BBB: Black Friday warnings for shoppers

Posted at 9:13 AM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 11:13:08-05
It's nearly Thanksgiving and Black Friday is almost here. Better Business Bureau shares some tips for those who plan to hit the stores.
BBB's Emily Valla says you may be able to find Black Friday coupons for your favorite stores online before they print in the paper.
"While you have those ads open, check out several different stores. Just because one store’s advertisement has flashy markdowns listed on the front page doesn’t mean it’s actually the best price for the item. If it’s listed as “40% off,” check what that’s 40% off of. Full price? Already reduced price? In comparison to other stores? Knowing exactly what the deal actually is, plus knowing the details of those coupons you found, gives you a better idea of what to look for in comparing ads," Valla said.
It's also a good idea to check store policies. BBB says those policies may be different on Black Friday.
"Be aware of return and refund policies as well as restocking fees. Companies are not obligated to take returns, and sometimes, those deep-discount Black Friday deals aren’t returnable. Electronics may have a restocking fee, especially if you decide to return after taking it out of the box. You can often find a store’s return policy on its website or at the cash register. Consider looking up policies days before the event and not relying on asking a busy cashier dealing with frantic customers during a long check out line," Valla said.
BBB also advises shoppers to resist impulse buys on Black Friday in particular.
"There will be full-priced items available nearby that may be tempting to pair along with your big deal, especially with electronics. Think chargers, accessories, etc. Keep in mind, though, those items will still be there when you aren’t so bleary-eyed and adrenaline-pumped from the middle of the night rush. Take the time to do your research on accessories and on possible sales of those accessories. Cyber Monday may also have the deals you’re looking for," Valla said.
For more resources to help you protect your money and identity, visit