DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – We know that you’re eager to take initiative on those tempting Black Friday offers from your favorite store. What if they turn out to be nasty scams?

All deals are not created equal and the fine print is often the most important thing. That’s according to the Better Business Bureau, that offers the following tips to help save time and money:

•       Know before You Go: Research where the sales are and make a list of your gift priorities to compare prices and plan your day of deals. In addition, collect as many coupons as you can. Don’t forget to bring ads with you on Black Friday to confirm the intended price.
•       Don’t Fall for False Advertising: Some companies will resort to inaccurate advertisements that mislead and deceive you. Research ahead of time to spot and avoid the red flags.
•       Maximize Advance Alerts: Get notifications from your favorite retail stores via Facebook and email.
•       Set up Your Reward Cards: Visit your favorite store, such as Best Buy for example, to sign up for reward cards and take them with you for Black Friday.
•       Shop with Trust: Before you jump in and shop anywhere, look at the history of the retail store and how long they’ve been in business.
•       Comparative Shop Online: If you decide to buy online, start with trust and know you are dealing with an experienced, reputable retailer; confirm that the site is secure and be certain you have a phone number and physical address should problems arise with your order.
•       Look for QR Codes: QR stands for Quick Response codes and they’re popping up in many ads and print materials. Most newer smart phones are equipped to scan QR codes and if you’re a mobile shopper you could really have some fun.
•       Shop Small: Check out small retail shops around your area. They may have Black Friday deals too.
•       Check Return and Exchange Policies: Make sure you know what the return and exchange policy is for your Black Friday special and that a return is even possible, especially if you’re buying online.
•       Shop Safely: Make a list of places to shop, bring along shopping buddies, do anything to shop without putting your wallet in jeopardy.

In addition, the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) advises Michigan shoppers to find out what their current homeowners or renter’s policies cover and know what to check when making holiday purchases.

“Make sure that you’re covered if the jewelry or television you just bought is stolen,” OFIR Commissioner Kevin Clinton said. “Many homeowners and renter’s insurance policies cover valuable items like electronics or jewelry while others may require you to purchase additional coverage.” (For more tips from OFIR, visit this link.)


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