Play smart in this week’s big online sales
Our 11 News Call For Action team writes a weekly column for our media partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – It’s summer shopping season! It’s Christmas in July. Many top retailers are hosting their biggest online sales of the summer, and we’ve got some tips to share with you before you start looking for bargains.
Amazon Prime Day takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Target’s Deal Days event will take place Monday through Wednesday. Walmart also told me they were offering deep discounts on many products, including new sales that started over the weekend.
If you’re like me, you love shopping online, then I want to share some things you need to keep in mind this week. First, start doing your homework now, so you’ll be prepared once the deals drop. Find out how much the product costs when it is at full price. The Federal Trade Commission has said that when shopping online, you should consider whether an advertised “deal” is really a good deal for you.
For example, the FTC has said that if you have to buy more than you want or need to get a good price, it might not be worth it. The FTC also said you should check to see if the advertised sale price is really the seller’s lowest price. They said some sellers will do limited time sales or discounts.
“It’s really important that people do their research before buying products. Whether it’s looking at review sites or doing online research on different frauds and scams that are happening and poor customer service experience,” said Mark Fetterhoff of AARP ElderWatch Colorado.
“We obviously have big retailers right now that are running deals and other smaller retailers could be doing the same sort of thing. On top of that, there might be some bad actors in this space who might also try to step in and get money.
“Definitely, shop around and make sure everything you buy comes directly from the reputable site,” he added. “There are different types of businesses that are also trying to emulate these big retailers. So make sure you’re on Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com, to make sure you’re actually getting the product you want, and do some research online and make sure the deals you get are real offers. .”
We know scammers like to capitalize on big events and sales like this, so it’s important to stay on your toes. Watch out for scammers using the name of legitimate businesses.
“Right now, Amazon is one of the most popular names for scammers to use to pretend they are them. So if you get reviews from Amazon and you haven’t bought anything, it’s This is most likely a scam,” Fetterhoff said. “Log in to your known account and make sure nothing is actually there.”
The FTC also said you should review terms of sale, such as expected delivery date, refund or exchange policy, including who pays for return purchases, and whether there are restocking fees.
Experts recommend paying by credit card when shopping online.
“If you’re dealing with a retailer that’s not willing to accept a credit card and they ask for something else, I’d say that’s a scam red flag,” Fetterhoff said. “Credit cards offer a lot more protections, even than debit cards.”
You can report scams, fraud, and price gouging to the Colorado Attorney General’s Statewide Hotline at 800-222-4444. You can also report frauds and scams on FTC.gov. Good shopping!
Click here to read the original column on gazette.com.
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