BBB offers tips to shop safe and smart this holiday season

The 2021 holiday shopping season promises to be an unpredictable one.  The labor shortage and supply chain issues are already throwing a wrench into holiday shopping. Electronics, toys and other products will be (or already are) in short supply, and retailers are struggling to staff up as the shopping season nears.

Product shortages and increased online shopping are likely to result in even more online purchase scams this year. These scams accounted for nearly 40 percent of all scams reported to Better  Business Bureau Scam Tracker in 2020, according to the 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. Shortages are likely to make purchase scams even more common as desperate shoppers turn to shady websites in hopes of finding this year’s must-have gift.


The BBB recommends the following tips to “Shop Safe, Shop Smart” this holiday season:

  • Research before you buy.
  • If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Beware of fake websites.
  • Professional photos do not mean it’s a real offer.
  • Make sure the website is secure.
  • Be careful purchasing sought-after products.
  • Beware of making quick purchases while scrolling through social media.
  • Look for the BBB seal.
  • Use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods.
  • Verify shipment tracking information.

Count on BBB to help you “Shop Safe, Shop Smart.” More tips are available at

Report unsatisfactory purchase experiences to BBB. If you are unhappy with a purchase, file a complaint at If you never got what you paid for, consider reporting it to BBB Scam Tracker to help other consumers avoid being scammed.


About the Better Business Bureau

     For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico.