Tips to Shop Smart and Give Wisely this Holiday Season

BBB serving Central Florida encourages you to start at your BBB before shopping and giving this Holiday Season.
November 18, 2016

With an uncharateristic chill in the Florida air the 2016 Holiday Shopping Season is upon us, bringing with it advertisements, offers, and incentives from retailers large and small. How are you making sure that you are being a smart, savvy shopper and a wise giver? Before you start your shopping sprees and give payments to charities, start with your BBB.

Check with BBB's Holiday Helper:

BBB's Holiday Helper is your personal guide to giving gifts and donations this Holiday Season! Visit to get tips on making the best selections, saving money, giving wisely and being safe.

Understand the Advertisements:

Before large sales events and buy now, limited time internet deals make sure you know what is really being offered and what you are buying. BBB can help you learn to read advertising and understand what makes an advertisement "bad" at Are you using social media to share deals with your friends? When you spot a bad advertisment use #AdTruth to warn others. Always remember to read the fine print, make sure websites are secure and trusted, ask for gift receipts and to do your research ahead of time.

Shop Online Safely:

When you find a great deal online be sure to read all the fine print before confiming the order. Look for the lock icon and if payment pages start with https for secure URLs, read the return policies for each site and check to see if the policy is different for specific items, keep an eye out for look-aslike websites that are pretending to be well known websites, and always use a credit card, not a debit card.

Look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal:

BBB Accredited Businesses have made a commitment to BBB's Standards of Trust. These eight principals represent the business's agreement to build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safegaurd privacy and embody integrity. Remember to Start With Trust and look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal while shopping this Holiday season.

Research Charities and Give Wisely:

Make sure the charities that you select to give to will be a good steward of your hard-earned money. BBB Wise Giving Alliance urges donors to reseach charities thoroughly before giving and encourages to aviod charities that don't disclose their procedures to the public. BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluations give donors insight into charity trustworthiness; go to to find charity reviews.