From "Live at 5": Holiday Shopping Tips

November 07, 2011

Christmas is fast approaching, but it’s not too early to be an informed shopper!  Being a smart buyer and “giver of gifts,” helps to prevent disappointments and heartaches before and after December 25th.  Here are a few holiday shopping tips.

1.  Shopping online is the norm today, but what is important to remember?  

Is the site secure?

Will the delivery be made before Christmas?

Make sure to read all information carefully.

Is this a reliable company?

Keep a copy of the web site agreement

Is the merchandise guaranteed?

What is the customer satisfaction policy?

Do they have a privacy policy?

What is the return policy?

Guard your personal information.

Buy with a credit card, not debit.

2.  Are retailers required by law to make exchanges, give refunds or returns?  

Not at all, unless the product is defective or was misrepresented.  Retailers voluntarily adopt their own policies simply as a customer service.  Know the store’s policies before you buy, which should be clearly posted in the store; ask if is not.

3.  What about the giving of gift cards?  

Very popular; however, in light of possible store closings and bankruptcies, consider generic bank gift cards or mall cards.

4.  Where can a smart shopper go to learn more about the retail stores and online companies they wish to shop?  

Business Reviews online, off line, and mobile app at  Contact the BBB 24 hours a day (409) 835-5348, (855) BBB-SETX or online at