Whether you’re out and about shopping or at home snapping up deals online, experts say you should use your credit card and be mindful of stores’ return policies.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — No line, no waiting: That was the common theme around the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids on Black Friday. 

Early in the morning around 5 a.m., parking lots around the mall and the neighboring stores were mostly empty. At Kohl’s, shoppers didn’t have to rush in to get in position when the doors opened for Black Friday sales, and the same can be said across the street at Macy’s when its doors opened at 6 a.m.

Whether you’re out and about shopping or at home snapping up deals online, experts say you should use your credit card and be mindful of stores’ return policies.

They say using a credit card is ideal to protect you if you’re a victim of a fraud. Katie Grevious at the Better Business Bureau said if you are a victim of a crime, and you used cash or a debit card, it is harder to be protected.

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But if your credit card is used fraudulently, it is the issuer who loses money and that protects you in the long run.

In addition, Grevious said many stores have changed their return policy, so be aware of them before you buy anything for Black Friday.

“I will say one big thing that gets people during the holiday shopping season is those return policies,” said Grevious. “Whether you’re online shopping or in person, a lot of those stores changed their return policies. So, if you’re shopping on Black Friday, you only have until the day after Christmas.”

Grevious added you may not get back all of your money when you make a return, so know what to expect before buying.

Additionally, credit card experts say most major issuers offer zero-liability protection in the event you fall victim of fraud. 

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