BBB on Cyber Monday and online shopping

Tips this holiday season

POSTED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 8:27pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 8:44pm

It was Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday. But now it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. Today started the online holiday shopping season.

For the past two years the first Monday after Thanksgiving has been the busiest day for online shopping. But paying for goods online is a little trickier than just handing over cash for that stocking stuffer.

Protecting you and your personal information is vital.

“To make sure you are shopping on a safe website and safe environment, you primarily look at your address in your browser and make sure that it says H, T, T, P, S. That 'S' is for secure," said Richard Kitterman.

Kitterman is the Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau. He says shopping online and cutting through middle men can bring great deals online but beware.

“Obviously you are going to be looking for a good deal but be suspicious of the deal that is just too good," said Kitterman.  "Those that are just out of line with all the other good deals you’ve seen online.”

Some people stay away from shopping online, but almost everybody has bought a gift card during the holidays. Even with legislation passing helping consumers, there are still peanlaties with prepaid gift cards.

“You have to be real careful about these because the fees can add up real quick. There can be fees for a balance inquiry or any time you request help from a service representative. And for the replacement of a lost or stolen card," said Kitterman.

Be sure the gift card you are buying hasn’t had the PIN scratched off and the cardboard case isn’t broke. And whether you shop online or like to give gift cards, Kitterman says to use credit instead of cash.

“Be sure to use a credit card for your purchases- credit card over debit card. You have some protections with a credit card you may not have with a debit card. And if someone steals your credit card information, most credit card companies have a zero liability for the users if you report it in a timely fashion.”


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