Your BBB at the State Fair!

August 20, 2012

For the third consecutive year, the BBB will be at the Minnesota State Fair! From August 23 through Labor Day, September 3, we’ll be in the Education building, meeting the public and handing out knickknacks and educational materials. We’re very excited to be at the Fair and we hope you’ll come see us!

In addition to being a source of fun and entertainment - and great fried food - the State Fair is also a terrific opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and merchandise. The BBB offers tips for consumers who are considering making purchases at this year's Fair:

  • Prior to making a purchase, get the company's refund and exchange policy in writing.
  • Obtain the company's physical location and telephone number in case you need to return or exchange an item after the event.
  • As with any purchase, comparison shop before buying. Keep in mind, however, that the least expensive item may not always be the best value.
  • Don't be pressured to buy. After the demonstration or sales pitch, walk away from the sales person to give yourself some time to think about the purchase. If you take time away from the pressure, it will help you to clearly consider whether or not the item is necessary and a good deal.
  • Ask the vendor if a sale price will be honored after the fair - if so, you will not feel pressured to purchase the item "on the spot."
  • Did you know it often pays to pay with a credit card? Doing so provides you with some protections you will not get if you pay with cash or a debit card. If the product you purchase is defective or isn't delivered, you can file a dispute with your credit card provider and they may be able to refund your money.
  • It's easy to get caught up in the fun atmosphere at the Fair, but remember tomorrow's another day - so keep it real. Don't bust your budget just because you're having a good time.
  • It's important to note that the Federal Trade Commission's "cooling-off rule," which normally allows consumers three days to cancel a purchase, does not apply to the following purchases at fairs:
    • Purchases under $25;
    • Goods or services not primarily intended for personal, family, or household purposes;
    • Insurance, securities, or real estate;
    • Motor vehicles; and
    • Arts and crafts.
  • If you are making a purchase where the "cooling-off rule" does apply, and you need to cancel a sale, sign and date a copy of the company's cancellation form, which you should obtain upon purchase of the item. If you mail the form back to the company, be sure it is post-marked before midnight of the third business day after which you made the purchase. Sundays and federal holidays are not considered business days. Otherwise, bring the form in-person to the company within three days of the date you made the purchase.
  • Take advantage of technology. If you have a smartphone, you can check out a vendor's website and their BBB Business Review at