BBB Tips for Attending Local Home Shows

  
     
Spring will be in full swing soon and many local home improvement and home and garden shows are drawing in consumers looking to embark on home repairs and remodeling projects.
March 11, 2014
) Spring will be in full swing soon and many local home improvement and home and garden shows are drawing in consumers looking to embark on home repairs and remodeling projects.

 

Home shows provide great opportunities for people to shop and gather ideas, but it is important to go into a home show with a plan in mind.

“Your home is likely going to be your most expensive investment, so before starting a home improvement project, educate yourself about the process and hire someone you can trust,” says Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau. “While there are many trustworthy and reliable contractors, there are also those that charge too much and do too little or nothing at all.”

Before walking through the doors of a home show, BBB offers some simple planning advice:

  • Research first. Check out show websites in advance and locate appealing vendors. Understand the layout and research companies online at bbb.org or use BBB's iPhone app.
  • Shop around. Collect information, network and ask questions. Engage with booth owners, get specifics on pricing and understand company policies. Before signing up for drawings, contests or services, find out how your contact information will be used and carefully review privacy policies. Beware: direct mail, email offers and telemarketing phone calls may increase. Some consumers create email addresses specifically for trade show correspondence.
  • Stay on budget. Avoid impulse spending and stick with goals. Steer clear of high-pressure sales tactics. If searching for specific businesses or products, come prepared with clear objectives and budgets. Pay for expensive merchandise with credit cards; monitor accounts in case unauthorized charges need to be contested.
  • Check registration. Before hiring contractors, check to see that they are properly registered with the PA Attorney General’s Office and have liability insurance, business licenses and bonds.

Remember, do not feel pressured to buy expensive items or services right away, as returns and refunds can be challenging. Save receipts and other purchase paperwork. Review the FTC's Cooling-Off Rule to see which purchases may be protected.

For more advice on trade shows, expos and fairs and to check out a company’s Business Review, visit bbb.org. 

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About the BBB System

BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior.BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 113 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4.5 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.