July 30, 2014

Black Friday offers great deals

Retailers really don’t make much profit on many of their sale items, in fact, they often lose money, according to Madison College Business and Marketing instructor Betty Hurd. She says the goal is to get the consumer in the door. The big “must haves” this year — it’s no surprise — technology. That includes CDs, TVs, DVDs, and a huge variety of digital tablets.

Hurd says apparel, accessories, and jewelry are expected to have a substantial increase in sales this year compared to previous years. Consumers will find many last-minute bargains, but Hurd warns shoppers not to wait around in hopes of snagging an even better deal, because you just might miss out

Keep your receipt. Hurd says if you try to return an item, you might be reimbursed the last sale price of that item, which could be significantly lower than what you paid.

A Madison-based retail consultant predicts a 6.5 percent increase in sales during the holiday shopping season in Wisconsin this year. But Doug Johnson says surveys show consumers are “cautious,” considering unemployment, the housing market, fuel costs, and global volatility.

Special pricing applies to specific items; Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection warns that it’s the responsibility of shoppers to check receipts for accuracy at the check out counter. Also, make sure you understand return/refund/exchange policies before you buy.

The Christmas shopping season officially begins the Friday after Thanksgiving, even though some stores get a head start on Thursday. Visit BlackFriday.com

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 2:20

(John Colbert, WIBA)