Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – May 8, 2013 – With Mother’s Day quickly approaching on Sunday, May 12, many consumers are still searching for the perfect gift to show appreciation for their mothers. According to the National Retail Federation, total spending for Mother’s Day this year is expected to reach $20.7 billion. In addition, consumers will spend an average of $168.94 on mom, an increase of 11 percent from 2012.
“With every holiday, the Better Business Bureau sees scams that focus on targeting unsuspecting shoppers,” says Caitlin Vancas, Public Relations Director of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “BBB is warning consumers to take precaution and check with BBB before placing orders to help avoid disappointment and a stressful shopping experience.”
Whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for jewelry, or arranging a special spa day appointment for mom, be a smart consumer. Pick a gift for mom with confidence by following your Better Business Bureau’s shopping tips:
- When shopping online, verify the website’s legitimacy. Don’t trust unsolicited emails containing links to unknown shopping websites. Consumers should be wary of offers that look too good to be true, such as designer items or name-brand goods that are being sold at extreme discounts. Look out for spelling and grammatical errors that could be a giveaway that the website or person contacting you might not be legitimate.
- Do your homework. Before ordering flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for Mother’s Day, check out the company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org. This is a great way to help prevent disappointment with a product or customer service.
- Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the retailer or website to be certain that you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order, especially last minute.
- Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand the store's guarantee. Find out how customer complaints are handled and what recourse you will have if the arrangement is not satisfactory. It’s best to use a credit card when ordering online, because you can dispute charges if the vendor doesn’t come through.
- Make sure the business has your information. When it comes to flower delivery, there are times when delivery instructions need to be confirmed or a delivery driver needs additional directions. Making sure the florist has a call-back phone number or your cell phone to help them make sure your mom gets what you expect.
Many consumers think they can spot a scam from a mile away, but when scammers get emotions involved it can cloud judgment and impair ability to make smart purchasing decisions. If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Keep these tips in mind and spend your Mother’s Day celebrating with family, not tracking down missing gifts or funds. Visit www.bbb.org for more helpful tips and information.
About the BBB System
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 114 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.