BBB Offers Boutique Shopping Pointers

December 03, 2013

The best part about holiday shopping is that you now have a great excuse to check out local shops that you might not otherwise give a second look. Toy stores! Women’s boutiques! Children’s stores! And on and on.

Locally owned boutiques offer a variety of brands and price points. Some you might see at larger department stores, others you won’t. Some boutiques have store fronts and advertise in local media while others open periodically at floating locations and advertise by word of mouth and on social media. If you visit a floating boutique, make sure you have information on how to make returns or exchanges – especially if its a special event featuring multiple vendors.

Ready to step out of your comfort zone? BBB offers these tips:

Start with a plan. Know who you’re shopping for, what they might like (or what you think they should like) and how much you’re willing to spend. Ask friends and colleagues for ideas on local boutiques and shops that you might want to visit, too.

Think outside of the box. Be open to gift options you may not have even considered, such as locally made jams, jellies and salsas, artwork or candles. Don’t be afraid of brands you are unfamiliar with. Instead, look for quality construction.

Keep an eye on spending. It’s easy to get carried away when shopping for the holidays. Refer often to your list of recipients and how much has been spent on each. Once you’ve reached your limit on a recipient, you’re done. No more looking for gifts. Consider shopping with cash instead. It’s not too late to devise a holiday budget. Check out the holiday planner at

Don’t forget to check out the business. Before you set out shopping, check out businesses you plan to visit at You can see the company’s BBB Business Report and read customer reviews if available.

Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, visit