FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC – This month North Americans will spend billions on costumes, scary décor, and candy. It’s the second largest shopping holiday next to Christmas. The problem, however, is that many stores that sell spooky items only show up once a year.
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. Keep in mind many costume purchases are final sale.
• Remember, there are no laws that govern return policies. BBB only wants to be sure the business follows its own policies to the letter.
• 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.
“This is also a time for the public to be good consumers,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “This is one of those holidays where ‘wardrobing’ can be a problem. Wardrobing is when a consumer buys a bunch of stuff with the intent of returning it right after the big event for a full refund. BBB sees this as a deceptive practice and can cost a business money. Trust goes both ways in a marketplace.”
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.