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Black Friday: 7 myths and tips for savvy shopping

Nina Pineda has 7 On Your Side.
Seven On Your Side
November 26, 2013 3:16:00 PM PST
There are a variety of scams and deceptive sale practices that retailers employ that can lead consumers to make costly mistakes. In the shopping frenzy surrounding the holidays, it is easy to lose your mind, and in turn your money.

Trick #1: Doorbuster deception: The number one on the trick list is doorbuster deception. Many places are advertising super-low prices but it is only while quantities last.

"If you're not the first person in line, you're not going to get that product," said Mark LoCastro of Dealnews.com

Some people will stand in line for a rock bottom doorbuster price on headphones. However, with a few clicks, 7 On your Side found the same price online for $199 headphones at Target.

TIP: Check price online.

Trick #2: Phony sale prices: Always be on the lookout for phony sales. Stores may jack up the price to make the sale price look like a deal. The tip is to always research the price in the store and online. Some stores will beat a price you show them if you pull it up on your smartphone.

Trick #3: Hidden Fees: New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he gets a blizzard of complaints about hidden fees every holiday season. The tip is to get fee disclosure in writing on receipt.

Trick #4 "Loaded" layaway plans:

The Attorney General says that reading the store policy carefully can save you big bucks on Trick 4 - loading up layaway with interest and penalties.

Trick #5 fake promotions and trick #6 phony retail websites:

Tricks 5 & 6 take us to social media. Watch your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Social media accounts are bombarded with ads right now, some are fake. One click could trick you into downloading malware. Tip: Think before you click. Similarly, be careful when directed to any unknown third-party websites. Examine your URL carefully for added letters to prevent your identity from being stolen.

Trick #7 ? Selling gift cards with strings attached. The tip is to know the law. It is illegal to charge a fee for non-use within a year. Also, gift cards cannot expire within five years of being issued.


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