The day after Thanksgiving was originally dubbed “Black Friday” as a negative due to traffic, crowds and hostile behavior. It’s now a positive for many people who get excited for the lines, the crowds, and especially the deals.
Now it’s the single busiest shopping day of the year! American consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 during the holiday shopping season this year, according to National Retail Federation’s survey conducted by Prosper Insights.
Retailers are gearing up for the big day, especially the “big box” stores that sell name brand appliances, housewares, electronics, and other popular gift items. Newspapers are stuffed with sale flyers, commercials are promoting the “door buster” deals, and online ads promise the best bargains.
Better Business Bureau offers these tips to make your Black Friday shopping experience productive… and maybe even enjoyable:
Learn about advertising tricks and gimmicks. The new BBB #AdTruth campaign highlights bad ads and helps you learn to identify the most common schemes and cons. Check it out at bbb.org/adtruth.
Do your research. Read product reviews, check out bbb.org for Business Reviews, look at the sales flyers and ads, compare prices, look for early promotions and “flash sales.” For tips on searching online, check out the new BBB Digital IQ project at bbb.org/digitalIQ.
Read the fine print. Some stores only honor sale ads during a certain time frame, or on certain days. Some stores may only allow you to purchase one item, particularly large, popular and/or deeply discounted products.
Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. Check out bbb.org to read more about stores or websites unfamiliar to you.
Sign-up for email alerts. Many stores release their best Black Friday deals to people who have signed up to receive their emails. Just make sure it’s the real business and not a scammer.
Ask for gift receipts and save warranty information. A gift receipt can be tucked into a gift item or card so that the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right. Be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item.