By David Highfield


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Before you buy Halloween costumes or decorations, the Better Business Bureau says there are some things to look for when you go shopping.

Every year, the BBB gets complaints after Halloween from people who were surprised by store return policies or who are angry about costumes that didn’t arrive on time.

The Better Business Bureau advises people to pay attention to store return policies.

“It’s the consumer’s responsibility to be aware of a store’s specific policies,” said Caitlin Driscoll of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania.

For instance, at a Spirit Halloween store, it said on our receipt “exchange only for size.”

When KDKA’s David Highfield called the corporate headquarters, he was told they would not talk about their return policy.

However, when he called a local store, an employee told him that me they quit offering refunds on Oct. 16 and now only offer exchanges.

Same is true at Party City where Oct. 21 was the last day to get a refund. Going forward you can only get store credit.

“In regard to bigger price items that would be a little disappointing if you maybe go home and change your mind,” said Kimberly Zwick, a Halloween shopper from Ohio Township.

If you buy online, the BBB says: “Make sure you understand when the company is promising to have it delivered by,” said Driscoll. “Whether there are any additional fees to have it delivered in time for the holiday.”

And when ordering from any site, she says to look for “https” in the address, not just “http.”

She says that provides protection for any type of personal or financial information.

Finally, the BBB encourages people to check store ratings on the Better Business Bureau site, and save all receipts or email confirmations in case an item is damaged or there are other problems.

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David Highfield