Black Friday 2013 is just days away and the Iowa Attorney General’s office warns consumers to be savvy shoppers and read the fine print when using ads to map out shopping strategies.
Officials there and at the National Retail Federation offer these tips:
• Read store ads carefully. Is the store offering sale items at a limited quantity? Can you get a rain check if it’s an out-of-stock sale item?
• Use the Internet to compare prices, not just the Black Friday ads but also retailers’ regular websites.
• Take the ad with you when you go shopping to make sure you find the precise item at the price advertised. It’s often a good idea to go to the store now to see if the items you want have the quality and features you desire.
• Check to see if your favorite retailer offers an option to buy online and pick up in store. That will allow you to skip the frenzy and head to the customer service counter.
• Focus on bottom-line prices, not discounts. Discount claims may not reflect real savings if the seller inflated the original price of an item.
• Know retailers’ return and exchange policies. Some have a specified number of days in which to return items. Others will give the recipient credit for their after-holiday clearance price without a gift receipt, and some won’t let you return an item bought online to a physical store.