Oakland, CA - November 27, 2013 – Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the most popular shopping day of the year. If you plan on getting up early and joining millions of other shoppers at your local shopping center, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges you to beware of schemes and do careful research before shopping.
“Every year, people get caught up in the hectic pace of holiday shopping and special deals,” said Gene O'Neil, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. “It is important for consumers to plan ahead by researching stores before shopping, paying with credit cards whenever possible, and keeping all receipts so that recipients won’t be disappointed if they decide to return gifted items.”
The BBB offers the following tips for Black Friday shoppers:
- Research before you shop. If you find a great coupon, be sure to print it and bring it to the store with you. Check out Business Reviews at www.bbb.org to make sure you are dealing with a reputable business that will guarantee the sale prices they claim to have.
- Be Aware of Return Policies. Knowing the store policies on returns can help you determine where to buy. Many retailers may include restocking fees and shorter return deadlines.
- Ask for Gift Receipts. Gift receipts generally include a description of the item purchased but do not disclose the price paid. Without proof-of-purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging the item, or risk receiving an exchange at a lower price.
Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Beware of deals that sound too good to be true.
Never leave a purse unattended in a shopping cart where it is more susceptible to theft.
- Keep purses zipped and close to your body.
Avoid walking alone and leave malls and stores well before closing time to assure a more active parking lot. Ask mall security to walk you to your car if you feel you are not safe.
- Remember there is increased safety in numbers.
For more advice on safe shopping during this holiday season, visit www.bbb.org
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Reliability ReportsTM on businesses and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM on charities, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 113 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada. Please visit www.goldengate.bbb.org for more information.