Posted: Oct 22, 2013 3:58 PM by Nathalie Granda, KOMU 8 News Reporter
Updated: Oct 22, 2013 7:34 PM
COLUMBIA- The Better Business Bureau is warning customers to be aware when shopping for Halloween costumes this year after receiving hundreds of complaints last year.
The Bureau said the complaints range from not being able to return costumes and items, to never getting the items ordered at all.
Better Business Bureau employees said many customers were told they could not return costumes because they were used, torn during unpacking, or some pop-up stores were already closed by the time customers came to report problems.
Columbia costume store owners said customers this year need to be more careful and make sure they do their homework before shopping.
"With Halloween and novelty, it's best to have as much information as possible before you purchase or decide to rent and I don't think it's reputable if you think you can return something and they don't allow you to return it," Gotcha Costume Owner Michelle Froese said.
Consumers are becoming aware of the issue, and are becoming more weary.
"Yeah, I probably wouldn't buy from pop-up shops like that anymore if I knew that they were going to close so that I could for sure get my money back," said Columbia shopper Allie Zidek.
Other tips the BBB has are to look into the store's location, look closely into their refund policy, protect your personal information, look into when the business will close, and find out about extra fees and shipping charges.
For more information on individual Halloween shops, customers can type in the business name at the Better Business Bureau's website and get reviews.