With summer winding down, it means only one thing for some: School will be back in session for thousands of kids across the Miami Valley. Whether you’re looking for pens, pencils or clothing, your Better Business Bureau can help you make an educated choice when spending your hard-earned cash.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than $30 billion dollars will be spent on back-to-school shopping, with an average of $688 dollars per family. Make sure you check with your child’s school to get a list of required supplies and/or clothes for the upcoming school year. This time of year is a good time to check the local ads and their back-to-school deals. Then, shop around and compare prices to get the best deals.
Your Better Business Bureau offers tips on shopping wisely:
Ask about refunds and exchange policies. Find out if the retailer offers refunds, store credits or if all sales are final. Always keep your receipts and check the stores policy on sale and clearance items.
Make sure you keep the item’s original packaging. Many retailers won’t accept returns on certain items, like electronics, unless they’re in their original packaging.
Inquire about restocking fees. Some retailers charge a restocking fee, as much as 20 percent of the original purchase price.
Beware when shopping online. Check out the physical locations and phone numbers of online merchants. If items need to be returned, check to see if they can be returned to the store or need to be shipped back. Look for BBB Accredited Business seal.
If your child needs a computer, determine what it will be used for and what kind of hardware/software will be needed. Contact the school to see what other students are using. Find out about the warranty and what you’ll have to do if something happens to the computer.
Remember, you can always check out businesses with your BBB and get reviews on retailers you’re planning to use. Go online to www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.