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BBB Release: BBB Back-To-School Shopping Tips

Shopping Homework: Understand School Needs and Ad Promotion Before Buying

Anchorage, Alaska – A­ug. 12, 2010 – It's back to school time! Kiddos are getting their backpacks ready and young adults are making sure they are set for college. With many "back-to-school sales" and other promotions popping up, Better Business Bureau is supplying shoppers with a checklist to help make buying smoother.

Back-to-school tips from BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:

Plan: After attaining a list of required supplies from the school, make a shopping list to avoid impulse buying or having to make return trips. Set a realistic budget and stick to it.

Promotions: “Back-to-school sales” may not be the bargains they appear to be. Make sure to compare “apples to apples.” Read ads and coupons; conditions, timeframes and restrictions, must be listed. If an offer is misrepresented, see the store manager.

Returns and exchanges: Kids aren't there to try on the clothes? Unsure if it is the right supply requested by the teacher? Before purchasing, ask the merchant how refunds and exchanges will be handled. Don’t assume the regular return policy applies to sales or clearance items. Save the receipt and keep the item in the original box.

Expensive items: Ask about the warranty. How long is it in effect and what does it cover? Weigh the pros and cons of an extended warranty plan.

Computers: If it's for college, check with the school store to see if they offer a discount on certain brands. When choosing a computer consider: What will it be used for? What hardware and software are needed? Is there computer problem help available? What is the warranty? What are other students using? What is needed to access school internet?

Check the price. At the register, make sure items ring up correctly.

For more tips or to get a free BBB Reliability Report on a business visit, www.bbb.org.

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About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington: Better Business Bureau is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit www.bbb.org.

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