Beyond Black Friday: The Best and Worst Things to Buy in November

This is an exceptional month to get deals -- but there are exceptions. Here's what to buy, what will be cheaper next month and what to avoid at all costs.

Kitchen appliances

Whether you’re a casual cook or an actual chef, November is the absolute best time to buy kitchen goods and appliances. Even high-end devices like KitchenAid mixers and essential Pyrex container sets will see extraordinary deals. Our 2016 Black Friday Home Goods Guide anticipates around 50 percent of this year’s small appliance offers will earn the Editors’ Choice nod, in comparison with a typical 19 percent from the rest of the year. Look for deals from stores like Kohl’s, Kmart and Bon-Ton.

Low-end MacBooks and iMacs

Apple computer deals are easier to come by for the smaller and less powerful models. For laptops, that’s the 11-inch MacBook Air; for desktops it’s the 21-inch iMac. Expect low-end 11-inch Airs at $700 and base model 21-inch iMacs at $900.

Midgeneration game consoles

The Xbox One S and the PS4 Slim are new, but the next generation video game consoles for both companies have already been announced (and the PlayStation Pro is already available). That means you’ll be able to get a great deal on what is essentially still a current-gen console. Used versions of the Xbox One and PS4 will be super affordable, but still won’t be much cheaper than new consoles. Look for bundles that include top-rated games and a controller.

Hold off on these purchases …

Winter apparel

If you need a new parka or wool scarf, you’ll see better prices during midseason sales in January, when discounts will top 50 percent.

High-end computers

Intel’s new Kaby Lake processor is still mostly available in ultralight gaming laptops. It won’t see major discounts, but most consumers don’t need these specs anyway.

Apple also doesn’t see big discounts for its more powerful laptops, even following a major update like the one coming up next week. Back in 2012, the last time MacBooks got a significant upgrade, we didn’t see any deals on older models during Black Friday.

Gift cards

These handy stocking stuffers practically rain from the sky in December, when you can easily score $100 of iTunes credit for $80 or even $70.

Exercise equipment

Stores like to take advantage of all those New Year’s resolutions, so wait until early January to pick up weights or an exercise bike.

Toys

Sorry, but if you’re looking for the hottest toys of the season, Black Friday deals will be few and far between. Whatever is the “Frozen” or “Star Wars” toy of this season will be so in-demand that it won’t be discounted often. The truly dedicated can find deals of up to 60 percent off on items from the Toys R Us Fabulous 15 list, but these offers will sell out almost immediately. It might be better to take your chances at finding a deal during December.

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