The holiday shopping season is almost here, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants to help you get ready. Whether you’re shopping at the mall, online, or by phone or mail, our tips can help you shop smart and stay on budget.
- Make a list and set a budget. List the people you plan to buy gifts for, the type of gifts you plan to buy, and how much you plan to spend. Include the cost of cash gifts, holiday travel, extra food, wrappings, decorations, greeting cards, and postage. If it relates to the holiday season and it costs money, add it to your budget.
- Shop around. A “sale” price isn’t always the “best” price. Some merchants may offer a sale price on the item you want for a limited time; other merchants may offer items at a discount everyday.
- Look for price-matching policies. Some merchants will match, or even beat, a competitor’s prices.
- Go online. Check out websites that compare prices. If you decide to buy from an online merchant, keep shipping costs and delivery time in mind.
- Carefully consider bargain offers that are based on purchases of additional merchandise. For example, “Buy One, Get One Free” or “Free Gift with Purchase.” If you don’t really want or need the item, it’s not a deal.
- Clip coupons. Coupons are useful when they save you money on what you’re already planning to buy. Check coupons for any restrictions. For example, do expiration dates apply, or do you have to spend a certain amount before you can use the coupon? Some retailers will accept expired coupons, and even coupons from their competitors. Check with the retailer before you leave home to learn their policy.
- Ask about sale adjustments. If you buy an item at regular price and it goes on sale the next week, can you get a credit or refund for the discounted amount?
- Consider layaway. Layaway purchase plans are designed for people who want to buy merchandise without using credit or paying the full price immediately. When you use layaway, you typically make a deposit – usually a percentage of the purchase price – and pay over time until you have paid for the item in full. In exchange, the retailer holds the merchandise for you. To avoid problems, get the store’s layaway policy in writing.
- Keep an eye on your wallet. Don’t flash cash. Keep an eye on your credit or debit card during transactions, and get them back as quickly as possible. If your cards are lost or stolen, report the loss or theft immediately to the card issuers.
- Use credit and debit cards with care. Save your receipts. You need them for returns and exchanges. Check credit and debit card sales and return receipts against your monthly bills and statements, and report any problems to the credit card issuer promptly.
- Ask about refund and return policies. Many merchants may have different refund and return policies for sale items. For example, clearance merchandise may be on final sale, meaning no refunds or exchanges.
- Keep good records. Whether you’re ordering by mail, phone, or online, it’s important to keep detailed information about the transaction, including your order number, shipping costs and dates, warranties, and refund and return policies.
- Ship early. If you’re sending gifts to out-of-towners, factor in extra time for shipping. If you wait until the last minute, you may pay a hefty price for express or overnight shipping.
Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Kimmy from the blog The Smug Cloud. She doesn’t state where it came from. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft’s thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!
Sunday Stealing: Questions a la Randomness, A Meme
Cheers to all of us thieves!
What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
How late did you stay up last night and why?
Um…can’t remember. Guess I fell asleep.
If you could move somewhere else, would you?
Into my bedroom to put laundry away (could be the 8th time I’ve been asked this….not sure…lost count)
Have you ever been kissed under fireworks?
Do you believe ex’s can be friends?
Do I care?
When was the last time you cried really hard?
This morning when I heard that some doosh animal control idiot in Arizona ‘accidentally’ put the wrong dog down and wound up putting down a Bagdad Pup who sprung from a fenced yard instead of another dog. You make a big deal about immigration and checking id’s but, you can’t check to see if a dog has a chip?
The unidentified employee at the Animal Care and Control facility in Casa Grande, Pinal County, Arizona, was placed on administrative leave after destroying the mongrel bitch by mistake on Monday.
The dog, named Target, was taken to Arizona by Sergeant Terry Young after his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He said the animal had been praised for thwarting an attack by a suicide bomber.
But she escaped from Sgt Young’s back yard last weekend and did not have a tag or microchip.
Sgt Young later found Target’s picture on a website used by the county’s dog catchers to help owners track lost pets.
He arrived at the shelter on Monday to claim her, only to find her dead.
You know…I’m not fond on most animal control people that I’ve had any kind of contact with.
What items could you not go without during the day?
Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
How do you feel about your life right now?
I’m still pissed about that dog and I need to put laundry away. Thank goodness it’s Saturday night.
If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?
Who cares about FB? I’m not sure I even check that inbox junk.
Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
Are you on crack?
Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
My poochies on a daily basis.
Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m.: who do you want it to be?
Santa with sparkly stuff.
Do you think too much or too little?
About what? Meme questions probably.
Do you believe in fairy tales?
I did once and that’s how I got into this mess.
Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?
Again I ask…are you on crack?
What’s the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?
Here is a secret….I dated Hef…the age difference? 150 years.
Have you ever been on a blind date?
Trust me…I’m the blind one.
Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 10 years or more?
What is this…junior high?
Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?
What is this? Junior high?
What song do you want played at your funeral?
Wait..we had this one like a month ago…. I think I said ‘Let it be’ like from the movie (Across the Universe) with the kid and the lady,
Would you tell your parents if you were gay?
MY PARENTS ARE DEAD… plus…I’m thinking since I’ve been married for over 25 years…ain’t nobody gonna believe that one.
What would your last meal be before getting executed?
Executed? For what? I’ve never had as much as a speeding ticketed.
Do you walk around the house naked?
Again I ask, are you on crack?
I’m old and that’s like illegal.
What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?
Get mauled by dogs.
Who is the person you can count on the most?
What is your favorite Holiday?
I’ll never tell.
Would you ever get plastic surgery?
With what money?
Have you ever caught a fish?
Dead ones in my tank.
What is the first thing you notice about people?
What is the farthest you’ve been from home?
Backyard. Dumb questions deserve dumb answers. Bet you’re missing Thom about now.
How did you meet your spouse or significant other (or most recent one)?
At a bar and we’ve been together for like 30 years. So there.
Where was the last place you drove (other than home/school/work)?
Drove to…proper English.