John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau president. CONTRIBUTED

Shop safely this President’s Day

President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday of the month of February. With the celebration of past and present Presidents on February 20, it’s also a prime time for retailers to push their President’s Day sales. Better Business Bureau offers tips to shoppers for tackling large ticket items this holiday.

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February is usually a slow month for many retailers. So, President’s Day sales are encouraged to help motivate spending by consumers, particularly on big ticket items, such as cars, furniture, appliances, electronics, mattresses and much more.

Before you shop online or in the store, BBB offers these President’s Day shopping tips:

Look for sales early. Check out Web sites and online advertisements. Don’t be afraid to comparison shop and check prices on the same items at different locations.

  • Remember, if it sounds too-good-to-be true, it probably is.
  • Do your homework. Before you sign on the dotted line, determine exactly what you’re looking for, how much you can afford and find out the type of customer incentives being offered.
  • Research the manufacturer as well as the retailer.
  • Deal with reputable online sellers you know and trust. Look for and click on the BBB logo on Web sites.
  • If shopping for a vehicle, be familiar with the history of the make and model.
  • In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers resources for safety problems. It even provides a tool that allows you to enter a car’s VIN number to check the vehicle’s safety recalls over the past 15 years including recalls that are incomplete.
  • Stand your ground. If a retailer offered something in an advertisement, but it’s no longer available, make sure what is offered in its place is comparable. Plus, don’t hesitate to negotiate. If you’ve done your research, you’ll be ready to “talk shop.” Stay calm and be confident. The retailer wants to move inventory and needs you to make the sale.
  • Be sure a deal is really a deal. Many times companies advertise 70 percent off, but off what? It always pays to comparison shop. Also, if a company is advertising a “Going out of business” sale, don’t automatically assume it is offering the lowest prices in town. Take time to check prices on the same items at other stores.

For more President’s Day shopping tips, contact your BBB. You can check out Business Profiles for businesses before making a purchase. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

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