Business Better Bureau has tips for Black Friday shoppers

A sign promoting Black Friday specials is displayed in the window of a J.C. Penny. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A sign promoting Black Friday specials is displayed in the window of a J.C. Penny. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Better Business Bureau is offering tips to people planning on taking advantage of Black Friday – traditionally the day after Thanksgiving – sales offers.

With U.S. holiday shopping anticipated to be better this year, price competition is expected to remain fierce. Nearly 151 million shoppers hit the stores last year and spent approximately $300 each according to a National Retail Federation survey. However, this year’s holiday spending is expected to surpass that number by 3.6 percent.

Black Friday shoppers should keep these tips in mind:

  • Compare deals. Do you know if a sale is really a sale? It always pays to comparison shop. Take the time to check prices on the same items at various stores.
  • Create a budget and stick to it. Make a list, determine how much you can afford to spend on each person, and…stick to it!
  • Search for Black Friday ads ahead of time. Newspapers often have coupons that give discounts for Black Friday. Black Friday ads may also be posted on the Internet. Some sites post ads for Black Friday before they’re published.
  • Maximize advance alerts. Do you have favorite retailers? Sign up for their email alerts and take advantage of special social network opportunities. Many stores work to reward your loyalty and you may get a jump on special offers.
  • Return policies, restocking fees and refunds. Ask for the store’s return policy before you make your purchase. Also, ask about restocking fees, and save your receipts in one place so you don’t lose them. Many stores will require you to produce a receipt for a return.
  • Be sure to ask for gift receipts. Without proof of purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging an item or risk receiving a refund at a lower price.
  • Gift cards. Gift cards regularly top consumers’ wish lists. When buying gift cards in a store, check the packaging and any security seals to be sure they are intact and haven’t been tampered with. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of each card.
  • Check out the company. Visit bbbinc.org for FREE Business Profiles before doing business with local companies and go to bbb.org for information about national companies. When shopping, look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal.

For more tips like these and to learn about the latest scam alerts, consumer warnings and more, follow your BBB on Facebook.