Emily Gaines, Class of 2018, is a Public Relations Coordinator for the Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas.
Black Friday is infamous for being the hectic day that kicks off the holiday shopping season for consumers. The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects the average shopper to spend more than $1,000 on gifts, food, decorations and more this holiday season. However, if you’re on a student budget, you probably don’t have $1,000 or more to devote to your seasonal spending.
As businesses begin advertising their holiday deals, and you begin making your shopping plans, keep these tips from your Better Business Bureau in mind to get the most out of your Black Friday experience:
Make a budget. Create a list of the items you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend on them. Looking for sales at different stores can help you determine where you can buy each item for the best price.
Read the fine print. Some retailers may offer great deals but could exclude specific items or only apply to certain items. Also watch out for companies claiming sales with high percentage discounts. The item may say 75% off, but the original price could be inflated.
Create a plan. Some sales happen during limited time frames, so make a plan of which stores to visit and when. It can also help if you know which items to look for at each retailer.
Sign-up for email alerts. Email alerts and notifications from your favorite stores can let you know ahead of time what deals they’ll be having on Black Friday. Remember, be careful when giving out your personal information.
Do your research. Read reviews on the items you’re shopping for, especially if what you’re looking at has been deeply discounted. You can also check out business profiles at bbb.org to make sure you’re shopping with trustworthy companies.
Know return policies and return information. If you’re shopping for someone else, be sure to pass along information about the return policies and item warranties. A gift receipt can be perfect if they decide the gift just wasn’t a fit, but be sure the item can be returned.
Happy shopping, from everyone here at BBB serving the Heart of Texas!