Father’s Day is June 18th this year and as you’re shopping around for the dads in your lives, there is some helpful advice that you can apply to any gift-buying situation. Whether you’re shopping for something online or in-store and whether it’s an actual gift or a gift card, consider these tips before making a purchase:
Ask for a gift receipt. Gift receipts generally include a description of the item or experience purchased but do not disclose the cost. Without this proof-of-purchase, the recipient may not be able to return or exchange the item, or they may risk receiving an exchange at a lower price.
Understand the details. Don’t overlook the fine print. Know the refund, exchange or cancellation policies and check for additional fees and limitations before purchasing. Understand the warranty and guarantee policies. Specifically with gift cards or gift certificates, make sure you know the terms and conditions prior to purchase. Is there an expiration date? Can it only be redeemed at certain times? Can it be used for both online and in-store purchases? Get all of that worked out before you wrap it up.
Have everything in writing. If you’re gifting a tour, class, lesson or some other experience, make sure you have all the costs and details in writing. What’s included? Are all of the taxes and fees clearly disclosed? The agreement should have all costs, restrictions and other details spelled out. It’s especially important to look for a “conditions clause” as these terms will sometimes alter the original offer.
Shop from a secure site. Don’t just purchase from the site with the lowest price. Check that the URL starts with “https://” as the ‘s’ means it is secure. Also look for a small padlock icon in the URL bar, as that signifies that a website is secure for making purchases. You should pay with a credit card, whenever possible as these purchases are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act. This allows customers to hold payment if a problem arises and needs to review.
And you should never underestimate the value of a trusted recommendation.Ensure you are partnering with a reputable business by asking family and friends for their own experiences. Research the business’ BBB standing, by looking into their rating and reviews. You can look up any business, both accredited and non-accredited, at www.bbb.org.