Mother’s Day is coming up, and along with it, the purchase of special gifts. Even with the pandemic continuing to place restrictions on how people would rather spend the time together, the National Retail Federation survey shows families are finding ways to celebrate. In fact, consumers are planning to spend as much, if not more, on Mother’s Day than they have in the past. An optimistic 46 percent still want to plan a traditional special outing, brunch, or other activity. BBB reminds everyone to exercise caution when shopping 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 a 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 your 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 other electronic devices, 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. 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.
- Check state restrictions on dining options. Several states have different gathering restrictions in public areas and as well as restrictions for businesses such as restaurants. Before making plans, research your state.