3OYS: Black Friday shopping tips

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  - It's not even Black Friday yet and already stores are trying to lure you in with all kinds of deals.

"It's such a great time of year," says Felicia Thompson of the Phoenix Better Business Bureau.  "We're always thinking about trying to find the great deals online and in person."

Thompson says although bargains are out there, you should still be familiar with a store's return policy.

"Make sure if you have an issue you can take that item back," Thompson said.  "Because sometimes with the cyber-Monday sales or the Black Friday sales online, a lot of folks are just jumping at the great deal and not making sure they can return the item or there's not a restocking fee. Things like that."

Tip number two: If you get an e-receipt, check your email right away.

"Just use your smartphone at the place," Thompson said.  "Just to make sure you received the email, because if you leave the store without your receipt, it could be in a situation where you have a problem returning or exchanging the item."

Tip number three: Get the real deal.  Often stores advertise amazing deals like 70 percent off, or going out of business. The Better Business Bureau suggests comparsion shopping in order to make sure the deal is as good as it sounds.

And tip number four: Remember that gift cards have rules.  Many consumers don't realize it but you can get charged with an inactivity fee if you wait too long to use the gift card.

"A lot of times you get gift cards and you put them in the drawer," Thompson said.  "And we look at them six or seven months later.  So make sure you're using it in a timely manner so fees won't build up in your card. You have at least 12 months before those fees kick in.