MILWAUKEE — If you plan to get an early start on your holiday shopping, watch out. If you are not careful, you and your loved ones could be left saying “bah humbug!”
There are a lot of good reasons to shop early, including early Black Friday deals, avoiding long lines, and getting special items before they go out of stock. But, it can also lead to some pitfalls. Here are a few things that you might want to do to avoid a disappointment later:
Ask about return policies. If you buy too early and the gift does not work out, make sure that there is ample time to do a return after the gift has been given.
If possible, open the box as soon as you make the purchase to be sure that nothing is broken or has missing pieces. Many items come with a limited one year warranty. If you buy too early, you may be starting the warranty clock several weeks or months before you or a loved one opens the box.
Keep receipts and keep tabs on the financial stability of the retailer, especially if you plan to buy a gift card. If the store is going out of business at the end of the year, you may not be able to do a return and the gift card could become worthless.
Ask about price adjustment policies, just in case you find a better deal later. Although you may be able to return an item to a store, your savings could be wiped out if you are subject to restocking or shipping fees.