Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to arm themselves with information, a budget and the ability to resist pressure to buy items they don’t want or need. One-day deals and specials have become the norm rather than the exception, whether shopping online or in a store. If you’ve researched an item ahead of time, you’ll be better able to evaluate deals.
Advertised deals may be good on an extremely limited quantity, or the size of the discount may be greatly exaggerated. By checking prices and reading advertisements carefully, consumers can make an educated decision on whether it’s worthwhile to stand in line or miss a good night’s sleep.
When buying gifts, it’s important to obtain and keep receipts for all purchases in case the recipient needs to return an item. Many stores will provide gift receipts upon request, which allow returns but don’t show the recipient how much you paid for an item.
Be sure to check return and refund policies before you buy. Although some stores relax their return policies during the holiday season, others may require that returns be made within a few days of purchase. Some only allow returns if a product is defective while others may give store credit instead of cash refunds.
If a gift needs to be shipped, ask about cost and when the item will arrive. In some cases, you may save time and money by buying from a store’s website.
While online shopping can be a way to avoid crowded stores, shoppers need to be careful of the sites they patronize. When shopping online, be sure to:
Before patronizing a store or website, check a company’s BBB Business Profile online at bbb.org or call (803) 254-2525 or (843) 766-9616.