August marks the close of the summer with school days just around the corner. For many, this means a lot of shopping must be done. From school supplies to sizing-up clothes, it’s back to school and retail shopping season. Whether you shop in store or online, we hope to provide you with some helpful information to shop smart.
With the click of a mouse and the ability to shop late at night, online shopping is often thought of as easy. We can shop online while in our pajamas, but the lax nature of online shopping can leave us open to be less aware of our purchasing decisions. Before you buy online, we suggest that you explore the site and do some research.
- Review and take screen captures of the return policy and save them in a folder on your computer—just in case you have to return something later.
- Check out online reviews by typing in the name of the business and “complaints” to learn about others’ experiences.
Countless times we have heard consumers say, “I would not have bought from this site, if I had read the reviews.” Reviews are telling of consumer experience, letting people know if they received the product they ordered and if they were satisfied. Review sites can be helpful for both online and brick-and-mortar stores. Use sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp to get more information before you buy.
Did you know that retail supports more than 95,000 jobs and contributes more than 4.9 billion to the Vermont’s economy? Or that clothing and footwear are exempt from Vermont sales tax? If a retail location has a refund policy, they must post it at the point of display, the cash register, or the store entrance. Don’t assume that just because you purchased something at a physical location you will be able to get a refund! Vermont’s Consumer Protection Rule 106 – Disclosure of Refund Policy informs about what is required of retail locations in disclosing refund policies. Don’t forget, you can always call CAP at (800) 649-2424, if problems arise.
Happy shopping. And, don’t forget to enjoy these last few days of summer!
Contributing Writer: Crystal Baldwin