BBB holiday tip: How to shop Black Friday sales

Special to the American Press

Black Friday, traditionally, the single busiest shopping day of the year, is going to look a bit different in 2020. Instead of setting an alarm to brave crowds for deeply discounted items, dedicated shoppers will be looking for deals online. That’s if they haven’t already finished their holiday shopping.

People are predicted to spend just under $1,000 this holiday season on gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. With the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, this amount is slightly less than the 2019 holiday season.

If you do decide to shop on Black Friday, the Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana has these tips to make your shopping experience productive:

Stay safe.  Follow CDC guidelines to healthy and safe while in the store.

Make the most of Black Friday deals. Start with a list of items and use sale flyers and promotions to determine which store has the best price. Set a budget and stick with it before heading out.

Read the fine print. Some retailers may offer an additional percentage off the purchase, but could exclude certain deals or items such as “door busters.” Watch for companies boasting a high percentage off; the item may be “75 percent off,” but the original price could be inflated. Carefully check the price tags, terms, and conditions. Research online using a secure Wi-Fi connection to see if competitors have the item at a better price.

Plan out the excursion. Make a map of the stores to visit and what items are at which store. Some retailors only honor sale ads during a certain time frame, or on certain days, and could limit the amount of deeply discounted items available for purchase.

Do your research. Read product reviews on extremely discounted items. It could be a cheaper model or brand advertised, and not what was expected. Check BBB.org for Business Profiles of the stores and read what other customers’ have experienced.

Know the return policy and warranty information. Pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item. Gift receipts are an easy way for recipients to return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right, but make sure the item is able to be returned before purchasing.

 Visit BBB.org to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam and read more tips.Shoppers and store workers were both busy last year for the annual Black Friday shopping frenzy. People are predicted to spend just under $1,000 this holiday season on gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. With the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, this amount is slightly less than the 2019 holiday season.

Logan Clark

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