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RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper warns shoppers to be mindful of smart shopping practices, especially as they endure the hectic back-to-school shopping period.

Cooper advises shoppers to bare in mind the following tips:

  • Know what you're shopping for: if shoppers know the specifics on size/quantity/type and purchase the correct items, they avoid incurring the expense of not being able to return items that already have been opened.
  • Shop around and compare prices: ask the retailer if it offers a matching policy, if the item is less expensive at another store.
  • Learn a store's return policy before shopping there: stores are not required, by law, to accept returned items, so policies should be checked prior to purchasing. Shoppers are advised to save receipts.
  • Consider buying second-hand: used items are less expensive, especially if prices on new items are inflated
  • Use a credit card: if a retailer goes out of business or an item does not arrive, the shopper can better dispute the charge if he or she has a record of the purchase on his or her credit card.

The attorney general's consumer protection division can provide shoppers insight on what to do, if they believe they are the victim of a scheme or unfair shopping policy. Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM to file a complaint. The number is toll-free if dialed within North Carolina.

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