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Title: Shopping Shoe-Ins"

Learn these five cool rules and you'll always be a smart consumer:

1. Shop Around
Compare several brands and their features. Don’t pay extra just for a famous brand name. For items like electronics and television sets, look up ratings in magazines such as Consumer Reports. And always compare prices - don't assume that a "gigantic sale" or an outlet store offers the lowest price.

cash register2. Ask About the Return Policy, and Keep Receipts
Always ask about the return policy before you buy something you might need to return. Did you know that stores aren't necessarily required to give a refund just because you have a receipt? Read more about refunds and exchanges.

3. Control the Urge to Splurge
Buying on impulse can be a real wallet-drainer. Before handing over your money, ask: “Do I really need this?” and "If I buy this will I have enough money for other things I want?"

Check out gimmicks stores use to squeeze more money out of you!

Tricks other teens use to control impulse spending.

4. Read the Fine Printsalesman and contract
Whenever you see teeny-tiny print at the bottom of an ad or a contract, read it! It may put limits on the wonderful deal you think you're getting - like that fabulously cheap cell phone plan is only good for calls made after 2 a.m., or that it requires committing to a three-year contract.

5. Be a Little Skeptical
Make “Let the buyer beware” your motto. If something sounds too good to be true, look for the catch! Read about Bamboozled by Advertising? and Scams.


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