With the calendar flipped to October, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is providing tips for people who are getting ready for the Halloween shopping season.
The BBB says Halloween is topped only by Christmas in terms of annual spending among North American households for costumes, house decorations and numerous Halloween events.
The bureau says consumers need to be aware of policies from seasonal stores and potential scams.
If you plan to get ready for Halloween with purchases from pop-up stores, the BBB says you should ask how long the business plans to occupy the building and see if they have a website to contact them later.
You are advised to keep all receipts and ask about details of their return policies, use a credit card to dispute problems with the card’s issuer and shop closer to Oct. 31 since retailers may lower prices to clear out items.
Online, the BBB says to make sure the website is secure, encrypted and reputable and order well in advance to get your product early.
The bureau suggests you read reviews and comments before using a Halloween sales site, always shop for a credit card, and avoid downloading Halloween-related links for special offers that could lead to a virus on your computer.
The BBB says consumers should be wary of fake Halloween event ticket sales.
It says you should buy from legitimate sellers and try to avoid buying private resale tickets.
If you do buy tickets online, make sure the details on the ticket match up to the event and never wire money to someone you’ve never met.
The bureau also reminds consumers that buying items with the intent of returning them after Halloween is considered fraud.