With more and more people shopping online, buyers have to be careful, especially during big shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Photo: Don Hankins.

With more and more people shopping online, buyers have to be careful, especially during big shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Photo: Don Hankins.

Black Friday is coming, so buyer beware

Customers can get some great deals; but make sure to keep safe when buying online.

One of the busiest shopping weekends of the year is coming up. Black Friday—which started as an American event tied in to the U.S. Thanksgiving celebration, but which has spread to Canada and other parts of the world—falls on November 24 this year, and is followed quickly by Cyber Monday on November 27. Canadians from coast to coast will be trying to cut the best deals possible in the run-up to Christmas Day, with the average Canadian spending around $1,500 over the holidays.

“This is a time to be wary about how and where you spend your money,” says Evan Kelly, senior communications advisor for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Mainland BC. “Shop around. Just because a store says it’s the best deal all year, doesn’t mean it is. You may even want to ask yourself if you really need the item. Be careful of the impulse buy!”

Kelly says that it is a highly competitive market, especially as regards big ticket items such as TVs. “Sales are on all year long. Track them, and keep tabs on them. Just because Black Friday is here doesn’t mean you’ll get the best deals.”

The BBB offers several tips to help you make the right purchase on Black Friday:

* Check the ads, check the competition, and check the flyers, both online and what shows up at the door. Find the best deal on the specific product you’re looking for. In short: do your homework.

* Signing up for email alerts means you might be in the know before other shoppers; but make sure you’ve signed up on a legitimate website.

* Monitor social media feeds for good deals, but be wary of click-bait ads. If the product is too cheap, it’s too good to be true.

* Make sure you understand return/refund policies. If it’s not posted: ask. This information should be available online as well. Some deeply discounted or discontinued items could be final sale only.

* Make sure you understand any and all warranties on new products.

It’s estimated that 90 per cent of consumers will purchase online at some point, during Black Friday/Cyber Monday and at other times. Here are a few things to be aware of:

* Purchase using credit cards.

* Make sure the website of the site you are purchasing from is encrypted with “https://” in the URL.

* Make sure the URL is legitimate and not a spoofed version; i.e.: www.ebay.com, not www.ebay1.ml.

* Use reputable payment portals like PayPal or Verified by Visa.

* Read the terms and conditions when it comes to delivery and refunds

* Order on time so gifts arrive before Christmas.

* Do not online shop through public Wi-Fi.

* Avoid clicking links if you don’t know where they’re from.

* Be wary of slick pop-up ads; go to the company website first.

* Update your anti-virus software.

* Check your credit card statements regularly.

The BBB also warns people to be aware of fake delivery invoices purporting to come from Canada Post, UPS, or Amazon. They will allude to your order being “stuck in transit”, and urge you to click on a link and/or input information, such as a credit card or Social Insurance number.

Is the introduction general in nature (“Dear Customer”), and does the message contain bad grammar and spelling? If so, delete the email, and do not click on any links or provide any information. If in doubt, go to the site where you placed your order and check there for any information and updates.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Websit back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read