The National Retail Federation estimates that 179 million Americans plan to take part in this year’s Halloween festivities. With spending expected to reach $9.1 billion, stores and websites offering Halloween costumes and decorations may seem to pop up overnight as the holiday approaches. Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises shoppers to check unfamiliar stores or websites out with BBB before buying.
BBB receives complaints about costume stores and websites every year. Complaints range from deliveries that were late or never arrived to poor quality and difficulty obtaining refunds.
Some consumers said costumes ripped as they were being tried on or removed from a package. In some cases, store employees told customers they could not return items because they had been used, were broken during the unpacking process or were returned past a posted store deadline. Other retailers failed to mention that there were no returns.
Some customers found stores closed when they returned to report a problem or customer service numbers that had been disconnected.
“Getting a low price on a costume may seem like a good deal, but you should examine merchandise carefully before you purchase it,” said Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO. “If you’re buying online, it pays to check into a retailer's reputation before you place your order. Be sure to consider shipping schedules if an item is needed by a specific date. If buying from a temporary store, ask about return policies before making a purchase.”
BBB has issued warnings in the past about specific websites that sell human and animal costumes. BBB offers these tips to help you avoid being haunted after Halloween is over:
St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), email@example.com
Columbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, email@example.com
Quincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Springfield media contact: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), email@example.com
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