Shopping Tips

Holiday Shopping Do’s and Don’ts

Peace of Mind Concierge is always looking for ways to help you – this Holiday season we’d like to offer you our shopping services to simplify your life!

We know the holiday season is hectic for all. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to leave their budgets behind. Below is a list of holiday shopping Do’s and Don’ts to help you make the most of this wonderful season!

1. Establish a budget and stick to it

This can be one of the hardest things to do as you get caught up in buying that one last fantastic gift, but it’s essential to keep a financial plan in mind throughout the shopping season.

2. Comparison shop

Whether it’s a sale at a particular retailer, or a store that offers lower prices in general, make sure you take a little time to know you’re getting the best price on an item. If you find a lower price, don’t be afraid to ask another merchant to match that price. Some stores have price matching policies. Also, be sure to always ask if the store has any coupon promotions you can take advantage of.

3. Bring sales circulars out with you

You might find the perfect television of DVD player in an ad, but they all look similar on the shelf. Bring the circular so you remember the exact item you want to buy, and also that the price is accurate. Also, if the store is out of an advertised item, ask for a raincheck to buy the item at the sale price when the next shipment comes in

4. Save all your receipts

Put them all in an envelope and in a safe place where you can find them later. You never know when you’ll need to return something, and a receipt makes the process so much easier.

5. Don’t overuse credit cards

It can be tempting to put a big purchase on a credit card, but the bill won’t disappear as part of a holiday miracle. Also, if you’re using your debit card, be careful about incurring overdraft fees if you should run out of funds in your checking account.

6. Know the exchange policies

A store can have any return policy it wants, as long as it’s disclosed clearly and conspicuously before the sale is made. Just make sure it’s one you’re comfortable with if you think the item might be returned, and make sure to make a special note of the time restrictions for returning items.

7. Know the gift card rules

Be aware of expiration dates, fees, and what happens to a lost or stolen card. These rules can vary by retailer.

8. Check shipping dates

When you’re buying online, make sure what you’re buying is going to get to its destination in time. Most retailers list their latest dates for particular days like Christmas on their Websites.

9. Consider layaway plans

Layaway plans are being more heavily advertised this year, and may be a good option if you don’t want to use a credit card on an item but can’t afford the entire cost up front. Make sure to check on fees for the plan, and whether there are fees imposed if you decide to not purchase the item and ask for a refund. Also, make sure the deposit amount and payment schedule meet your needs.

10. Consider time and travel costs

If you find an item is on sale but across town or a town or two away, consider whether a small savings is worth the extra time and gas it will take to pick it up.

11. Keep an eye on your bags

You might put a bag or pocketbook down for just a few seconds to check out an item or complete a sale, and then you might forget it or have it taken while you’re not looking. Always be mindful of your belongings.

12. Protect your personal information

Make sure your credit card information is protected throughout the holiday season, both at stores and online. When shopping online, check for privacy and security seals that indicate security and privacy measures have been verified. Be sure to read the online retailer’s privacy policy before providing personal information, and only give the information necessary to consummate the transaction. When at a retailer, make sure the receipt doesn’t include your entire credit card number.

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