want to avoid getting ripped off by a shoddy brand at a just-plain-true price? It’s simple. Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday.
How to Spot a Good/Great Laptop Brand
Determined to hit the stores on Black Friday anyway? Prep for the crush by knowing a good laptop brand from a bad one. Low prices on these brands might just be the real deal.
|Best Laptop Brands According to LaptopMag|
|Apple||Consistently tops the list for best reviews, tech support and quality.|
|Dell||Dell wins the laptop war for best value and selection, with great tech support.|
|HP||Good reviews, tech support and selection.|
|MSI||New to the list, MSI makes a strong showing in 2015.|
|Samsung||The Samsung Chromebook 2 starts at $190 on Amazon and gets 4.5 stars.|
|Lenovo||The Lenovo G50 15.6" gets 4.5 stars on Amazon and sells for $369.|
|ASUS||The ASUS C201 Chromebook sells for $162 on Amazon and gets 4.5 stars.|
|Toshiba||Toshiba has sunk from 4th place to 8th in four years.|
|Acer||Consistenly lowest in the top 9, Acer ranks worst of the best.|
Also see: 18 Big Ways to Save Money at Amazon
2. Shoddy Models
Even if you find a low price on a laptop from one of the top makers above, that still doesn’t mean a great Black Friday deal. The “Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday” advice still holds up for the best brands. The reason is, even the best laptop manufacturers don’t want to miss out on the big Black Friday gold rush. Respected laptop makers frequently make deals with retailers to turn out lower quality models, specially as Black Friday deals. Stores will also dump less popular laptops by good brands on Black Friday, knowing the buying frenzy will make shoppers forget to be choosy.
So although you might find a really low price on a top brand, unless you’ve verified that it’s a great model also, you still shouldn’t buy a laptop on Black Friday.
How to Find a Good Laptop Model
Still planning to brave the stampede despite our “Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday” advice? Go in armed. Bring your smartphone and do an online review check on your too-good-to-be-true deal before you shell out. A fast search on Google Shopping or Amazon to check star ratings and reviews can warn you off buying a lemon. Just googling the laptop’s model number along with the word “review” can also separate a great Black Friday laptop deal from a polished ham sandwich.
3. Even the Real Deals are a Trap
What if you look in the store circulars and you find a great brand and a great model at a great price? In other words, you’re sure you’ve unearthed a really great Black Friday laptop deal? Don’t hit the launch button just yet, Tony Stark. Our “Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday” advice isn’t finished saving your money from the bad-deal trap yet. Yes, there’s a great deal on a Black Friday laptop in the circular. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a great deal in the store.
Retailers can’t advertise lies. They can however advertise truths that run out. A great deal in a circular might be backed by one or two great, low priced laptops on the shelves. The classic trap most Black Friday laptop buyers run into is, they’ve jumped into the fray and the deal that made them drool on the circular is sold out. Do they slink home empty handed? No. They either fork over full price for a laptop they could have bought any time or get a “deal” on a no-name piece of garbage they’d never buy on a normal day. If you don’t want that to be you, then don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday.
There are Much Better Times to Buy a Laptop
There’s another reason the “Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday” mantra holds true. In a nutshell, there are better times to buy. Finding low prices on good laptops is easier in early summer and after the holidays.
Early summer is the best time to buy a laptop. That’s when manufacturers ship their new models to stores. To make room on shelves, retailers give price drops on last year’s laptops. That means shoppers get deals. If you can wait for early June, don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday.
After the holidays is another great time to get a deal on a laptop. If you can’t wait for summer, maybe January isn’t such a stretch. That’s when stores left holding the bag try to shed excess inventory. You shouldn’t buy a laptop on Black Friday if you can wait 36 days until January.
Any time of year online. Can’t even wait for the year to roll over? Have no fear. Amazon’s open box deals are open all year round. If that doesn’t work, check Google Shopping for bargains. Just type in “laptop deals” or “laptops.” You can even sort by price: low to high. Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday unless you’ve compared prices online.
|Better Times to Buy a Laptop Than Black Friday|
|Early summer||New laptop models come out in the summer. That makes price drops on previous models.|
|Right after the holidays||Stores stuck with inventory in January need to unload it. Get a price drop early in the year.|
|Any time online||Google shopping and Amazon open box deals are great ways to find laptop deals.|
Avoid the Hassle and Danger
The entire point of Black Friday is to cram the stores with as many shoppers as possible to create panic buying. The magic formula for retailers is a very few good deals on good merchandise and a whole lot of junk. Even savvy shoppers who do their homework can toss it all out the window in the face of missing out on “a great deal.” Don’t buy a laptop on Black Friday if you don’t want to be part of a psychology experiment that strips away all your defenses against hucksterism.
Aside from the scam angle, Black Friday just plain isn’t fun. 43% of people who shop on Black Friday say they don’t like it. That aside, Black Friday is dangerous. Shoppers have been run over in parking lots, stabbed, shot, pepper sprayed, killed in car crashes and had all kinds of other bad Black Friday luck. As evidence, here’s a list of 40 awful Black Friday true stories. While we admit you’re not likely to get killed hunting a Black Friday laptop deal, you shouldn’t buy a laptop on Black Friday if you don’t want the hassle and risk.