Amarillo, TX - In a just a few days the biggest shopping days of the year will commence and the Better Business Bureau wants you to shop more wisely.
To make holiday shopping safer, the BBB offers a "Holiday Helper" tool, a personal gift giving guide that helps you prepare before you shop for upcoming holiday bargains.
BBB CEO, Janna Kiehl, said being prepared will avoid some frustration, especially because deals begin early Thanksgiving Day.
The BBB suggests setting a budget and creating a shopping list before shopping, so you know what you're looking for and can shop as quickly as possible.
They also stress before waiting in line shoppers should read ads carefully because quantities can be limited and restrictions may apply. Reading the fine print of coupons is also important because it can include expiration dates and limitations. The BBB recommends taking copies of sales ads and coupons to the store and adding the store's website to your "favorites list" on your cellphone for easier organization and access to coupons; however, you should make sure an online coupon is sufficient enough to receive the discount.
Big box retailers do not always have the best deals.
Thousands of small and independent businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday on November 28.
The BBB supports shopping at locally owned businesses because they can have great deals and you get to support your community. However, shoppers should be aware of services that smaller businesses may not provide.
"One way to protect themselves is to ask what a store's return policy is and to ask if there is a restocking fee because a lot of times consumers won't realize that they have to pay a fee to restock an item they return," Kiehl said.
To shop at local businesses on Small Business Saturday look for "Shop small" signs or visit shopsmall.com for a list of participating retailers. Many local shops in our area like Black Vault Electronics will be participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
The National Retail Federation expects $105 billion dollars in online sales this holiday season. A large portion of these online sales will come from Cyber Monday, which is one of the biggest online shopping days. However, the BBB wants shoppers to look out for scams.
Many websites are look-alike websites made to mimic famous brands. If a deal seems too good to be true it probably is.
The BBB suggests using a credit card rather than a debit card while shopping online because it is safer. Also, do not use websites that require you to link to another website and share personal information.