Shoppers look in a Macy's store window at Santa on Black Friday, November 27, 2009.
Better Business Bureau offers tips to consumers
With the gift giving season right around the corner, many people are spending their time looking for great deals in stores and on-line, but Macon Area Better Business Bureau President Kelvin Collins says people should take a look at his organizations website before making any purchases.
"Our effectiveness before the sale is made, is greatly increased," Collins said.
Out of 21,000 retail businesses in the area, the Macon BBB has given 2,100 of them, or 10%, a D or F rating. Collins says consumers should know who they're doing business with.
"That's a company that has proven they're not standing behind their product or service, they're not putting their customers first," Collins said.
While scammers are out and about, Collins says people shouldn't be wary. He says if you stick to your gut instinct you should be able to finish your holiday shopping without incident.
"If you use common sense you are going to know whether or not something is true or if it's a scam," Collins said.
People on a tight budget this year shouldn't be afraid to hit the pawn shop. At least one Macon store is doing it's best to change the industry's shady perception.
"This is not the same pawn shop people are used to from 50 years ago, this is the new era," said Money Mizer Pawn Shop Manager Robert Carson.
Carson says people looking to pay below retail price should give them a try, and don't be afraid to haggle for a deal.
"Everything sitting on that shelf is doing me no good when it's still here," Carson said.
Whether you're pawning, shopping on-line, or searching for great deals in stores, Collins says he's just hopeful all consumers stay educated, and everyone has a great holiday shopping season.
"It's always a good feeling when you know if you can educate consumers, and have them thinking along the lines of i got to spend my money wisely, it helps them in the long run," Collins said.