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.

Just Posted

Judge adjusts Charter award in RCMP assault case in Surrey

Former Surrey hotel manager was awarded $65,000 in damages after RCMP assaulted him

‘Epic’ Surrey Pride party to celebrate 20th anniversary at Central City Plaza

Planners of family-friendly event don’t welcome nudity

White Rock council opts for compromise in waterfront parking fee increase

Amendment calls for hourly rates of $3.75 instead of $4 from April to September

Surrey councillor ‘concerned about democracy’ after tensions boil over with mayor

Pettigrew believes actions at June 24 meeting ‘were in violation of city charter and our city procedural bylaws’

The end is near for North Surrey rec centre, and programs will move within 4km radius

Plan is for the site of the aging rec centre to become mixed-use ‘Centre Block’ development

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

40 cats, kittens surrendered in apparent animal hoarding at Vancouver home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Man arrested after pimping investigation in Whistler

A 44-year-old man has been charged with procuring and benefiting from sexual services

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Province to increase parking, pilot First Nation stewards at busy Joffre Lakes

Two-hundred more parking stalls will bring total spots to allow 450 cars

Search on for black bear that appears to be habituated in Burnaby

The bear lunged at a woman who was trying to shoo it from several backpacks

Most Read

l -->