At last minute, watch for scams, purchase carefully
With Christmas less than a week away, for most of us the clock is ticking to get gifts under the tree. It’s a race to the finish that with all the chaos could leave you stuck with bad purchases if you’re not careful.
It’s Christmas time in the city, and while we all are excited about the songs and getting those special gifts for our loved ones, the bottom line to protect your dollars is that you have to be prepared before you go out for that last minute shopping.
With the count down till Christmas in full effect, no matter where you go, the rush is on to find that perfect gift. But it’s that last minute push that you need to watch out for to make sure what you buy has a good value. That starts with doing your research.
“Think about pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase,” said Adam Harkness, the public relations manager for the Better Business Bureau of Alaska. “Understand the policies of the stores you are going to be visiting, think about warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, keep that information in mind when you are making a purchase.” And while credit cards can give you more protections, it’s recommended to bring cash or debit cards so you can stick to a budget.
"If you purchase an item that's on sale with a credit card you're actually not purchasing and actually saving money because you’re getting interest on your credit card and you’re going to be paying it for the next six to twelve months,” said Tara Keelan, who is a customer financial coach for Debt Reduction Services.
You can't forget about the very popular gift cards. When buying them, the experts say, buy them from the actual store and make sure you read the fine print. “A lot of them have expiration dates or will decrease in value if not used within a particular time limit,” said Harkness. And with more gift card scams coming out in the last few years, it’s important to make sure your purchase doesn't get emptied out. “We see a lot of gift cards for sale on eBay and craigslist,” said Harkness. “Even if you call and verify a number they could use all the money on there before they ship it to you.”
Harkness says the most important tip of them all is keeping your receipt to make sure if something doesn't fit or doesn't work you can return it. For more information on ways to protect your purchases and avoid scams click here: http://alaskaoregonwesternwashington.bbb.org/