Holiday shopping countdown | Better Business Bureau

While shoppers gear up for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, Better Business Bureau reminds consumers to not get overwhelmed with door buster sales. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers plan to spend an average of $463 on family members this holiday season.

And while enormous crowds are expected to hit the stores for “Black Friday,” eager shoppers will also be taking advantage of deals during “Small Business Saturday” and “Cyber Monday.”

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers up the following advice on finding the best selections, saving money, staying safe and giving wisely.

  • “Shop Surely” on Black Friday: Before waiting in line for hours and braving the boisterous crowds, know what’s really being offered. Learn how to read ads and understand “badvertising” at bbb.org/adtruth. Spot a bad ad? Use #AdTruth on social media to warn others.
  • “Shop Small” on Small Business Saturday: The best prices and best selection are not always at the big box stores. On November 28, look for “Shop Small” signs at thousands of small and independent businesses. Share your experience with us by taking a selfie at a favorite small business and share it on social media with #BBBHolidayHelper and #ShopSmall.
  • “Shop Savvy” on Cyber Monday: Online sales are expected to top $105 billion this holiday season. Shop safe online: look for the lock icon and https for secure URLs, watch out for look-alike websites, and use a credit (not debit) card. More tips on being a savvy shopper are available from the Digital IQ initiative at bbb.org/digitaliq.
  • “Give Wisely” on Giving Tuesday. When the shopping frenzy is over, December 1 is all about being generous. Make sure the charity you select will be a good steward of your money. Check out give.org for charity reviews from BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Use BBB’s Holiday Helper as a guide to gifting and giving and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest consumer tips and alerts.