Don’t get haunted by seasonal Halloween store trickery

  
     
September 28, 2017

Halloween is the second largest shopping holiday of the year, which gives some seasonal pop-up shop goblins plenty of opportunity to terrorize seasonal shoppers. These shops usually open several weeks before Halloween and are gone right after the holiday, along with any opportunity to work out problems.

According to the National Retail Federation, More than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey 

Halloween supply pop-up stores are showing up to fill shoppers’ needs, but Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana warns some stores are frightening customers for all the wrong reasons.

Every year, shoppers report missing or damaged pieces and unclear return policies. When customers go to exchange or report a problem, the store has packed up and left without a trace or has a “no refund” policy.

To avoid becoming a victim, BBB recommends consumers buy from companies they are familiar with, research new stores and ask for year-round contact information for seasonal stores. Consumers should also save receipts, ask about return policies and remember to use companies that have operated in the community for a number of years and have a good reputation if possible.

Finally, if the store allows, it is always wise to try on the costume while at the location in order to avoid future problems. In this manner, consumers can be sure that the costume fits well and is complete as advertised on the package.

BBB offers the following tips to avoid problems shopping at seasonal Halloween stores:

  • Start With Trust®. Check the company’s business profile at bbb.org.
  • Buy from companies that have been around long enough to have a clear track record.
  • Ask the store how long it plans to occupy the building. If you cannot get an answer, ask to speak with a manager.
  • See if they have a website in case you need to contact them later.
  • Inquire about the return policy in detail.
  • Save your receipts and use a credit card. You’ll have the most protection if you must dispute a problem with the card’s issuer.

BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

Sharane Gott is the President/CEO of the BBB of Acadiana.

The BBB of Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.