Boxing Day bargain hunters need to be smart shoppers, says BBB

Do your homework before jumping on purchases, bureau warns

Boxing Day is approaching and with the frenzy of sales activity consumers will again be facing long line-ups and limited quantities of products. Better Business Bureau would like to remind consumers to be smart shoppers before they rush out to get a deal.

“Retaillers are already publishing sales for Boxing Day and consumers are getting caught up in the excitement of finding a great deal,” says Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. “We want consumer to be smart shoppers. Read the fine print in ads and know the store policies regarding Boxing Day sales.”

BBB advises consumers to be proactive and savvy. Consider the following before taking advantage of retailer sales this Boxing Day:

Read ads carefully before starting your shopping. Make sure you read and understand all of the fine print. If you have questions, contact the store ahead of time and get clarity on any policies or conditions that may affect your experience. Some retailers have price exemptions specifically for Boxing Day. This can affect 14-day price guarantees because retailers may not match special Boxing Day pricing.

Bait & Switch. One of the biggest problems during significant sale days like Boxing Day is the practice of offering a popular, expensive item for a great sale price, but only stocking a very limited number of these products. This is somewhat of a bait-and-switch because even if that product is unavailable, you are likely to stay at the store and take advantage of other less valuable sales. Our advice to avoid this problem is to contact the retailer before the sale goes into effect and ask what quantity of the featured item is in stock. Also ask if they offer rain checks to customers if they run out of the product unreasonably early.

Up-to savings claims. You may see exciting offers this Boxing Day stating certain items are “Up-to 70% OFF!!” or other similar claims. One item is 70 percent off and most of the products are marked at a much lower percentage off, perhaps at 30% off. That’s why BBB Code of Advertising guidelines state that a business should advertise the minimum and maximum amount of savings: “30% – 70% OFF”, so it’s clear that the savings are within that range. So be aware that if you see those kinds of claims, the product you want may not really be marked down as much as stated in the ad. If you come across this problem, please file a complaint with the BBB (at www.mbc.bbb.org), so we can contact the business and request that they modify the advertising.

Are deals really worth it? Consumers can often get caught up in the rush of a sale and sometimes forget to ask themselves simple questions such as, “Is this something I have planned to buy?” or “Do I need this item?” and “How much can I afford to spend?” BBB suggests going in with a budget and sticking to it, never buy because it seems like a good deal. 

Comparison Shop Online. There are dozens of comparison shopping websites, and now smart phone applications, that claim to capture the best deals around. Before you pick your favourite site or app, we recommend checking them out at www.mbc.bbb.org or see what others have to say about the site through an online searches and consumer reviews.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Cloverdale church elder pleads guilty to sexual assault

Brian Batke, 73, entered guilty plea Feb. 14

Trial for White Rock fentanyl charge rescheduled for August

Navjot Cheema charged following May 2018 cocaine, fentanyl seizure

Free pads, tampons now available in Surrey school washrooms

Menstrual products previously given out to students upon request

Surrey student selected as Loran Award recipient

Award is valued at $100K over four years of undergraduate studies

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, so barricades should come down

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Canadians aboard coronavirus-ridden cruise ship to return home tonight

Among the infected are 47 Canadians who will have to remain in Japan for treatment

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

Most Read

l -->