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5 things to know about Black Friday shopping — all week

Kevin Smith, The Press-Enterprise on

Published in Fashion Daily News

The holiday shopping week, never mind Black Friday, has descended on retailers big and small.

As most savvy shoppers know, myriad deep holiday discounts are offered well before Black Friday, the day after turkey and all those sides. Sales promotions for the hottest toys, clothing and electronics have been splashed across TV, company websites, social media and newspapers since October.

Retailers learned long ago that it pays to lure shoppers early with “Black Friday” deals, encouraging them to sign up for alerts on their smartphones.

Finder.com says 53% of Americans are shopping pre-holiday sales in addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Adobe Insights predicts online holiday spending for November and December will top $209 billion this year.

Here are five tips to keep in mind during this often frantic week of holiday shopping, whether buying at the mall, online — or both.To return or not to return?

Before you break out the comfy sneakers and hit the mall early, check out retailers’ return policies.

 

Many will have holiday refund and return policies that include partial refunds for items that will go on sale for even less later in the shopping season.

And buyer beware: Some merchants are shortening the return window and even charging a return or restocking fee, according to Spencer Kieboom, founder and CEO of Pollen Returns, a return management company.

Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and J. Crew — once known for their generous return policy that spanned the lifetime of a garment — have shortened their regular return windows to within a month, Kieboom said.

Other things to consider: Understand the types of products you can return (some electronics and food have a no-return policy); any time limits for returns (some retailers have extended them for the holidays); and whether you’ll need to provide a receipt.Popular items may sell out fast

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