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BBB urges consumers to shop wisely this Mother’s Day

mother's day
(© Kindlena – stock.adobe.com)

With Mother’s Day just a couple of weeks away, consumers are projected to spend around $31.7 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer report.

BBB Serving Western VA is urging consumers to shop smart this Mother’s Day holiday with these tips:

  • Flowers: It is not uncommon for local flower shops to be affiliated with third-party entities. BBB advises consumers to confirm that the business they are placing their order with is in fact affiliated with that online source. If you are sending flowers to another city, it is best to check online for a florist in the area. Be wary of pop-up ads with great deals on flowers.
  • Jewelry: Do your research and consider visiting a jewelry store near you versus buying online. Purchasing online without seeing the jewelry item can lead to disappointment. Only deal with reputable jewelers. Keep your receipts and read the fine print; ask questions about their return policy before you purchase.
  • Electronics: Make sure you leave the device in the original packaging in case it needs to be returned. Many retailers require the original packaging and the receipt to process returns or exchanges.
  • Gift Cards and Certificates: Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate before buying. If you’re giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, check to see that the gift card is redeemable for online shopping, and not just for in-store use. Make sure the gift card has not been altered. Encourage your mom to use the certificate promptly.
  • Guides, Tours, and Classes: 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 shopping tips to consider:

  • Before making a purchase, research the company on org.
  • Make sure the website has the https://and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL.
  • Factor time for shipping and delivery when ordering anything online.
  • Understand return and refund Make sure you read the fine print.
  • Pay with a credit card or online payment system for a secure transaction.
  • Be careful of websites which appear in your social media feeds which seem too good to be true either with a hard-to-find item or a lower price than anywhere else.
  • Have a backup plan in case of shipping delays or unsatisfactory product.

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