Consumer Reports: purchasing with a cause

Consumer Reports: purchasing with a cause. (WPEC)

Some retailers donate a portion of their sales to charity during the holidays but Consumer Reports shows why you need to look at the fine print before making a purchase in this consumer reports.

Some stores promise to help charities by donating money from a portion of your purchase.

"Ideally, it's a win-win. But you gotta make sure that the companies are as generous as they want you to think they are," Anthony Giorgianni, Consumer Reports Money Editor.

The key is transparency. Look on a company's website, for information about its giving policy.

Amazon Smile, for example, states very clearly that they donate one-half of one percent of all eligible purchases -- to the participating charity of your choice.

"You want to be skeptical if the retailer says it's going to give a portion of the proceeds, but doesn't tell you exactly how much," says Giorgianni.

And, don't give anyone your business strictly to support a good cause. Make sure you're getting at least the same price and service you would get if you shopped elsewhere.

Here's why: buying a 400-dollar television, on AmazonSmile results in a donation of roughly two dollars.

If you can get a better price on a television elsewhere, you can always save yourself some money -- and then make a charitable donation, on your own.

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