Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Survival Guide

If your like most people your getting ready to hit the malls today. It must be what running with the bulls is like. You may be getting a late start, but its never to late to go through a checklist of great shopping tips. I am including a broad array of tips from shopping to shipping and warranties to rebates. Here we go.

Avoid Debt
If you spread grocery purchases for holiday meals over several weeks, freezing perishables and storing staples; it can leave a lower impact on your food budget.
Make a budget and stick to it. Get the whole family in on it. You will be saving money and it's a great chance to teach the kids about money management. Most of all pay cash this season for all purchases.

Shop Safely
Shop only at reputable brick and mortar retailers.
If shopping online be sure to read the return policy and make sure the website is has industry seals of safe shopping like Verisign and the Better Business Bureau.

Websites and Shopping Online
Be sure to check out websites like,,, and These websites should give you a broad look at all the online and brick and mortar stores. When comparing prices be sure to check out Amazon and Ebay. It's always good to be signed up for email from,, and your own favorite web stores.

Gift Cards
When you can't find that special gift for that hard to shop for person, why not get them a gift card. They are available for all major retailers in town and online too. If you receive gift cards as a Christmas gift be smart and take precautions. Its always good to photocopy the card so you have all the pertinent information in case you lose it. Also keeping the receipt as proof of purchase whether you are are giving or receiving. But the best advice of all is, if you receive one as a gift, use it as soon as possible. This way it won't get lost or maybe expire.

This is the most troublesome aspect of modern shopping. Retailers know we like to get a good price with the rebate incentive. But they know most of the time we won't follow up on the rebate process. We either forget, lose some forms and file it wrong.
If you have to use a rebate follow these steps. Check the expiration date of the rebate and mail it way before then. Don't throw away receipts or product packaging in case you need to resubmit. Make photocopies of all paper work you send in. Consider sending your paper work by certified mail. So you will have proof you made the deadline. Lastly be patient because it does take a few months to process it. Make a note of the web site or phone number where you can check on the progress of the rebate.

Green Shopping
Buy gifts that are made with recycled materials and are energy efficient. Bring reusable shopping bags and avoid plastic bags. When wrapping presents try to use any left over or used packaging from last year. Shopping online is a very efficient way to shop. Lastly when decorating use energy efficient led bulbs in your decorations.

Warranties and Returns
Returns can be a headache if you have no receipt or do not know the rules that your retailer has about returns. Save yourself the hassle and familiarize yourself with these rules before making that purchase. Also keep that receipt in a safe place and for at least a year.
Warranties and expiration dates are different for different products and for different stores. Again familiarize yourself before the purchase to save you headaches after.

Package Shipping
Be sure to ship your gift packages early enough to use standard shopping rates, by Dec 15-17 will be the last days. After that you will have to use the more expensive shipping rates to get it there on time. Other deadlines are Dec. 20 for first-class mail, Dec. 21-22 for priority mail, and Dec 23 for express or over night.

These hints will get you started on this seasons coming events. Remember the holidays are only a few weeks away. Don't put things off to the end. Get a head start tomorrow and it get done.


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  2. He's learned to always keep an eye out for oncoming traffic, PPI Claims


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