Black Friday sales are all around. You’d be tempted to miss out on Black Friday sales if you look at the advertisements of retailers that feature words like “must have deals” or “can’t miss epic finds.”

What makes Black Friday deals worth your time? The key factors are the item’s low price, availability, and affordability.

What to Consider Before You Buy

This item is at its best

The prices of air fryers fluctuate through the year making it difficult for you to know if the offer is really the best. Many people are unable to tell the exact price of an air fryer two weeks ago or two years ago.

You notice a rise in the cost of things you buy every week. Martin Block, professor emeritus at Northwestern University’s integrated marketing communication program Medill, says that if you only buy something once a week or less often, the price will go up.

What can you do as a judge to be a better one? John Boyd, cofounder of ShopSavvy (a price comparison app), says it is important to start tracking prices. An app that allows you to view a product’s history can help you spot the marketing strategies of retailers.

Sometimes a great sale can be hard to spot because you are bombarded with “Oh, we have this great sale and it is X percent or Y% off,” and there is no context.

Check out the prices during the days leading up Black Friday, Nov. 25, this year. ShopSavvy, along with other tools like PayPal Honey, will alert you to price drops on specific items. You can also compare prices across retailers to find the best deals.

In stock

Sometimes, getting the perfect gift for your loved ones is more important than getting the best deal. It was evident that holiday sales are not always sustainable. In 2021, there were many supply chain problems and a surge in demand. This led to inventory shortages and delays. Experts believe that supply problems won’t be nearly as common this year. But, it is possible for popular items to still sell out.

G. Tony Bell, assistant professor at Rutgers Business School’s supply chain management department, says that certain toys, such as consoles and games, will sell quickly. “So I would strongly recommend that you buy early. At best .”

It’s a smart move to shop early, even if the price of the product you are interested in drops after you purchase it.

Debra Radway is a certified financial planner who also teaches at the W.P. Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business.

Learn about the return, exchange, and price adjustment policies of retailers before you shop to ensure you are prepared.

It suits your budget

A Black Friday deal must fit within your budget. If the remaining 1% of the TV is not in your budget, it’s still worth purchasing a TV that is currently in stock.

Bell puts it simply: “Buy only what you can afford.”

Bell warns against using credit cards or installment loans for Black Friday purchases. These are known as purchase now, pay later . This is because of potential interest fees and credit scores.

This is a possibility. According to the 2022 Holiday Shopping Report by NerdWallet, 31% holiday shoppers who used credit cards to purchase gifts in 2021 are still carrying credit.

Radway states that putting together a list for who you’d like to buy presents for the holidays and setting aside a budget to help you control your holiday spending will make it easier.

It’s okay to skip Black Friday sales. You may find that your loved ones value homemade gifts, such as cookies or a card with a personal message, as much as flashy gift cards from stores. You also save money. This is a sweet deal.

This article is by NerdWallet. It was originally published in The Associated Press.