SOURCE: Credit.com

Credit.com

November 19, 2014 09:00 ET

A Shocking Number of Americans Feel Bullied by Retailers When Holiday Shopping

As We Head Into Black Friday, Credit.com Discovers That 3 in 10 Americans Feel Bullied by Store Clerks

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - November 19, 2014) - It's almost Black Friday and millions of Americans will flood into stores to buy their big purchases for the holiday season. But, as a recent Credit.com survey reveals, mounting pressure from store clerks to open store credit cards leaves many Americans feeling bullied while holiday shopping.

A survey conducted by Credit.com found that 31 percent -- or three in ten Americans -- feel bullied when the store clerk asks if they'd like to open a store credit card to receive a discount. And, customers aren't a fan of the pressure tactic: Almost half (49 percent) regret their decision to open a store card during the holiday season and more than half (57 percent) of shoppers say they avoid returning to the store where they felt bullied. The November 2014 survey was conducted online among 1,320 Americans ages 18 and older.

More findings about store clerk bullying and the opening of store credit cards during the holiday shopping season, according to U.S. adults:

  • Roughly one-third (28 percent) have given into a store clerk's pressure and opened a store credit card during the holiday shopping season.
  • When asked why shoppers regretted their decision to open a store credit card during the holiday shopping season many (36 percent) explained they already had too many credit cards. Other reasons, included:
    • I spent more than I originally intended (19 percent)
    • I have too much debt already (18 percent)
    • Opening the credit card had a negative impact on my credit score (10 percent)
    • Other (15 percent)
  • The majority -- 70 percent -- of Americans explained the reason they did not regret opening a store credit card during the holiday shopping season was because they received a large discount on their original purchase.
  • Although shoppers may feel bullied, they are also sympathetic for the position the store clerk is in. When asked if shoppers feel sorry for store clerks who have to pressure customers into opening a card 73 percent of Americans said yes.

To help customers make smarter decisions about store credit and avoid feeling bullied this Black Friday, Credit.com's Director of Consumer Education, Gerri Detweiler, has five questions every shopper should ask before opening a store credit card:

  1. How much will I really save?
    • You can usually save 10% - 20%. While it's nice to pay less, it's not always necessary to open a credit card to accomplish that. You may be able to find coupons or coupon codes that allow you to get the same deal.
  1. How often do I shop here?
    • Sign up only if you shop at this store on a regular basis. Set the threshold in advance. Is it once a month, or once a week?
  1. Will it help or hurt my credit?
    • Check your credit reports and credit scores now so you know where you stand (you can do that for free at Credit.com). If you have good credit, you shouldn't have trouble qualifying for most retail cards.
  1. Is this the right time?
    • If you plan to apply for a mortgage, car loan or any other major loan within the next six months, politely decline. It's probably not worth the risk to your credit to save a few dollars at the register.
  1. Is this store credit card good?

To learn more, please visit Credit.com.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by SurveyMonkey Audience on behalf of Credit.com from November 5 to 14, 2014, among 1,320 adults ages 18 and older. Margin of error for the survey was +/-3%. For complete survey methodology please contact Madeline Willman of SHIFT Communications at mwillman@shiftcomm.com.

About Credit.com
Credit.com is a company comprised of personal finance experts and Silicon Valley technologists who share a singular mission: educate and empower people to take control of their credit. With insightful advice and personalized tools, Credit.com helps consumers understand that an excellent credit score is more than a number. It is the path to a secure financial future and better quality of life. Only Credit.com provides consumers with a customized view of their credit standing and an actionable plan to improve it -- all for free.

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