Be Smart When Shopping This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season. BBB’s 2018 Holiday Guide is here to help you make the most of it!
Do your research. Find businesses you can trust on We have BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses, from the most popular chains to local shops. Read past customers’ experiences and see how the business responds to complaints. Look for the seal to find BBB Accredited Businesses.

Read the ads carefully. Black Friday is known for “door busting” sales, but sometimes quantities are limited or there are other restrictions. Last year, 99 million people shopped on Black Friday! Before you wait in line for hours or brave the boisterous crowds, be sure you know what’s really being offered. For more tips:

Shop around. Not all the best sales or the best prices are in the big box stores. Thousands of small and independent businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday on November 24. Look for the “Shop Small” signs at local businesses for Small Business Saturday specials or visit for a list of participating retailers. For more tips:

Be safe online. Cyber Monday unlocks big savings online but look for a small lock icon in the URL and an extra s for safety (https… the extra “s” is for secure). Watch out for look-alike websites that mimic famous brands but that may be a scam. Use a credit card for online shopping, as it has more fraud protections than a debit card. Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and avoid clicking on links in unsolicited email and social media messages. For more tips:

Give wisely. Charitable giving is always high at the holidays when donors are feeling generous. Giving Tuesday on November 27 is all about being generous after the shopping frenzy. Make sure the charity you select will be a good steward of your money. Check out BBB’s for charity reviews. For more tips:

Looking for more holiday tips? Check out 12 Tips to a Safe and Fun Holiday Season!

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit

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