AUSTIN - Some people wear comfortable pants to Thanksgiving dinner while others wear comfortable shoes.
Black Friday shopping is meant to bring smiles, not stress. If you're ready to shop till you drop, Better Business Bureau has some tips to get you through the sales, and avoid the strain.
Follow this advice to save time, money, and headaches this weekend:
- Don't rely on advertisements only. Always do price comparisons, research companies and products, and examine the fine print.
- Always check store return policies. Policies may include restocking fees, shorter return deadlines, and various other terms and conditions. Always keep the receipt.
- Ask for gift receipts. These include the description of the item but not the price paid. So have proof-of-purchase.
- Consider buying local. Small Business Saturday is Nov. 25, and the local shops might be offering special bargains that day.
For those shopping online for Cyber Monday, BBB wants to remind consumers to:
- Know your rights. Customers have the right to reject merchandise if it's defective or misrepresented - but it is the company's policy that determines whether you get a refund or credit.
- Pay with a credit card. This is recommended because the shopper can dispute charges if the item is not received. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are unauthorized charges on their credit card, and some card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which the cardholder pays nothing if someone steals the credit card number and uses it.
- Keep documentation of your order. Always have a record of your purchase by saving emails or copy of the web confirmation.
- Watch for phishing emails. With all the promotional emails going around during the holiday season, scammers will be out in full force. Don't click on links from senders you don't recognize. You can hover your mouse over links without clicking, to see if the address is really taking you to where it claims to.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
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