Black Friday remains one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and plenty of deals are sure to be offered Friday and on Cyber Monday on Nov. 28.
A well-informed shopper is less likely to make unwanted purchases and to fall victim to scams.
Better Business Bureau offers the following smart shopping tips:
o Do your research. Before heading out to the store read product reviews, check out bbb.org for Business Reviews, look at the sales flyers and ads, compare prices, look for early promotions and “flash sales.”
o Be alert. Keep your purse in sight and your wallet in your front pocket.
o Take only one credit card with you. If your wallet gets stolen, you’ll only need to cancel one card. Avoid carrying a lot of cash.
o Read the fine print. Some stores only honor sale ads during a certain time frame, or on certain days. Some stores may only allow you to purchase one item, particularly large, popular and/or deeply discounted products.
o Ask about the return and refund policy. Some stores have a specific policy for items purchased during the holiday season. When shopping online, ask if you have to pay restocking fees or shipping costs for returns
o Make Sure it’s Secure. When making an online purchase, look for the SSL encryption. You can recognize it by the “s” in https:// of the URL or the lock symbol; both ensure that the information you’re about to give out is encrypted for your safety.
o Beware of phishing. Don’t respond to emails that ask for your credit card, bank account number or other personal information.
o Beware of deals that sound too good to be true. Offers on websites and unsolicited e-mails often sound too good to be true, especially extreme low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
o Save all Receipts and Warranties. Organize receipts and warranties by expiration date as it will make all return and exchanges much easier.