Beaumont,TX – October 10, 2011 – Better Business Bureau (BBB) reminds consumers who plan to purchase Halloween season items such as costumes, candy or home decorations from seasonal and online retailers to take extra precautions. BBB has received many complaints regarding general merchandise retailers over the past year, including seasonal and online retailers. The transitional store locations and temporary staffing of seasonal businesses may lead to increased difficulties in resolving post-holiday consumer disputes.
According to the Halloween Industry Association, Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the United States, falling just behind Christmas. Halloween Online Magazine reports that the Halloween retail industry brought in $2.5 billion in sales and advertising revenue in 2009. BBB recommends these tips to ensure this year is filled with more treats than tricks.
· Start with trust. If you're interested in trying a new online merchant who you’re not familiar with, ask the company for its physical location (address and phone number) so you can check on its reliability with BBB. See how long the company has been in business and how they have handled any complaints they may have received in the past.
· Determine the company's refund and return policies before you buy. If online companies can’t offer commitments on how they will handle any potential problems you may have with their products or services, reconsider doing business with them.
· Read terms and conditions carefully. Be sure you have a thorough understanding of everything involved before making an order. Be clear on the price and any shipping and handling charges. Find out how long it will be before you receive your order. Federal law requires that goods and services be delivered within 30 days, unless a different delivery period is specifically stated by the merchant.
· Guardyour personal information. Only provide your credit card information number online in a secure environment. Look for the prefix “https” in the URL box which lists the website’s web address to be sure that a site you are using is secure.
Visit www.bbb.org to check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses.