BBB Tip: Father’s Day Shopping



Americans love showing their dads how much they appreciate them. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts spending for Father’s Day to reach more than $20.1 billion this year, with Americans spending an average of $174 per person, based on their 2021 survey.

According to the NRF, 40% of shoppers this year will shop online. While that number is down slightly from 2020, it is higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-two percent will shop at specialty stores, while 33 percent will visit department stores. More shoppers (46%) plan on having a special outing, like a restaurant meal, than last year, showing that consumers are more comfortable with pre-pandemic activities. Greeting cards, clothing, gift cards, and personal care items are all popular choices.

Be sure to check out BBB Business Profiles when planning events or buying one-of-a-kind items from specialty retailers. The profile includes valuable information such as how long a company has been in business, how many complaints – if any – have been filed against the company and how the company has responded.

When shopping for Father’s Day, BBB recommends adhering to the following:

  • Read the fine print. When buying gift cards and certificates, check the terms and conditions prior to purchase to ensure that the expiration date and any other conditions won’t be problematic. If you are giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure the gift card is able to be redeemed for products online as well as items in the store. Read more about gift card scams.
  • Do your homework. Before ordering electronics, clothing or any other gifts for Father’s Day, check out the company’s BBB Business Profile at BBB.org.
  • Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the retailer or website to be certain you have allowed enough time for delivery of any purchased gifts. Make sure that your preferred delivery date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order. If you order ahead of time, delivery and other charges will be less than last-minute or overnight shipping.
  • Be diligent with rentals. If the man in your life is the adventurous type, you may be interested in renting ATVs, campers, canoes, motorcycles or other recreational equipment for excursions this Father’s Day. Be sure you get a written contract that includes details such as the base rental cost, daily fees, insurance and time restrictions for any equipment. Also, take the time to visually inspect the rental and get written proof of any existing damage before renting the equipment. This way, you can avoid disputes over unexpected maintenance and repair fees.
  • Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand a store or service’s guarantee and other policies. 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 satisfy you. Charges made on a debit card are the same as cash, and you may have no recourse through your bank if there is a problem.
  • Don’t click online coupons. If you see a post on social media or receive an email with an offer, unless you’re sure the source is the real thing, don’t click. The offer could take you to a malicious website. If you see an offer online, search for it independently. Go directly to the company’s website to find and verify the coupon offer. See more about social media ad scams.
  • After your purchase, share your experience. Consider posting a Customer Review at BBB.org.

If you’re shopping online, be sure to check BBB’s Tips for Smart Shopping Online.

Find more tips, news, and scam alerts by visiting BBB.org/news.

Information courtesy of the Better Business Bureau

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