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BBB offers shoppers tips for Black Friday 

From Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina

 

RALEIGH — Black Friday is the single busiest shopping day of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent an average of $313.29 on gifts and other holiday items over the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2018. Undeterred by the lines and crowds, millions of consumers get excited to nab unbeatable deals on the hottest new toys and popular electronics. For those planning to take part in the largest shopping day of the year, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina (BBB) is here to offer some useful tips.

“Black Friday can be hectic and overwhelming for a lot of consumers,” says Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina. “Even with all the chaos going on, it is extremely important that shoppers make sure they are paying attention to the fine print and doing business with trustworthy companies.”

BBB offers the following tips to make your Black Friday shopping experience productive… and maybe even enjoyable:

  • Make the most of Black Friday deals. Start with a list of items you are looking for and use sale flyers and promotions to determine which store has the best price. Also, figure out how much you can afford to spend… and stick to it!
  • Read the fine print. Some retailers may offer an additional percentage off your purchase, but could exclude certain deals or items such as “doorbusters.” Also, be cautious of companies that boast a high percentage off, the item may be “75% off” but the original price could be inflated.
  • Plan your approach. In many cases, you no longer have to wait to see what deals will be offered on Black Friday. Retailers now release their Black Friday flyers weeks ahead of time so consumers can plan out their shopping spree. Make a map of the stores you plan to visit and what items are at which store. Some retailers only honor sale ads during a certain time frame, or on certain days, and could limit the amount of deeply discounted items you purchase.
  • Sign-up for email alerts. Many stores release their best Black Friday deals and exclusive coupons to people who have subscribed to their emails. Sign up ahead of the holiday season but be cautious of what information you have to provide in order to receive such alerts.
  • Do your research. Read product reviews on extremely discounted items. It could be a cheaper model or brand advertised, and not what you initially think you’re getting. As you are looking through the sales flyers and ads, check bbb.org for Business Profiles of the stores you want to visit, and read what other customers’ have experienced.
  • Know the return policy and warranty information. Be sure to 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.

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org. Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in Eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from nearly 4,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration.