Gearing up for the holidays? Here are some season-specific things to think about as you get prepared for this busy time of year.

5 things to be mindful of

1. Charity scams. The holiday season is usually an important and busy time for legitimate charities looking to raise money for those in need. Unfortunately, there’s also an increase in charity scams. There are at least 10 red flags you can watch out for. For example, if the charity is unregistered, there’s a chance it could be a scam. Learn how to avoid charity scams.

2. The “Secret Sister” gift exchange. Were you promised 36 gifts in exchange for sending one gift valued at $10? There are some precautions you may want to consider before participating in a “Secret Sister” gift exchange. While we can’t say for sure whether a certain gift exchange is legitimate or not, if you are promised something that is worth more than what you’re expected to pay, it may be a pyramid scheme. Learn to spot the signs of a pyramid scheme.

3. Return and refund policies. Buying presents for friends and family? In BC, retail stores are allowed to set their own return and refund policies. That’s why it’s so important to ask each store about their policy before buying gifts this year.

4. Gift card rules. Chances are many of you are purchasing gift cards for friends and family this season. Certain gift cards are allowed to expire (or have fees) and some do not. Before you do your shopping, learn what the law says about expiration dates and fees for gift cards.

5. Counterfeit goods. If you’re shopping for gifts online, it can sometimes be easy to mistake a fake website for a legitimate one and end up purchasing counterfeit goods. Learn how to protect yourself from counterfeit goods.

Did we miss anything? What’s something you think people should be mindful of this holiday season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Did you like this? You might like these posts too!

What’s your refund policy?
The 10 red flags of charity scams
Be careful with the “Secret Sister” gift exchange
The gift of gift cards
Tips to protect yourself from buying counterfeit goods