As joyous and heartwarming as the holiday season can be, there are always things about the holidays that are downright disappointing. The string of lights that stops working because one bulb is bad. The cousin that always gives you fruitcake. The office Christmas party where you have to pretend that ugly sweaters are still funny. And of course, the bad Black Friday deal!
For all the big savings, freebies, and doorbusters, there are always some rotten apples mixed into the Black Friday barrel. Every year, BFAds brings you our Worst Deal List, where we pick those bad apples from the bunch to make sure they don’t end up in your holiday pie. Remember, these aren’t bad products, rip-offs, or scams of any sorts. Quite the contrary! These are the most beloved, celebrated, and wished-for items on holiday shopping lists across the country, but for some reason or another, have fallen through the cracks and have no deals to be found on Black Friday.
The Nintendo Switch is one of the most painful “worst” Black Friday deals; The kind that is advertised everywhere but not discounted anywhere! Whether you’re browsing the Black Friday ads for Gamestop, Best Buy, Target, or even Walmart (where it is on the front page), the Nintendo Switch is calling to shoppers with a siren song that leads only to the dreaded MSRP.
It’s not unusual for new consoles to hold strong at their everyday retail price on Black Friday, but usually if there is not a price break there will at least be a holiday bundle that includes digital downloads of games, extra controllers, or other freebies. Sadly, Nintendo did nothing of the sort, and the only retailers that created their own bundle is Texas based grocer H-E-B, who is throwing in a free game with Nintendo Switch purchase, and Meijer, who is tossing in a $30 coupon for use on your next shopping trip with purchase of a new Switch console.
That leaves everyone not in Texas or the handful of states that Meijer serves without any doorbuster savings on the Nintendo Switch. So, because there are no true deals to be found on the Nintendo Switch, coupled with the fact that we’re reminded of it in nearly every ad, the Switch has earned a spot on our list this year.
Making a repeat appearance on our naughty list is OLED 4K UHDTVs. Being the spiritual successor to plasma by delivering superior picture quality with life-like color, impossibly deep black levels, and wide viewing angles, shoppers around the country were waiting and clamoring for a doorbuster deal on an OLED TV, but were left out in the cold for the second year running.
The lone Black Friday listing is at BJ’s where they feature a deal on an LG 55” OLED Ultra HDTV (OLED55B7P) for $1749.99, which is $100 more than the price listing at time of writing, and $150 more than the similarly equipped B7A model on Amazon which sells for $1596. The only other appearance of OLED is several Cyber Monday deal listings from Dell Home, which advertises the B7A from LG, this time for $4 more than the Amazon listing, and AAFES which are only advertisements and not really sale prices. So while shoppers were treated to a lot of doorbuster deals on 4K Ultra HDTVs this Black Friday, anyone holding out for an OLED display will have to keep checking back with BFads throughout the holidays for any price breaks that might occur.
Occupying the spot on our list previously held by the Playstation 4 Pro, the Xbox One X is the latest 4K console offering from Microsoft, and is the current title holder for world’s most powerful home console.
Last year, the Playstation 4 Pro made our worst deals list for being a new hardware refresh that had no Black Friday deals, an issue compounded by the fact that the Xbox One S had just been released and was widely discounted at retailers across the nation. This year, even the Playstation 4 Pro has received a respectable Black Friday discount over at GameStop where they are offering Sony’s 4K console for a full $50 off, the lowest price ever seen on the Pro.
Microsoft is not a total Scrooge here, as there are plenty of Xbox One S deals to be found, including the 500GB Xbox One S which is discounted to $189.99 at every major retailer, and even a few stores like Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Dell Home creating their own bundles which include games and extra controllers, at times even with the 1TB Xbox One variants.
In the year where 4K doorbusters have really taken hold of Black Friday, with deals on UHDTVs of all sizes, the aforementioned PS4 Pro deal at GameStop, and even 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays for under $10 at Best Buy, a deal on the ultimate 4K home console could have been the coup de grace. Instead, we are left with only the beautiful dream of the ultimate 4K Black Friday and Xbox One X on our worst deals list.
Is Nintendo becoming the new Apple? Long ago, Apple was widely regarded as the Ebenezer Scrooge of Black Friday, unwilling to toss a few shillings to their millions of humble fans even on Thanksgiving. With Apple’s heart having grown three sizes since then, Nintendo has somehow become the beloved company that bleeds innovation but is in need of a visit from the ghost of Christmas past.
It’s one thing for the Nintendo Switch not to be discounted on Black Friday, which is disappointing but still understandable, as it has set the video game world on fire since its release this past March, but the absence of Nintendo handhelds is somewhat baffling.
In the past, Nintendo 3DS bundles have made an appearance on quite of few of our top 10 lists, with game bundles and special edition consoles created for the holiday shopping season. The puzzling part of this Black Friday is that there is actually a new handheld bundle from Nintendo, except the bundle is for the original Nintendo 2DS, their oldest model of console still in production, and one that saw a new hardware refresh this past summer with the New Nintendo 2DS. The bundle includes a pre-installed copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and a green, Link-themed Nintendo 2DS console for $79.99, and is available at Best Buy, Gamestop, Target, and Walmart.
While this might be somewhat of a treat for Zelda fans, the fact that it includes the most lackluster console in the current family of Nintendo handhelds makes it a bit underwhelming, and leaves anyone wishing to get a great deal on the newest versions of Nintendo’s handhelds, namely the “New” series of handhelds, without any great Black Friday deals.
It might seem like beating a dead reindeer at this point, but let’s never forget the mother of all bad Black Friday deals: home theater cables and accessories! Even doorbuster deals on HDMI cables like the Rocketfish “Ultra HD” 4ft HDMI cable found on page 7 of the Best Buy ad for $9.99 are a trap for a couple of reasons. First, a 6ft Amazon Basics HDMI cable is $3 less than this sale price, and secondly, just like the past days of “gold plated” or “thx certified” cables, there is nothing special about an “Ultra HD” cable. Any HDMI cable made over the last few years, and many even before that, will work just fine for Ultra HD.
On the same page is the other classic Black Friday pitfall, the Rocketfish TV mount, which is $39.99 after a $60 discount. Heading over to Amazon once again, we can find this Cheetah wall mount for TVs up to 80” which includes a free magnetic bubble level and 10ft braided HDMI cable for only $19.96.
Did we miss a stinker of a deal that you think should be on our list? Head down to our comments section and let us know which deals we should avoid this Black Friday, or which deals are simply advertisements and aren’t really deals at all.
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