Pay attention to the last digit of the price tag. It could tell you if you’re getting a bargain, or paying full price.
When Ben Blout invoked a big-box store’s “low price promise” after discovering a lower price on his merchandise, he learned something customers rediscover every holiday shopping season: some restrictions apply.
Make that lots of restrictions.
“They told me they won’t match any printed advertisement that is not valid for at least one week,” says Blout. “Specifically, their price match excludes timed events like early bird specials and door busters.”
Fine print is a problem any time of the year, of course. But most consumers get foiled by it around the holidays, in part because more people are shopping, and in part because of the extra offers with the extra restrictions.
It’s that time of year when you follow the herd to the mall and gorge on the displays.
That’s right, I’m talking about the irrational holiday shopping season. Think I’m overstating this? The authoritative National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts a 3.9 percent rise in holiday sales this year, meaning that collectively, Americans will buy $602 billion worth of gifts before the end of this year.
The average holiday shopper will drop $737 on gifts, décor and greeting cards, according to the NRF. That’s some serious gorging!
This year, I’m not going to tell you to avoid the frenzy. (What kind of Scrooge would I be?) Instead, as a service to consumers, let me help you understand what the other members of the swarm actually mean when they talk amongst themselves.
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What we’re reading
• Stores use cameras and cell phone signals to stalk you (International Digital Times)
Nina Boal needs a travel insurance policy. But with so many choices out there, which one should she buy?
“I want to see if I can buy appropriate policy,” she says. “I checked online, and can’t find any direct answers.”
She’s right. An online search for “travel insurance” is likely to pull up a long and confusing list of possible answers. But there are really just three options.