Worst Deals of Black Friday 2015

Worst Deals of Black Friday 2015

For many, Black Friday marks an official start of the holiday season. The first round of holiday shopping is done, and soon lights are on houses, Christmas trees are in homes, and before you know it, ol’ St. Nick is paying your home a visit.

Unfortunately, like every silver lining, Black Friday has a touch of grey in that among all the wonderful deals and doorbusters, there are bad deals sprinkled here and there. Like an Uncle that’s had too much egg-nog, these deals suck the fun right out of the holiday.

The Black Friday pros here at BFAds.net know all about these deals, and that’s why we’ve brought you a short list of some of the worst deals this Black Friday has to offer. While these deals aren’t any kind of scam or rip-off, most are just not the kind of deal you’d expect out of Black Friday, and are not discounted at all, or can be found at better prices other times of the year.

Apple iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is somewhat the same, yet still much different than traditional iPads, and looks to fill a previously non-existent gap which Apple discovered somewhere between a tablet and a laptop. The iPad Pro differs from iPads of the past by first being huge in comparison, with a 12.9” screen, and having nearly double the processing power of the iPad Air 2. The other differences are pages ripped right out of the Surface Pro playbook, with a “Smart Keyboard” detachable cover, and a stylus which Apple dubbed Apple Pencil.

The great news is that Apple has released the iPad Pro just in time for Black Friday! The bad news, as always, is that Apple is the proverbial Black Friday Scrooge, running customers off their doorstep while waving an angry first in the air and screaming “bah humbug!” There are absolutely no deals to be found on the iPad Pro this year, despite all the big strides retailers have made on nearly every other model of iPad, as we detailed in our Black Friday 2015 Tablet Buying Guide.

So while the iPad Pro may carry all the fanfare and razzle-dazzle we’ve come to expect from Apple, you’ll have to keep waiting to find it at a bargain price.

Sony PlayStation 4

If not for the all-out battle-royale taking place between retailers fighting to have the best Black Friday Xbox One bundle, the Sony PlayStation 4 may not have ever made this list.

After all, the holiday bundle has been released. It includes a 500GB PS4 console, a DualShock 4 wireless controller, and all of the Uncharted games. Additionally, the bundle was preceded by the first official price cut for the PlayStation 4, making the bundle price $349.99 MSRP. Each and every retailer has this bundle at a $50 discount, dropping the price to $299.99.

This all sounds fantastic until a wandering eye peeps a glimpse at what is going on over at the Xbox One camp, and then this deal begins to lose its luster. Retailers are falling over themselves to add on free games, gifts cards, and controllers onto the Xbox One 500GB Gears of War bundle, with retailers like Dell even winning a spot on our Top 10 Black Friday Deals of 2015 by throwing in a free controller and Fallout 4. Not only that, but there are over half a dozen bundles to choose from, including some with special edition consoles and controllers, many with a massive 1TB of storage.

The only option for special Black Friday savings on the Playstation 4 holiday bundle is at Kohl’s, where you’ll get $75 Kohl’s cash, or as one of our readers pointed out, $90 Kohl’s cash if you find a way to spend an extra penny. A Playstation 4 console for $299.99 may be a good deal, but it isn’t necessarily something you wouldn’t normally see in a Sunday paper, and when there is so much competition and deals to be found on Xbox One, it doesn’t make Black Friday necessarily the best time to go out and grab a PS4.

HDTV Accessories

Some electronics accessories like USB hard drives, thumb drives, SD cards, and even camera bags and laptop cases have come a long way, and are among some of the most heavily discounted Black Friday products in addition to being thrown in as bundle freebies. Where the Black Friday spirit abruptly ends is on the doorstep of HDTV accessories, particularly HDMI cables and wall mounts. We warn our readers every year, and proclaim that these are some of the worst deals to be had on Black Friday. In fact, one quick glance at page 5 of the Best Buy Black Friday ad shows a perfect example.

Best Buy has their house brand Insignia HDMI cable discounted by $10 for Black Friday, and is $9.99 for a 6-ft. HDMI cable, or $14 for an 8-ft. HDMI cable. A quick search at Amazon.com shows their everyday price for the house brand Amazon Basics 9.8ft for $6.49 shipped free with Amazon Prime. One could literally buy two 9.8ft cables for less than the cost of a single Black Friday discounted 8ft HDMI cable at Best Buy.

On HDTV mounts, just a few inches to the right of the HDMI cables, there’s an Insignia brand HDTV wall mount featured at Best Buy for $30 off for a Black Friday price of $29.99. Note that this is a flat wall mount that offers no tilting articulation on the HDTV. Again, Amazon trumps this deal with a Cheetah Tilting Wall Mount for 20”-75” HDTVs for $25.61 shipped. Not only does this allow tilt adjustment of the HDTV, this mount includes a free 6’ braided HDMI cable and magnetic level. This mount is Amazon’s #1 best-selling wall mount and has a 4.5 star rating with over 10,000 reviews.

The lesson here is, as we always tell our readers, plan ahead, and order your HDTV accessories online ahead of time if you know you’re going to be purchasing an HDTV on Black Friday. It’s one of the best ways to save money and avoid a Black Friday pitfall.

Smart Phones

As part of branding itself as the “uncarrier,” T-Mobile set off a new trend for mobile phone providers over a year ago by doing away with service contracts. Instead of subsidizing the price of an expensive new smart phone by locking customers into a two year service agreement, customers would purchase the phone outright by paying for the phone in monthly installments added to their bill, on top of the cost of services.

AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon soon followed suit, which has ultimately led to this year’s somewhat lackluster deals in Smart Phones. A quick glance at our own 2013 and 2014 Black Friday Smart Phone Buying Guides shows that in years past, one could walk into just about any retailer that sold smart phones and walk out with the newest flagship Android phone for free, or sometimes for a single penny with a 2 year activation. iPhones were never free, but would see a modest price reduction with a gift card thrown in to make the deal worthwhile.

This year, we see where this road has led us, every incentive is only a gift card, some even after mail-in rebate. Yes, just as in years past, if you’re well-qualified, you can walk into a retailer and walk out with a new smart phone and a gift card without ever taking out your wallet. Except now you’ve got a massive bill tacked on to your monthly phone plan. The rub with contracts used to be that while the phone was free, the early termination fees could be as high as $350 if you left soon after signing up with your new carrier. Now there are no contracts, but to leave your carrier your phone must be paid off, and looking at the fine print of Black Friday ads reveals that you’re stuck with a $586 bill for a new Galaxy S6 32GB, and $698 for an iPhone 6s 16GB.

So while Black Friday might still be the best time to buy a new Smart Phone, since normally you wouldn’t even receive a gift card or service credit incentive, they are deals only in name compared to years past.

New Nintendo 3DS/3DS XL

Nintendo is the undisputed king of handheld consoles. Many have tried, but all have failed to unseat Nintendo from their iron throne of on-the-go gaming, and with such massive success and a huge library of hit titles, it makes the Nintendo the only game in town for those shopping for a portable console. While they may be wizards at creating games, they’re high school talent show magicians at naming the consoles, adding a ton of confusion to an already somewhat confusing set of handhelds by naming their new Nintendo 3DS console the New Nintendo 3DS, and making it available in an XL flavor, aptly named New Nintendo 3DS XL. If you’re not confused yet, here is a list of Nintendo handhelds you’ll see on shelves this black Friday, all of which play the exact same games: Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 3DS XL.

This, of course, doesn’t necessarily make for a bad Black Friday deal, but the New Nintendo 3DSXL console has but a paltry $20 off at various retailers, and the New Nintendo 3DS (currently only available in an Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Bundle) isn’t discounted at all. To top it off, neither of these consoles include an AC adapter. That’s right, if you go out and buy a New Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL, you’ll have to spend your $20 savings on an AC adapter to be able to charge the device. The reasoning from Nintendo is that because they’ve resold the same device so many times (2DS, 3DS, 3DSXL) they are assuming you already have one.

Even Kohl’s can’t save you here, as the console they’ve advertised is the Nintendo 3DS XL at the same $179.99 price point as the New Nintendo 3DS XL at other retailers, but with some additional savings thanks to Kohl’s cash (and with an AC adapter included.)

So with only $20 savings that needs to be put towards an accessory that is 100% required to make the New Nintendo 3DSXL function, this is not a Black Friday deal in any way, shape, or form.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve got your own Black Friday bad deal you’d like to share with us, head to the comments section and help us and our readers avoid finding a lump of coal in our shopping bags.

Of course, bad deals are but road apples on the path to everything we love about Black Friday, like doorbusters, discounts, price breaks, and ad leaks. BFAds.net is your one stop shop for the latest info on all that Black Friday has to offer, both good and bad! Stay updated with the latest from BFAds.net but following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and downloading our new Black Friday app!

November 22, 2015
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