Be cautious when shopping at Halloween pop-up stores

October 15, 2013

VANCOUVER, British Columbia October 14, 2013Looking to buy a fun Halloween costume this season? You’re not alone. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend about $75 per person on Halloween from everything including candy, costumes and decorations.

During this spooky season many Halloween-themed pop-up shops are found in high traffic locations. These pop-up stores are on short-term leases which are often offering a variety of costumes and accessories.

Failing to research the company through BBB’s business reviews prior to making a purchase could come back to haunt consumers.

Here are some BBB tips to make sure your Halloween is “spooktacular” fun:

Scare up some information on the company. Many seasonal stores are run by reputable retailers who take advantage of short-term leases on vacant space to set up temporary stores to augment their permanent space, but other shops may be in and out in a matter of weeks. While it is always good to check out a shop’s BBB Business Review at, some seasonal businesses change their name from one year to the next as a way of disguising a poor track record. Ask around and know with whom you’re doing business before getting “tricked.” Verify the physical location of a business and its phone number.

Ask before finding out about shocking return policies. Find out if the product is returnable or a final sale. Ask if there are any conditions on the return as some items like costumes may not be returnable.

Inspect the product before buying. Look for any imperfections and try on the costume. If you are buying a pricey gladiator outfit, you might want to make sure you don’t have a cod-piece fail.

Keep documentation and pay by credit card. Receipts are needed for most refund and exchanges, so keep track of them. If a company suddenly closes and you have non-delivery of goods, you may have some recourse through your credit card provider.

When purchasing costumes online, do it securely. Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should start with “https://.” You also may see a small picture of a closed lock in the lower right corner of the screen. Also, confirm the final price with shipping and handling, and find out the date your expect to receive the item.

Haunt for discounts. Pop-up stores may be easy to find and offer what you are looking for, but that doesn’t mean you forget to do some comparison shopping. Go online and to other retailers to scares up some good prices.