Shopping warning: not all online deals are as good as they look - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Shopping warning: not all online deals are as good as they look

(Source: Nichole Cartmell/KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell/KFVS)
(KFVS) -

The National Retail Federation's latest survey finds that 135.8 million consumers plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend and nearly 80 percent of holiday shoppers — 183.8 million people — plan to shop on Cyber Monday.

Online shopping during the holidays is projected to get near $105 billion, 8 percent more than 2014.

However, the Better Business Bureau says proceed cautiously because not all deals are as good as they look.

In some cases, quantities of a product might be extremely limited or the size of the discount is greatly exaggerated.

The BBB encourages online shoppers to compare prices and read advertisements carefully so they can make an educated decision.

  • Protect your personal information. Check to see how your information may be used online. 
  • Check the site's security settings and privacy policy. If the site is secure, its address should start with https://.
  • Know the company's refund and return policies. Are there restocking fees? Do you have to pay shipping costs on returns?
  • Do not rely on pictures of a product. Read the description and check model numbers, if applicable.
  • Be cautious of free or very-low-price offers. Often, free offers are followed by an open-ended enrollment in a program that automatically bills your credit card account. Before ordering anything online, make sure you click on and read all terms and conditions.
  • Pay with a credit card. If you suspect fraud or don't receive your order, you can challenge the charge. It's also possible to dispute charges to your card.
  • Obtain a tracking number for shipments. If you need the product before the holidays, find out when the seller intends to ship it and if possible, how it will be shipped.
  • Print out the order or save it on your computer. Make sure you have the documentation page for online orders and save it until the order arrives.
  • Be aware of phishing. Don't respond to emails that ask for your credit card, bank account number or other personal information. Legitimate businesses do not send emails claiming there is a problem with an order or account to lure you into revealing financial information. Call the company or find the customer service form on the company website to confirm any problem.

Ultimately, the BBB says if you've researched an item ahead of time, you'll be better able to evaluate deals.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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