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Guidelines for Black Friday Scams

With the economy making a slow recovery, consumers more than ever are taking advantage of Black Friday for bargain-hunting.

On Black Friday, they expect to find the best deals of the holiday season. Knowing this, many scammers take advantage. Here are some guidelines con artists use to deceive buyers.

Black Friday online deals. Don't trust websites listed beyond the first couple of pages. They are likely shell sites, designed only to get your credit card information.

Beware of used gift cards on websites. Scout reviews for third-party vendors. The cards could be worthless, reported as stolen and then disabled.

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Guidelines for Black Friday Deals

Black Friday is the sale of the year.

Crowds willing to stand in line for hours can get in on the best deals on Black Friday. For this event, prepare in advance, or you may miss out on significant savings.

If you can survive without sleep for the Night Owl and Early Bird savings promotions, beginning at midnight and five am, do so. Bringing along a friend to wait out the hours, saving places in line for bathroom breaks and coffee treks, is a practical plan. Prepare for your shopping trip reviewing sale item ads. Also comparison shop at online retailers' websites. Bring ads to guarantee you get the item's sale price.

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Inexpensive Gift-Giving for the Holidays

The economy has made gift-giving for the holidays difficult. But you can economize, be creative, and have fun in producing gifts that show you care. One method is to shop throughout the year. If you see a sales special for an item you know will please someone, snatch it up and save. January is the month for white sales and all bedding is steeply discounted. You can purchase some beautiful sheet sets and surprise someone, who never expected to receive such an item.

Gift items needn't be expensive or conventional. You can forgo the X-box 360 and give nephew collectible sports cards of his favorite team. Give mom or nana a box of tree ornaments. How about a favorite plant for your uncle's green thumb?

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What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, considered by news media to be the biggest and most bustling shopping day of the year.

The term Black Friday has lost its original meaning, coined in 1961 by the city of Philadelphia. Referring to congested auto and pedestrian traffic, clogging streets with shoppers, looking to get the best deals for Christmas gift-giving, eventually the term evolved to when retailers start making a profit off sale merchandise. In the past, accountants noted in their ledgers losses in red ink and profits in black. Hence, the term Black Friday means windfall profits for merchants.

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