The holiday shopping season kicks off today, November 24, with Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday shortly on its heels on November 27.

In parallel, the Business and Retail Associate of Greece has announced that shops will exceptionally be open this Sunday, November 26, from 11:00am to 8:00pm.

In anticipation of the day, stores have been announcing sales in a wide range of products, from large appliances to clothing.  Even the travel sector has entered the fray with sales on airline tickets, car rentals, and vacation packages.

Greece’s consumer protection agency has cautioned buyers to beware however, releasing a list of tips to be followed to avoid becoming a victim of fraud today and throughout the entire sale season. Most of the guidance relates to online sales, where it is a bit easier for consumers to be duped.

Some of the smart and safe shopping tips are: avoid signing up for online newsletters promising special sales in exchange for your personal data; conduct a market research, using specific model numbers if possible, before buying; make a list and set a budget for yourself to avoid overspending; check closely the terms of purchase including availability, delivery date, and return policy; be aware of stores obligations which include tagging products with the original and sales prices and informing customers clearly of policies related to returns and exchanges; avoid sellers that channel everything through social media accounts.