IL, November 13, 2012 - While everyone has their own holiday shopping list,
two areas that seem to be important to everyone when purchasing gifts are value
“In today’s economy it shouldn’t come as a surprise that
value and service are highly prized in the consumer’s mind,” explained Steve J.
Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.
“Other factors that may have attracted a consumer’s interest in better economic
times are now way down on the list for most people faced with today’s tougher
In the BBB poll, more than 55 percent of respondents
selected value and service aspects of a business as key attractions for holiday
shopping. These were followed by “product selection” picked by 18 percent,
“location” by 15 percent, and “ease and comfort of shopping at a business” by
“Value and service may mean different things to people in
different economic categories. However, these two attributes appear to be a key
focus for most shoppers,” Bernas explained.
The BBB offers these other tips to consumers while holiday
- Review the return
policies. Before making a purchase, ask the merchant
about its refund and exchange policy. A store is not obligated to accept
items for refund, exchange, or credit unless the item is defective or was
misrepresented. It is important to know if there is a time limit to the
return, usually it is 30, 60 or 90 days.
- Research the
store. If you're interested in trying a new or unfamiliar merchant,
check out its BBB
Business Review. This will provide some detail about past company
performance. These free Business Reviews are located at bbb.org
- Understand the fine print.
Be informed about your rights when placing orders through catalogs, mail
order, TV shopping networks or online venues. Additional information on
mail and telephone order shopping is available from the Federal Trade
Commission (www.ftc.gov). Ask about
delivery times, delivery costs and how returns are handled.
for gift receipts. When you are buying gifts there is always a chance
that the item will not work out. Providing a gift receipt will make the
return process smoother after the holidays.
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the
Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve
buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration.
BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable
organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit
organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before
making a purchase or donation.