Tips for not falling for Mother’s Day shopping scams
HASTINGS, Neb. (Press Release) - Mother’s Day is coming up, and along with it, the purchase of special gifts. The National Retail Federation (NRF) survey shows families are planning to spend more on Mother’s Day this year than they have in the past. Flowers, jewelry, and special outings are hot items this year, and 84% plan to celebrate, according to the NRF. BBB reminds everyone to exercise caution when shopping online and in stores when spending money.
BBB’s Annual Risk Report identifies online purchasing scams as the riskiest. Here are a few tips for shopping for Mother’s Day gifts:
- Shopping online. Avoid suspicious websites and glossy pop-up ads. Ensure the website has the https:// and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL. Don’t click on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails. Pay with a credit card or PayPal. Understand return and refund policies. Read the fine print. BBB has more tips for online shopping here.
- Flowers. Since Mother’s Day flower sales are the second-highest sales period for your local florist, it’s important to choose wisely and find someone you can trust with your order. Complaints filed with BBB about florists included flowers being late, wrong, or not delivered. Also, it is not uncommon for local flower shops to be affiliated with third-party entities. BBB advises consumers to confirm that the business they place their order with is affiliated with that online source. If you send flowers to your mother in another city, it is best to check online for a florist in her area. Make sure you have enough time for delivery, ask about all fees associated with your order and make sure the date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order.
- Research the florist industry, looking at positive and negative reviews and complaints on BBB.org
- Find a florist near you in the BBB directory.
- Electronics. Whether you plan to buy Mom a new phone, tablet, or other electronic device, leave it in its original packaging. Many retailers require the original packaging to process returns or exchanges. Buy from reputable dealers; check their ratings on BBB.org.
- Jewelry. Do your research and consider visiting a jewelry store near you versus buying online. Keep your receipts and read the fine print; ask questions about their return policy.
- Gift cards and certificates. Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate before buying so that it won’t be a problem. If you’re giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, check to see that the gift card is redeemable for Internet shopping and not just for in-store use. Make sure the gift card has not been tampered with.
- Guides, tours, and classes. Art classes, wine tastings, and cooking lessons are fun ways to celebrate and spend time with Mom. However, it’s important to get the details of these activities in writing. Be sure to clarify total costs and features, if reservations are needed, and if there are any restrictions, special time requirements, or cancellation fees.
- Restaurants. Find restaurants near you and read reviews and complaints on BBB.org. Search by business name. You can also look up a restaurant’s inspection records online to help you make an educated choice.
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