Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season. The Better Business Bureau is offering these tips to shoppers:
Do your research: Find businesses you can trust on bbb.org <http://www.bbb.org>.
Read the ads carefully: Black Friday is known for "door busting" sales, but sometimes quantities are limited or there are other restrictions.
Shop around: Not all of the best sales or the best prices are in the big box stores. Thousands of small and independent businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday.Visit shopsmall.com <http://www.shopsmall.com> for a list of participating retailers.
Be safe online: Shop safe online;look for a small lock icon and an extra "s" in the URL. Use a credit card for online shopping, as it has more fraud protections than a debit card. Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date and avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and social media messages.
Beware: Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days, but beware of scams. Scammers take advantage of bargain hunters looking for the hot new toy or latest gadget. A popular holiday scam comes in an email claiming to be from a package delivery service.
Give wisely: Charitable giving is always high during the holidays when donors are feeling generous. Make sure the charity you select will be a good steward of your money.