Arm yourself with information before Black Friday shopping

The photo shows a person holding a credit card while shopping on their laptop.
The photo shows a person holding a credit card while shopping on their laptop.(Source: Pexels (custom credit))
Updated: Nov. 19, 2019 at 10:39 AM CST
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(KFVS) - Black Friday deals might seem inviting, but they can result in some major overspending.

The Better Business Bureau released information on holiday retail sales.

Officials said they are likely to top $728 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

The BBB said to research the sales, go in with a budget and bring your ability to resist unnecessary items.

Also, keep your receipts and know the store’s return policy.

In addition BBB offers these holiday buying tips:

  • Protect your personal information. Check to see how your information may be used online.
  • Check the site’s security settings and privacy policy.
  • Know the company’s refund and return policies.
  • 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 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.
  • Toy safety for parents. Make sure any toys you buy are age appropriate. Inspect toys carefully for sharp edges, moving parts that can pinch or small, removable pieces that can be a choking hazard. Toy chests should have air holes, and fabric products should be flame-resistant. Check for a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) seal on electric toys.

As far as online shopping, BBB officials said to be careful.

You might avoid the crowds and catch some unwanted scams instead.

If the site is secure, its address should start with https://.

Make sure each website has a favorable BBB Business Profile online at or call 888-996-3887.

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