With Mother’s Day just weeks away, consumers are expected to spend about $31.7 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer report.
BBB Serving Western VA urges consumers to shop smart this Mother’s Day with these tips:
- Flowers: It is not uncommon for local florists to be affiliated with third-party entities. BBB advises consumers to confirm that the company they are ordering from is affiliated with this online source. If you are sending flowers to another city, it is best to search online for a florist in the area. Beware of pop-up ads with great deals on flowers.
- Jewelry: Do your research and consider visiting a jewelry store near you rather than buying online. Buying online without seeing the jewelry can be a source of disappointment. Only deal with reputable jewelers. Save your receipts and read the fine print; ask about their return policy before purchasing.
- Electronic: Be sure to leave the device in its original packaging in case it needs to be returned. Many retailers require the original packaging and receipt to process returns or exchanges.
- Gift cards and certificates: Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate before purchasing. If you’re giving a gift card to someone who will be shopping online, make sure the gift card is redeemable for online purchases, not just in-store use. Make sure the gift card has not been altered. Encourage your mother to use the certificate quickly.
- Guides, visits and courses: Get the details of these activities in writing. Be sure to clarify total costs and features, if there are reservations needed, if there are any restrictions, special time requirements or cancellation fees.
Here are some general buying tips to consider:
- Before making a purchase, to research the company on org.
- Make sure the website has the https://and the “lock” icon in the URL.
- Time factor for Shipping and Delivery when ordering online.
- To understand to return to and refund Be sure to read the fine print.
- Pay with a credit card or online payment system for a secure transaction.
- Beware of websites that appear in your social media feeds that seem too good to be true, either with a hard-to-find item or a lower price than anywhere else.
- To have a backup plan in case of late shipment or unsatisfactory product.