- Research store headquarters. If you are interested in trying a new online merchant, ask the company for its physical location (address and phone number) so you can check its BBB Business Profile at BBB.org.
- Know the return policy. Ask whether the store will be open after the holidays and whether it will accept returns when the season is over.
- Shop around. Pop-ups often focus on unique or high-quality gifts that you may not find elsewhere, but some are simply mini versions of discount retailers, offering holiday-themed goods that may be available for less at a traditional retailer.
- Pay attention to quality. Occasionally, pop-ups sell counterfeit products, so be cautious when purchasing designer goods or that latest “must-have” gift. If the prices are dramatically lower than regular retail stores, that might be a red flag.
- Know the terms of any product or service guarantees. If you are purchasing anything with a manufacturer’s warranty, ask how you will be able to get the product serviced if needed.
- Guard your personal information. For smaller items, consider paying in cash so you don’t have to share any personal information. For larger items, paying
- with a credit card can provide additional protections if there are problems and the retailer disappears. Be sure to save your receipt!
- Consider whether the gift is for a hard-to-please recipient. If you are planning a gift for someone who might need or want to return it, consider buying from a retailer with a long-standing business, strong reputation and well- established return policy, instead of a pop-up shop.
Check out bbb.org to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam, read tips, follow us on social media, and more.
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