How to Avoid Getting Scammed on Black Friday, According to Experts – NBC Chicago

As Black Friday approaches, retail experts have issued a series of tips and tricks consumers can use to brave what’s typically the most busiest shopping day of the year.

With predictions of higher than normal store crowds and increased spending percentages on gifts, decorations and other holiday-related items, things could get hectic, according to Better Business Bureau president and CEO Steve Bernas.

“This always is a time where emotions run high, and — to snap up a great deal — people often rush their decisions,” Bernas said in a statement released Wednesday. “The lowest price is not always the best deal.”

Scams may be lurking amid all the shopping frenzy, so consumers should remain cautious.

Here are ways shoppers can avoid scams on Black Friday, according to experts:

Do Research

Shoppers can check business profiles, ratings and reviews customers have made about retailers on the BBB’s website. The BBB also advised shoppers to read product reviews on extremely discounted items, as it could be a cheaper model or brand that may be different than expected.

Make the Most Out of Deals

The BBB said shoppers should remain budget conscious by creating a list of items they want to purchase and comparing promotions to see which store is offering the best price before heading out.

Read the Fine Print

Shoppers should check the price tags, terms and conditions of each product and promotion because companies can boast high discounts while inflating their original prices, according to the BBB.

Some retailers may offer an additional percentage off the purchase, but the promotion could exclude specific deals or items like “doorbusters,” the BBB also noted.

Make a Plan

Some sales may be available only for a specific window during the day, so the BBB suggests that shoppers plan out their sprees ahead of time.

Sign Up for Email Alerts

The best Black Friday deals and exclusive coupons from stores can be found through email subscriptions, the BBB said. Shoppers looking to score on these promotions can sign up ahead of shopping and unsubscribe later.

Known Return, Exchange Policies

“Refunds and exchanges are a privilege, not a right, and rules change from store to store,” the BBB said.

Shoppers making purchases should be aware of return and exchange policies for each product and store.

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