‘Black Friday’ rush just two days off'Black Friday’ rush just two days off For some people, preparing for the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, can be compared to a military tactic against a small country.
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — For some people, preparing for the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, can be compared to a military tactic against a small country.
Friends and relatives on the same side of the campaign are strategically placed at important points along the shopping route after the entire group has carefully perused every sale flyer and plotted their attack and targets. Cell phones are charged, watches synchronized and credit cards polished.
But while planning for the skirmish, many people lose sight of the purpose of the shopping frenzy and forget to arm themselves with information.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Minnesota and North Dakota believes Black Friday is a time when consumers are moving fast, but their awareness of consumer issues is low. They recommend thinking before buying.
Five things to consider before the attack are your budget, comparison shopping, restocking fees, return and refund policies and gift cards.
When planning a budget, include gifts, cards, entertaining, stamps and clothing. As you make purchases, keep a running total to make sure you don’t spend more than planned.
Do not rely on ads that claim to offer the lowest prices. According to the BBB, many companies that make the claim do not actually have the lowest prices. Comparison shopping is an important key to finding the best value.
Many consumers are shopping for big ticket items this year, especially due to the digital television transition in February. After doing comparison pricing, a consumer should ask the store if they charge a restocking fee if the product is returned. Many stores find it necessary to charge this fee to cover the loss of revenue of they can no longer sell the item as new.
Ask for a store’s return policy before buying. Save receipts in one place in case they are needed. Ask for a gift receipt and tape it inside a gift box to make returns easier for family and friends.
Gift cards can be a great idea, but before you buy, check to see there are no expiration dates or dormancy fees. With a tough economy and many stores closing, check to see the company has not filed for bankruptcy. If receiving a gift card, it is best to redeem it as soon as possible.
Following just a few basic precautions can help you win the Black Friday shopping war and add a little more joy to your holiday.