The Better Business Bureau recommends making a list for Black Friday shoppers and staying within budget Photo courtesy of the Better Business Bureau, St. George News
British stone. george – Black Friday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, has moved up a bit this year, with many stores kicking off their advertising campaigns months in advance.
Instead of alerting the brave crowd to discounted items, professional shoppers are looking for deals online — that is, if they haven’t done their holiday shopping — as they did last year, according to the Better Business Bureau.
Changes such as shipping delays, hiring challenges and a shortage of microchips are affecting the way people shop. Retail experts predict higher-than-normal crowds in stores and a higher percentage of spending on gifts, decorations and other holiday-related items.
So if you decide to shop in person on Black Friday, the Better Business Bureau has the following tips to make your shopping experience productive (even enjoyable):
Take advantage of Black Friday deals
Start with the item list and use sales flyers and promotions to determine which store has the best price. Set a budget and stick to it before you go.
read the fine print
Some retailers may offer additional discounts, but may exclude certain deals or items, such as “door access.” Beware of companies boasting high discounts; the item may be “75% off,” but the original price may be inflated.
Double-check price tags, terms and conditions. Use a secure wifi connection to research online to see if competitors are offering that item for a better price.
plan a trip
Sometimes there’s no need to wait to see what Black Friday deals are going to be. Retailers typically release Black Friday flyers weeks in advance so consumers can plan their shopping spree.
Make a map of the stores to visit and which stores have what items. Some retailers only honor promotional ads during certain periods of time or on certain days, and may limit the number of deeply discounted items available for purchase.
Sign up for email alerts
Many stores post their best Black Friday deals and exclusive coupons to people who subscribe to their emails. If you signed up before the holidays, please consider unsubscribing if needed.
do your research
Read product reviews on deeply discounted items. It could be a cheaper model or an advertised brand than expected. Check out BBB.org’s store business profile and read what other customers have to say.
Learn about return policy and warranty information
Pass on any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to those who will use the item. A gift receipt is an easy way for the recipient to return or exchange a gift if it doesn’t fit, but make sure you’re able to return the item before purchasing it.