Don't be fooled by these Black Friday deals – they're not real

Black Friday 2023 is upon us, and there are loads of great deals about (see our pick of the best Apple Black Friday deals, for example). But with major brands and retailers now running their Black Friday sales, there is also a lot of trash about too, including offers that are just plain misleading.

From fake or novelty products designed to look like big brand tech to inflated prices and second-hand gear that's more expensive than new products, there are a lot of apparent discounts about that could fool the unwary deal hunter. Here are four Black Friday deals to avoid (and a genuine alternative for each one).

Nintendo Switch OLED (renewed)$349

Nintendo Switch OLED (renewed): $349 $309.99 at Amazon

The Amazon renewed store can be a great source of unexpected savings on unboxed or used items. but this isn't one of those cases. It's always a good idea to check around to see if there isn't a better saving on a new version of the product. In this case there is. Walmart has the Switch OLED for under $300, though the flash sale may not last long.

Better option: Nintendo Switch OLED (new) $349 $297.99 at Walmart

MacBook Air 13 M2 (renewed)$979

MacBook Air 13 M2 (renewed): $979 $919 at Amazon

Here's another example. This is billed as a 'Renewed Premium' product, which means it's been certified by Amazon to work and look like new and to have at least 90% battery capacity... but for $30 more you can ge an Apple-certified genuinely new copy of the same laptop with 100% battery capacity at B&H Photo.

Better option: MacBook Air 13: $949 at B&H Photo

SanDisk Extreme Pro 4TB SSD$319

SanDisk Extreme Pro 4TB SSD: $319 $239.99 at Amazon

25% off a massive 4TB external SSD might sound like a pretty good deal, but there are a couple of things to be aware of. One: SSDs are so often reduced in price that nobody would should ever sensibly pay the full price. Second, this is the SanDisk SSD that was at the centre of controversy earlier this year amid a spate of complaints of it failing. This batch could be just fine, but the incident, and SanDisk's lack of response, seriously damaged confidence in the product. I'd go for a different option

Better option: Samsung T7 Shield 4TB SSD $239 $199 at Amazon: This is a smaller saving, but I've been using this SSD almost every day for over a year and can vouch for its speed and reliability. 

Mini Smartphone 15 Pro$137.90

Mini Smartphone 15 Pro: $137.90 $131.01 at Amazon

This claims to be the world's smallest '15 Pro Max', and if that sounds like a contradiction in terms, it is. It does look a little like a very tiny iPhone 15 Pro Max, but this isn't going to get you Apple's new 5x telephoto lens. Some of our writers do miss the iPhone mini, but it's hard to imagine that a phone the size of a cigarette lighter is going to be capable of doing very much at all.

Genuine alternative: up to $1,000 trade in with Verizon

Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.