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BBB tip: Exercise caution when shopping online, in stores for Mother’s Day gifts

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MILWAUKEE — Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, and along with it comes the purchasing of special gifts. The BBB is reminding everyone to exercise caution when shopping on online and in stores when it comes to spending money.

Online purchasing scams are identified as the third riskiest by BBB’s Annual Risk Report and as such, here are few suggestions to avoid this situation:

  • Shopping Online. Avoid suspicious websites and glossy pop-up ads. Make sure the website has the https:// and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL. Don’t click on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails. Pay with credit card or PayPal. Understand return and refund policies. Read the fine print. BBB has more tips for online shopping.
  • Flowers. Since Mother’s Day flower sales are the second-highest sales period for your local florist, it’s important to choose wisely and find someone you can trust with your order. Complaints filed with BBB about florists included flowers being late, wrong, or not delivered. Also, it is not uncommon for local flower shops to be affiliated with third-party entities. BBB advises consumers to confirm that the business they are placing their order with is in fact affiliated with that online source. If you are sending flowers to you mother in another city, it is best to check online for a florist in her area. Make sure you have enough time for delivery, ask about all fees associated with your order and make sure the date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order. Read more about buying flowers.
  • Electronics. Whether you plan to buy Mom a new phone, tablet or another electronic device, make sure you leave it the original packaging. Many retailers require the original packaging in order to process returns or exchanges. Buy from reputable dealers.
  • Gift Cards and Certificates. Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate before buying so that it won’t be a problem. If you’re giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, check to see that the gift card is redeemable for Internet shopping, and not just for in-store use. Make sure the gift card has not been tampered with. Before you buy a gift card, consider these additional tips.
  • Guides, Tours and Classes. Art classes, wine tastings and cooking lessons are fun ways to celebrate and spend time with Mom, once Stay-at-Home orders are lifted. However, it’s important to get the details of these activities in writing. Be sure to clarify total costs and features, if there are reservations needed, if there are any restrictions, special time requirements or cancellation fees.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002.

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