According the national retail federation, 24 percent of shoppers say they were at a store at midnight on Black Friday. Retailers expect to ring up as much as 20 percent of their holiday sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, and this year the race is on to get people to shop-- not just early but often.
So how do you protect yourself when your scooping up the best bargains of the year? Janna Kiehl of the Better Business Bureau has some advice.
Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving defined as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Going prepared will help you get the best deals.
1. Shop early and armed. Take copies of sale advertisements and coupons. Read the fine print for expiration dates and other limitations. Set a budget and create your shopping list before you go to help stay within your means.
2. Know the store. Ask about return policies, layaway programs, gift cards, etc. As well as what items are all sales final (may be clearance items) and what items have a re-stocking fee. Keep receipts and original packaging until you're sure they wont be returned.
3. Be on guard. Protect you packages, purses and personal information.
Small Business Saturday: As a joining member, BBB is teaming up with American Express OPEN to spread the word on Small Business Saturday. For the third year in a row, American Express OPEN has declared November 24th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, to be Small Business Saturday. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a perfect way to support the small businesses that you love and to discover some new ones, too.
Businesses can take advantage of free tools offered online at www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday: free signage, free ads on Twitter, and lots of ideas to help grow your business.
For more information on Small Business Saturday, click here.
Cyber Monday: Defined as the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, Cyber Monday sales prove lucrative for businesses online.
1. Shop with who you know. Anyone can look good with a fancy website. Don't be fooled.
2. Shop only on secure sites and review privacy policies as well as return policies.
3. Use your credit card to make online purchases. Never wire money and avoid paying with other forms of payment which may not protect you like a credit card does.
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