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Last-minute shopping tips from Consumer Reports

Posted by Consumer Reports on December 5, 2012
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Holiday packages blog

Last-Minute Shopping Tips from Consumer Reports

According to a Consumer Reports poll, only 15% of shoppers have finished buying their holiday gifts by early December. Over a quarter expect to continue shopping until December 23 or later, including the 10% who expect to finish on Christmas Eve, and 5% who don't expect to finish until after the holidays.

Here are 3 very valuable tips for last-minute shoppers:

  1. Check out return policies.  Although it seems like a no-brainer, 46% of shoppers who buy in stores actually don't bother to check the retailer's return policy before making a purchase.  Add the stress of last-minute shopping to the mix and you may end up with unwanted items that are difficult to return.  Ask about the store's return policy before you buy.
  2. Get a gift receipt.  Some retailers implement more lenient return-policies during the holiday season; other merchants won't accept returns without a receipt.  Over half of shoppers reported they typically don't give a gift receipt with their presents.  Ask for one when your pay for your purchase, then remember to tuck it into the gift box.
  3. Be wary of instant credit.  Some shoppers may be enticed by the savings offered when you open a store charge card on-the-spot.   However according to the Consumer Reports poll, most who responded weren't inclined to bite on these offers. Only 7% of Americans reported that they did so to save on purchases.  So, think twice before you sign up for another credit card.  The instant savings may not be worth the temptation to over spend later.

For more tips and shopping advice, subscribe to online.  Use your Union Plus discount and pay just $22 (reg. $30) for one year's instant access to exclusive and unbiased product ratings and recommendations.

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