Now that all of the little ghouls and goblins have finished trick-or-treating for Halloween, we can turn our attention to bigger things, like the holiday shopping season.
Over the next two months, shoppers will be looking to find the best deals on Christmas gifts for everyone on their list. It's estimated that the average adult in the U.S. will spend $785 on Christmas gifts this year.
Much of that money will be spent in the month of November. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year. But are shoppers really getting the biggest bang for their buck on these popular shopping extravaganzas?
Now that November is upon us, we're going to tell you some of the best, and worst, things to buy during the month.
Items you SHOULD buy in November
- Televisions - Black Friday is known for extremely low prices on televisions. Most retailers use highly discounted TVs as a "doorbuster" item. These are items that are set at such a low price, shoppers line up outside the door for hours waiting to get one of the few on-hand. This year even 4K televisions are expected to be available on Black Friday at prices lower than we've ever seen before.
- Home appliances - This is a great month to upgrade your home appliances. You should see great deals on these items, especially during the week of Black Friday. Dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, washers and dryers are all expected to be discounted to the lowest prices of the year.
- Tablets - Now is a great time to pick up a new tablet. Especially budget tablets. You should be able to find an eight-inch quad-core Android tablet in the $40 range. These make great gifts for children who are entering the world of computers.
- Headphones - Whether you are looking for earbuds or over-the-ear headphones, you will find great deals in November. Comfort and sound quality are the two biggest factors in finding the right headphones. If you are giving headphones as a gift make sure you ask the retailer its return policy and get a gift receipt. This will make it easier for the person receiving the gift to return the headphones if they're not the right fit for them.
- Gaming consoles - PlayStation and Xbox have new game consoles on the market. You can even step into the world of virtual reality if you're ready. This makes it a great time to find deals on their previous models. Retailers also package these game consoles in bundles around the holidays. Bundles come with the best deals.
- Coffee makers - These make great Christmas gifts. There are so many styles of coffee makers to choose from, like a traditional one that makes a full pot of coffee or a single cup brewer. You can get a basic coffee maker in the $25 range. The popular single-serve coffee machines sell for around $100. You will be able to find discounted prices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Apparel - Cyber Monday is the best day to find deals on clothes. You can expect to see prices drop up to 50 percent on clothing, shoes and even beauty items. If you're shopping online, make sure you look around for digital coupons. These will give you even more savings.
Items you should NOT buy in November
- Furniture - Sofas and loveseats don't come to mind when I think of Christmas gifts. The latest gadgets and toys are what most shoppers are looking for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For this reason, retailers don't normally have big furniture sales during the holiday season. The best time of year to find deals on home furnishings is in the summer. You will most likely be able to find discounts of up to 50 percent on furniture in July and August.
- Laptops - The best time to buy a new laptop is in August. This is when retailers put them on sale for the back-to-school period, trying to target students. Bonus tip: Manufacturers usually offer discounts year-round on laptops for students and teachers. If you qualify, you can save up to 15 percent. So don't forget to ask your salesperson.
- Cellphone - November is not a great month to buy a new cellphone. Since most service providers these days add the cost of a new phone to your monthly bill, deals are harder to come by. The best time for you to get a new phone at a lower price is when you're due for an upgrade with your carrier.
- Bedding - Even though you will probably find some good deals on bedding this month, the deals won't be as good as you will find in January. Blankets, bed sheets, duvets and pillows are usually marked down between 20 and 40 percent during November sales events. However, most retailers have January white sales on bedding and bath items and will mark them down anywhere from 50 to 70 percent.
- Flights - Being with friends and family is probably the best part of the holidays. Having a huge family dinner and taking in the ballgame with those closest to you make memories to cherish forever. With that in mind, finding deals on air travel this time of year can be a struggle. If you want to spend the holidays with family your best bet is to plan ahead. Airports are super crowded over the holidays and airlines charge a premium on most flights. To find the best deals on travel during the holidays you should keep your eye on sites that offer alerts if prices go down. That way you can find the best deal without breaking your budget.