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Holiday Gift Guide SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2012

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Last-minute shopping tips for the panicked Sales traps to avoid

By Metro Creative

early everyone has a last minute holiday shopping horror story to tell.

Be it a late-season grab for a child’s must-have gift or fighting fellow procrastinators for a parking spot come the waning days of the season, veteran shoppers have experi- enced it all.

While those with more expe-

rience might know the tricks of the late season shopping trade, novice procrastinators might need a few of the fol- lowing tips to make it through the season without a horror story of their own. • Consider online retailers. Shopping online might not be for everyone, but those with- out much time might want to

consider online retailers, many of which guarantee de- livery of the item by Christmas Day for orders placed as late as December 20. In addition, some retailers even guarantee delivery if the order is placed by December 22, but such guarantees often require con- sumers to choose overnight delivery, which can be costly. When shopping online, if no gifts stand out, consider buy- ing an electronic gift certifi- cate instead. Such certificates can often be delivered directly to a loved one’s e-mail inbox, and it only takes a matter of seconds for the delivery to be made. Though some find this impersonal, nowadays many people would prefer a gift card instead of another sweater.

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The holiday season is rife with deals on items that range from the very small to the very large. But as enticing as holi- day deals can be, not all of them will benefit the consumer in the long run. When shop- ping this holiday season, con- sumers should be mindful of the following holiday shopping traps.

• Extended warranties. On the surface, service plans are in a consumer’s best interest. However, many service plans cover repairs that are already offered by a product’s stan- dard warranty. Retailers tend to push extended warranties because they’re very retailer- friendly, often set up so retail-

ers keep as much as or even more than 50 per cent of the warranty cost. What’s more, data from Consumer Reports indicates that products rarely break within the extended- warranty coverage, meaning consumers who purchase ex- tended warranties truly are paying for nothing in many cases.

• Restocking fees. Gifts are often returned during the holi- days, and many retailers insist items can be returned and ful- ly reimbursed if done within a specific window of time after purchase.However, restocking fees can challenge that claim.

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Visit for great deals 100-1995 Industrial Road West Kelowna


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