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Six things to keep in mind when purchasing Halloween items


This Halloween, Americans are expected to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes. About $6.9 billion will be spent on candy, pumpkins, decorations and costumes according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). So, to avoid being tricked this Halloween, your Better Business Bureau offers some tips to keep you safe.

According to NRF’s Halloween survey, one in four Americans say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. About 12 million less Americans will celebrate the holiday, down slightly from last year’s high of 170 million people. So, if you’re one of the millions who are celebrating, beware when making Halloween purchases. Many Halloween items are at seasonal and temporary stores, so be prepared to keep whatever you buy because of return policies.

To avoid being spooked this Halloween, your Better Business Bureau suggests you:

• Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals.

• Do your research. Many Halloween stores are run by reputable retailers, taking advantage of short-term leases on vacant space to set up temporary stores. On the other hand, some seasonal businesses change their name from one year to the next as a way of disguising poor track records.

• Check refund and return policies. Many stores will allow specific or no returns on seasonal items.

• Pay by credit card. If something goes wrong, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company

• Get details when renting a costume. Find out the store’s policy if the costume is damaged or lost. Make sure you understand the rental agreement before signing.

• Be wary of purchasing items online. Make sure the Web site is secure. The web address should begin with “https.” Also, look for a picture of a lock in the lower right corner of the screen.

Remember, if you order online, examine your costume as soon as it arrives. If it doesn’t fit or isn’t what you ordered, contact the seller as soon as possible. Always, check out a company with your BBB to make sure you’re dealing with a trustworthy company before making purchases. Avoid being tricked by scammers by doing your homework and research. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.


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