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Safe shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most popular holiday shopping days of the year. The Better Business Bureau wants to help make your shopping adventures go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips for shopping on Black Friday:

Know before you go. Retailers release deals beforehand online, through social media and other publications. Have a budget in mind. Compare the deals, research where the sales are and make a list of gift priorities. Bring coupons or ads with you so there are no surprises at checkout. Bring your smartphone and scan QR codes for any special deals.

Maximize advance alerts. If you have a favorite retailer, now is a good time to sign up for their email or text message alerts or “like” their Facebook page. Check with your credit card company for reward programs for special points as they want to reward your loyalty.

Check return and exchange policies. Store policies may change for Black Friday. Make sure you are able to return the product and see if you will receive a full refund or store credit. There may be a shorter time frame for returns. Get a gift receipt on your purchases.

Shop safely. Always be aware of your surroundings and safeguard your purse or wallet at all times.

Here are some tips for Cyber Monday:

Protect your personal information. Read the site’s privacy policy and understand what information is being collected and how they are going to use it. Have the latest anti-virus programs installed on your computer. The address box should have https:// and look for a padlock symbol as well.

Beware of too good to be true offers, especially on those hard to find items. Don’t jump at the first chance to get it and use caution visiting websites or opening unsolicited emails. Read the fine print to avoid any hidden costs.

Pay with a credit card. Shoppers can dispute unauthorized charges or if they do not receive the item. Check credit card statements on a regular basis. Get tracking numbers for shipments and document your orders.

Know your rights. Federal law requires orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or within 30 days if no delivery time is stated. If this does not happen, consumers can cancel and demand a refund. Merchandise can be rejected if it is defective or misrepresented in any way.

Don’t forget to support Mid Missouri businesses on Small Business Saturday on November 29th!

Please contact the Mid Missouri BBB at or call 573-886-8965.

Article Topic Follows: News

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