JOE ROBACH OFFICE OFFER SHOPPING TIPS FROM CONSUMER REPORTS

Joe Robach and his office want holiday shoppers to be prepared.  Therefore, Joe Robach wanted to share the following tips from the Consumer Reports website:

Be prepared. This means studying the ads before Black Friday. By now, most of the major retailers have released their Black Friday in-store specials, so check one of the comprehensive Black Friday-focused websites to see whether you’re getting the best deal.

Use social media Before you decide to buy, visit the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers and see if they’re offering any incentives, such as discounts, when you “like” their page or follow them.

Get appy. Before you head out to the store, make sure your smart phone is charged and loaded with a few key comparison-shopping apps that will let you see special deals and compare prices while you’re in the store.

Create a budget—and stick to it. Many Black Friday sales, especially doorbuster specials that are typically available in limited quantities, are designed to get you into the store so retailers can try to sell you something more profitable.

Shop online first. Why leave the family and your comfy couch if you don’t really have to? Before you brave the crowds at the stores, check to see if the retailer is offering the same—or even better—deals on its website.

Shop close to home. If you find the best deals are in stores, you don’t necessarily need to drive all over town to get them. See if you can get a price-match guarantee. Often, stores say they’re suspending price-match guarantees during the Black Friday weekend, but you should ask for one anyway. After all, these are supposed to be “the lowest prices of the year!” Check specially priced “bundles.” Retailers—and sometimes, manufacturers—will often combine two or more items into a specially priced package they say will save you money.

Sign up for e-mail alerts. Many retailers now use e-mail alerts to encourage store loyalty and frequent shopping. Sign up for alerts that will let you know about upcoming promotions and to receive coupons or discounts.

Check the stores’ return policies. You may be familiar with your local chain’s return and exchange policies, but make sure that they aren’t different for a Black Friday special. Sometimes, Black Friday sales are final, meaning the item can’t be returned. Other items may have a shortened return or exchange policy, or one where you can get only a store credit and not a refund. Also, make sure the store isn’t charging a restocking fee on a returned item.

Check the warranty. If you’re loyal to a certain brand, you may feel you’re aware of its standard product warranty. But even major brands offer special “derivative” models during promotional periods such as Black Friday, and they may alter the terms of their standard warranties for these sets.

Buy the item you really want. Items designated as “doorbusters” draw us in because of their low prices, but they may not be the best products for your needs. I But avoid the old bait-and-switch trick. That said, if you’re really buying only on price, stick to your guns and don’t get pushed toward a more expensive model.

Don’t buy pricey accessories. Even if you’ve purchased the right TV at the best price of the year, it’s easy to be talked into buying pricey accessories.

For more information , contact the office Joe Robach.