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BBB: Be cautious when buying costumes online

Stores and websites are offering Halloween costumes and decorations all over the web.

The National Retail Federation expects the Halloween industry to reach a record- breaking $8.4 billion in sales this year. But, not all those customers are going to be satisfied with their purchase.

One consumer reported her horror story to the BBB. She ordered her child’s costume online to save time. The customer ended up using a third-party site to buy a used costume for a discounted price for her child.

The picture the seller used featured the product in its original packaging, so she assumed it would look as promised. When the costume arrived, it was wrinkled and looked well- worn. It definitely didn’t make her or her child excited about dressing up that year.

For help, check the BBB website to review the company.

Double check the site’s security; only provide your credit card number online in a secure environment.

On pages where you enter a credit card number or Paypal account login, look for the prefix “https:”

Determine the store’s refund and return policies before you buy.

Know the terms of any product or service guarantees. Find out how long it will be before you receive your order. Federal law requires that goods and services be delivered within 30 days, unless a different delivery period is specifically stated by the merchant.

If you’re buying from a seasonal store, ask whether it will be open after the holiday and whether it will accept returns when the season is over. Many times, sales are final.

Sometimes it feels a little silly to buy a costume your child is only going to wear once. Renting may seem like a smart way to get a great costume at a less expensive price, but understand that rented costumes mean multiple children have already worn them and have probably left their mark on them.

If renting this season, make sure you check the condition the costume is in.

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