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Beware of scams while shopping on Black Friday

Scams are common on Black Friday both online and off
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Retailers online and off are all competing for your money this Black Friday as they slash prices on their products, but be wary of scams.

Martin Qui is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Wilfrid Laurier University who says scams are common on Black Friday.

Part of it comes from physical retailers competing with online shopping that offer better prices and a wider selection. Physical store can do well in certain areas that online stores can't replicate, such as being able to try on clothes before buying or seeing furniture in the physical world. It's when they overlap then there is conflict.

According to Qui, the bare minimum for a discount to catch your attention is 15-20 per cent. Once it start to get to 30 and 50 per cent is when you should be suspicious.

In order to compete, physical retail stores may hide the regular price and inflate it so the discounts seem more tempting. Online stores can't resort to that.

"If the price is online, it's less likely to be a fake or scam price, because customers can easily verify if the price is wrong with competitive online retailers," Qui said. He warns online shopping isn't without its hidden dangers. Fake e-commerce sites popping up on Black Friday are common as well.

"So while you're waiting for the shipping, they're gonna use your credit card for other purposes," Qui said. 

He said to check if you're shopping at a legitimate store before checking out. Qui offered this bit of advice for those shopping on Black Friday.

"You buy things that you need, and on promotion. If either not satisfied, I think you should wait."


Phi Doan

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