After families have stuffed themselves full of turkey on Thanksgiving Day, they head to bed, and often wake before dawn for the biggest shopping day of the year. Black Friday is known for its blockbuster savings that entice consumers to spend their hard earned money.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) encourages consumers to use these savvy shopping tips to make sure they know the full purchase conditions, and that they’re getting the correct advertised deal.
• Bring ads with you while shopping. Make sure charged prices match advertised prices.
• Ask if the store charges a restocking fee, and if so, how much. Some stores will charge a fee for ‘restocking’ an item that you return for a refund or credit. Businesses that charge a restocking fee are supposed to disclose the fee. The notice should be clearly visible to consumers before purchases are made.
• Before making a purchase, ask what the return policy is. Return policies vary.
• Pay with credit cards whenever possible. It’s easier to contest the charge if products are defective or misrepresented.
• Check your receipt for accuracy before leaving the store. Ask for a refund if you have been overcharged.
• Understand rebates. If you buy a product with a rebate, make sure you know the requirements to receive the rebate and save copies of all paperwork.
• Ask for gift receipts and save all of your receipts. That way you’ll ensure your friends and family receive the full price you paid if they need to return or exchange your gift.
If you’ve been the victim of a consumer scam, file a complaint with the AGO by calling 1.800.551.4636 or visit http://www.atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx. After filing a complaint, the AGO contacts the business to explain the complaint in order to help resolve the dispute. The complaint resolution process is free.