• Be prepared to keep whatever you buy. Some Halloween stores set up temporary locations and may have strict refund and return policies.
• Pay by credit card so if something goes wrong you can dispute the charges with your credit card company. Save all receipts or e-mail notifications regarding your purchase.
• Protect your personal information when buying online and make sure the site you’re using is credible and safe.
• Keep delivery dates in mind as you order to ensure purchases arrive when you need them.
• 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.
• Examine merchandise in store or as soon as it arrives. If it doesn’t fit or isn’t what you ordered, contact the seller as soon as possible.
• Consider shopping closer to Halloween for smaller items. Retailers may lower prices to move them out.
BBB receives hundreds of complaints about Halloween stores and websites every year. Be sure to check out companies with BBB to make sure you're dealing with trustworthy businesses before purchasing. Avoid being tricked by scammers by visiting www.bbb.org or calling (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301 for a list of BBB Accredited Businesses and Business Profiles.
Protecting your business website
John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.