Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching, and Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina offers tips to help make your shopping adventure as smooth as possible:
Create a budget and stick to it. How can you keep from overspending? BBB has once again teamed up with Clearpoint Credit Solutions to offer the HolidayPlanner Calculator. This easy-to-use online tool will help you create a budget that is realistic for the way you celebrate, entertain, travel and give gifts this holiday season.
Do not fall for the too-good-to-be-true deal. Get to know retailers first by checking out their Business Reviews at bbb.org. Compare prices before you hit the stores on Black Friday so you know if you really are getting a great deal.
Shop small on Small Business Saturday. For the fourth year in a row, BBB is supporting Small Business Saturday and urging consumers to support the small businesses in their communities on November 30. In 2012, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small independently owned retailers, according to American Express OPEN. Get involved by promoting local businesses and encouraging others to “shop small.”
Watch out for scams. It is important for consumers to be especially careful of scams this holiday season. Popular holiday scams include:
Shop safely online. Before you surf the Internet on Cyber Monday, make sure your computer has the most recent updates for spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Whenever you are asked to provide sensitive information, such as bank account or credit card information,make sure the address bar shows ‘https’ rather than just ‘http’ which indicates that the web browser is secure. It is also best to use a credit card when shopping online because you can dispute the charges if you do not receive the item you ordered.
Know your rights. Whether shopping retail or online, know your legal rights.