Avoid These Holiday Shopping Traps

As we move into the retail industry’s most important season of the year, Consumer Reports is out with some helpful guidance on what to watch out for.

The biggest trap, according to the magazine, is purchasing an extended warranty.  These are significant profit generators for the stores that sell them, but are rarely a good deal for buyers.  Consumer Reports has found that most products rarely break within the extended warranty time, and if they do, the cost of repair rarely exceeds the cost of the warranty.  Plus, if you make your purchase with a credit card, your card may offer a free extended warranty.  Check with your issuer.

The magazine also emphasized the importance of getting the details on a store’s return and restocking fee policies.  And make sure any deal being promoted really is a deal by comparing prices using a shopping comparison web site such as PriceGrabber.com.  To emphasize its point, Consumer Reports found a coffee maker listed as “on sale” at a popular retailer that could be purchased for about half the price at an online store.

What other holiday shopping traps have you learned to avoid?

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