Check the return policy at Halloween stores

And make sure to find out when the store closes down, otherwise you might be out of luck.

Be careful at pop up Halloween stores during the spooky season

Be careful at pop up Halloween stores during the spooky season

North Americans are expected to spend close to $7 billion on costumes, candy, and decorations this Halloween, making it one of the biggest spending seasons of the year.

However, the Better Business Bureau warns consumers that they could be in for an unexpected scare if they don’t watch out.

“A lot of stores pop up at this time of year, and there are plenty of online options for costumes and decorations,” says Evan Kelly, senior communications officer for the BBB Serving Mainland BC.

He notes that the “pop up” stores can be a concern. “If something’s not right and you want to return it, the store might not be there.”

He adds that many of these pop up stores consider all sales to be final.

“There should be a sign at the cash register, or you should be told verbally, if this is the case. It should be very clear.”

There is no law in the province about return policies, leaving businesses able to establish whatever they want, “As long as they honour their own policy,” says Kelly.

He advises people shopping at pop up stores to establish how long the business plans to occupy the building, and see if they have a website in case you need to contact them afterward.

Do not wait until too close to Halloween to return items you do not want (if the return policy allows it).

Shopping close to October 31 might mean some good deals, as retailers try to get rid of product, but Kelly warns anyone thinking of buying items before Halloween, using them, and then trying to return them. “That’s consumer fraud.”

Online shoppers should use a third party pay portal such as PayPal, or a credit card; do not wire money.

Use good, safe websites, which can be identified by https:// and the lock icon in the URL.

“Understand the terms and conditions,” says Kelly. “If you have to send something back by mail the return process will take more time, so beware of the deadline date for returns.”

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