Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: BBB offers tips to Black Friday shoppers

Milwaukee, Wis. – Thanksgiving is almost here and Black Friday shoppers are preparing. Some may even get a jump start with various retailers opening their doors Thursday evening. With U.S. holiday shopping expected to be moderately better this year, price competition is expected to remain fierce.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin is offering tips to people planning on taking advantage of Black Friday – traditionally the day after Thanksgiving – sales offers.

“Some people are so eager to get big ticket items, they plan their Thanksgiving around Black Friday sales”, says Ran Hoth, President and CEO. “The crowds this year will be no different. Ease your shopping day by making a game plan, sticking to your budget, and understanding each stores return policy.”

Black Friday shoppers should keep these tips in mind:

Compare deals. Do you know if a sale is really a sale? It always pays to comparison shop. Take the time to check prices on the same items at various stores.

Create a budget and stick to it. Make a list, determine how much you can afford to spend on each person, and…stick to it!

Search for Black Friday ads ahead of time. Newspapers often have coupons that give discounts for Black Friday. Black Friday ads may also be posted on the Internet. Some sites post ads for Black Friday before they’re published.

Maximize advance alerts. Do you have favorite retailers? Sign up for their email alerts and take advantage of special social network opportunities. Many stores work to reward your loyalty and you may get a jump on special offers.

Return policies, restocking fees and refunds. Ask for the store’s return policy before you make your purchase. Also, ask about restocking fees, and save your receipts in one place so you don’t lose them. Many stores will require you to produce a receipt for a return.

Be sure to ask for gift receipts. Without proof of purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging an item or risk receiving a refund at a lower price.

Gift cards. Gift cards regularly top consumers’ wish lists. When buying gift cards in a store, check the packaging and any security seals to be sure they are intact and haven’t been tampered with. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of each card.

Check out the company. Visit BBB.ORG before doing business for FREE Business Reviews on local and national companies. When shopping, look for the BBB Seal.

Nominate a deserving Wisconsin business or non-profit for the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.