Thursday, November 10, 2011

5 More Tips For Holiday Shopping

Welcome back to our second submission of holiday tips that will save you even more than your money! Lets not waste any time and jump right into the tips!

6. Skip the extended warranty
Don’t expect to buy any appliance or electronic product without getting the pitch for an extended warranty. The salesperson may try to convince you this extra coverage is a cheap way to protect yourself against costly repairs.
Consumer experts disagree. They say these service contracts are generally a bad deal for the customer. Tod Marks, a senior editor at Consumer Reports, calls it “a sucker’s bet” because the odds are slim you will ever need that extra coverage. Marks says products rarely break within the extended-warranty window. And if they do, the repairs tend to cost about the same as the price paid for the extended warranty.

7. Use the right card
You may not have to consider an extended warranty if you use the right credit card to pay for that purchase. Most platinum and gold credit cards double the manufacturer’s warranty for up to an extra year. Check with your credit card companies to see if any of your cards provide an extended warranty benefit.

8. Be wary of instant store credit cards
You're at the register and the salesperson offers you a great deal – you can save 10 to 20 percent on that purchase by opening a store charge card on the spot. If you’re about to make a sizeable purchase, the instant savings can be mighty tempting. But consider this: most retail cards have an interest rate of 20 percent or more; some are as high as 28.99 percent.
“So if you end up carrying a balance, even for one month, you may easily wipe out that instant savings,” warns Gerri Detweiler, personal finance advisor with Credit.com. Agree to apply for the card and the store is going to check your credit report. That inquiry can affect your credit score. If you are approved and put a balance on that card, this will also affect your credit score.

9. Know return policies
You need to think about this as you make your buying decisions. Many chain stores give you 90 days to take back holiday purchases. But that return period can be much shorter. That’s especially true when you buy electronics. In some cases, you only have 14 days. So you’ve got to be careful. Also, once you open the box, you might have to pay a restocking fee of 15 percent or more to take it back. So the rule is simple: if you don’t want it, don’t open it.

10. Get a gift receipt
You can make those returns easier by giving a gift receipt with your present. A gift receipt doesn’t have the price on it, but the store will know exactly how much you paid for that item. Without a receipt, some stores will not allow a return. Others will only give a refund for the lowest price that item sold for during the holiday shopping season. You may have paid a lot more than that. A gift receipt removes those hassles.

We certainly hope you got enough tips to get your through the holiday shopping season alive! If you need more information, give us a shout about what you want to hear and we will get back to you. Thanks for checking out another blog post from your credit union!

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