Black Friday has traditionally the biggest retail shopping day of
the year, though last year, Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving –
officially replaced Black Friday as the most popular shopping day.
Whether in the store or online, BBB offers advice to help you with
your holiday shopping:
your shopping money and stick to it. Avoid impulse buys.
for the details on every sale and understand the specifics.
can be tricky; don’t get stuck paying more for an item than you expected.
card offers from a store will offer a discount on your purchase but may also
carry high interest rates.
all receipts and warranty information for each item purchased.
charges are easier to fix if you pay with a credit card than a debit card.
policies differ with every store. Make sure you know the conditions for returns
and exchanges, including whether restocking fees are charged.
you purchase a gift card, look for hidden terms that can decrease its value.
leave your wallet, credit card or purse on a counter or in an unattended
for a store manager if any advertised offer does not match the price listed on
at store employees and other customers won’t make the lines shorter. Anticipate
crowds and take a friend along to enjoy the day.
Credit cards provide the most protection if someone
steals the credit card number or if you don’t receive an ordered item.
You, the customer, are responsible for knowing and
understanding each online retailer’s return/exchange policy.
Beware of deals that sound too good to be true,
especially extremely low priced on hard-to-get items.
Ensure you have the most recent updates for spam
filters, anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewalls installed.
personal information is being requested and how it will be used.
Make a file to keep copies of all purchase confirmation
web pages and e-mails for future reference and as a record of the purchase.
Only shop on trustworthy sites; look for the BBB seal
and other widely-recognized “trustmarks.”
Never wire money to pay for a transaction and when on
sites like Craigslist, only shop locally.
Delete phishing emails such as those claiming a problem
with an order or account in an attempt to lure the “buyer” into revealing
Actively keep an eye on your credit card statements to
detect suspicious or fraudulent activity on your accounts.
You are your
best protection! Make sure your online purchase is secure by looking for the
“s” (https://) in the URL and the “lock” symbol in the lower-right corner
additional information and advice you can trust this holiday season, start with