Are you participating in Black Friday shopping this week? The season's biggest shopping event of the year might look a lot different than usual with many cities, states and retailers putting in restrictions due to COVID-19.
For the first time, Deloitte’s consumer survey found that more shoppers plan to go online Thanksgiving weekend than to visit in-person retailers. The survey found that 58% of those planning to shop on Thanksgiving weekend will do so online, compared to 41% who say they will shop in person. Last year, 61% of shoppers said they planned on shopping in person compared to 51% who said they would shop online. A number of those surveyed said they would do both.
If you plan on shopping on Black Friday, the Better Business Bureau offered the following tips:
1) Stay Safe.
Follow CDC guidelines to healthy and safe while in the store.
2) 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.
3) 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% off,” but the original price could be inflated. Carefully check the price tags, terms, and conditions. Research online using a secure wifi connection to see if competitors have the item at a better price.
4) Plan out the excursion.
Sometimes it's not necessary to wait to see what deals will be offered on Black Friday. Retailers often will release Black Friday flyers weeks ahead of time, so consumers can plan out their shopping spree. 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.
5) 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, and then unsubscribe afterwards if needed.
6) 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.
7) 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, read tips, follow us on social media, and more!