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Consumer Reports' tips for surviving Black Friday

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2006

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Five Things Shoppers Should Observe for the Busiest Shopping Day of the Year


Yonkers, NY — According to a recent poll from Consumer Reports, an estimated 63 million Americans will hit the stores to engage in the formal start of the holiday shopping season known as “Black” Friday. Below are some tips that Consumer Reports has compiled to guide consumers through this hectic period.
  1. Don’t assume that the best deals are on Black Friday. Many merchants are already reacting to intense competition by slashing prices as much as 50 percent and dangling bonus discounts to customers willing to shop at slower times during the day. Consumers who delay their shopping a bit will not be forced to pay full price.
  1. Shop early. Aside from beating heavy traffic and avoiding packed stores, early birds get to choose from the entire range of merchandise before it’s been picked through, which could mean fewer color, size and style options. Also, some retailer Web sites are more inclined to offer enticing discounts in the morning when shopper traffic is lighter.
  1. Check the retailer’s Web site. It can save consumers time and possibly a trip to the store. Shoppers can learn if the products they want are stocked and available. Also, most retailers also allow consumers to purchase online and pick it up locally. Another plus: Retailers may offer coupons that shoppers can print out and bring with them for extra savings.
  1. Be mindful of return policies and restocking fees. Retailers are becoming stricter when it comes to enforcing return policies. Consumer Reports advises shoppers to ask for gift receipts because without one, a merchant will issue a store credit for the lowest priced the item actually sold for, not for the price that might have been paid. Returning opened items such as TVs, camcorders, digital cameras and other major buys could cost consumers as much as 25 percent of the purchase to cover the cost of a restocking fee.
  1. Get extra savings through instant charge cards. For a big-ticket acquisition, consumers should consider opening up an instant charge card to receive an extra 10 percent at the point of purchase. But, Consumer Reports advises paying the balance quickly and cutting up the card.
And to help shoppers make the best purchasing choices this holiday season, consumers are invited to visit the ConsumerReports.org® Holiday Shopping Guide. It offers consumers gift suggestions for everyone on their list including techies, kids and those who are hard to please. To ensure that people are prepared for the holidays with the latest information, the Holiday Shopping Guide will be updated frequently throughout the holiday season.

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About ConsumerReports.org

Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org are published by Consumers Union, which accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. With more than 2 .5 million active, paid subscribers, ConsumerReports.org is larger than any other publication-based Web site. All site visitors have free access to helpful advice, safety alerts, recalls, e-Ratings of online commerce sites, and much more. Subscribers have access to Consumer Reports unbiased product and service Ratings and Recommendations, selections from the latest issue of Consumer Reports, a searchable archive of the past four years of ratings, Consumer Reports’ exclusive product and car reliability reports, interactive decision guides, the ability to participate in expert discussions and much more There are two types of subscriptions to ConsumerReports.org an annual subscription for $26 (current subscribers to the magazine can join for $19 per year), or a monthly subscription for $4.95.

 
Related info:
Consumer Reports
e-mail E-mail this page
print Printer-friendly page
 
 
 
Consumer Reports' tips for surviving Black Friday
63 million Americans will hit the stores to engage in the formal start of the holiday shopping season known as “Black” Friday.


Related info:
Consumer Reports
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