How To Avoid Haunting Halloween Costume Trickery
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Finding the perfect Halloween costume is already grueling enough, but where you buy one can turn the holiday really spooky.
The Better Business Bureau of Utah says every year it receives complaints about costume orders from fly-by-night Halloween websites or seasonal stores that pop up during the holiday.
“We get complaints from people ordering through the Internet,” said Jane Driggs of the Better Business Bureau. “The products are not as advertised. The size is teeny compared to what they thought it was going to be. The product was used when they received it when they thought it was going to be new.”
“We get a lot of people coming in saying that their item hasn’t arrived and they’re getting concerned about it getting here,” said Sarah Snow, co-owner of Pib’s Exchange, a clothing and costume store with an actual, physical presence in Sugar House.
Snow explained Pib’s Exchange has been selling Halloween costumes for 23 years, so she is not too worried about being undercut by online sellers.
“We have everything here for you to try on and make sure it fits right,” she said. “Because, a lot of people say, ‘I got my costume and it doesn’t fit right. Do you have that same costume?’ or ‘Do you have something different?’”
“The best thing you can do is spend five minutes and check out the company,” said Driggs of Halloween sales sites.
Her checklist includes:
• Confirm they have complete contact info: phone number, email and a physical address.
• Know the shipping and return policies.
• Be sure the site is secure and encrypted.
• Read external reviews and comments.
“And use a credit card,” Driggs added. “You can always dispute the charge.”
Driggs said besides making charges easier to dispute than using a debit card, credit cards also provide additional fraud protection.
If you’re planning to shop at a pop-up store, ask how long they will be open after the holiday, if at all.
“You need to find out what the return policy is,” said Driggs. “Can you return it before Halloween? What about after Halloween if you never wore it?”
This way, if you open a Halloween costume on Oct. 31 and it is not what you want, you can go in Nov. 1 and return it.
“Locally is better,” Driggs said, “because you can always try it (a costume) on. You’ll know right then.”
Sarah Snow said allowing shoppers to try costumes on is a big reason why Pib’s Exchange has built a loyal following over the past two decades.
“They love that they can come in and try it on,” said Snow. “And, they can touch and feel items.”
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