DATCP’s Helpful Tips for Holiday Shoppers

Gone are the days when the savings started on Black Friday – holiday sales have already begun. Whether shopping for themselves or a loved one, consumers can benefit from deals being offered throughout November and December. Remember these tips to shop smart this holiday season:

  • Do your research before shopping online or heading to a brick-and-mortar store, as there may be differences in sales and pricing.
  • If an item is out of stock, ask for a rain check so you can purchase it later at the current sale price.
  • Sellers must honor the lowest posted price for an item, whether in an ad or on the shelf. Double check that items are priced correctly, and politely ask your cashier or customer service representative to fix any errors.
  • Read the fine print! Some sales only apply to limited circumstances. Ask yourself:
    • Are there limited days/hours?
    • Does the sale apply to only certain models as well as colors?
    • Do you need to buy a certain quantity to get the sale price? Are there limitations on the quantity you can purchase at the sale price?
    • Can you return the sale item? Will you get a full refund?
  • Know the seller’s policy for returns and exchanges.
    • Do some products, like electronics or clearance items, have a different policy?
    • Can defective items be returned or only exchanged?
    • Does the return/exchange window begin at purchase, or upon delivery of the product? Who pays return shipping fees?
  • For both online and in-store purchases, confirm that your cart contains what you want to purchase prior to paying. This will help you avoid unnecessary returns/exchanges.
  • Save all receipts and keep the original packaging and barcodes intact in case a purchase needs to be returned.

For more information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit DATCP’s Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline can be contacted at (800) 422-7128 or DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov.