Shop smart for Father’s Day, Better Business Bureau says

Online Staff Report

Father’s Day, June 15, is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to buy that special guy in your life a gift. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reminds consumers that it’s important to shop carefully for a non-hassle gift that brings joy to fathers.

Before making a purchase, read the fine print and ask questions,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the BBB. “Always make sure to get information on refund, exchange and warranties in writing. To be on the safe side, ask for a gift receipt.”

The BBB offers the following shopping tips for Father’s Day gifts:

Gift cards and certificates — Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate prior to purchase to ensure the expiration date and conditions won’t be a problem. If you are giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure the gift card is redeemable for Internet shopping and not just for in-store use. Make certain on a gift card that the security number hasn’t been revealed prior to purchase.

Electronics — Whether you plan to give a camera, GPS system or other electronic device, be sure you don’t remove it from its box before wrapping it. Many electronics stores require the original packaging to process returns or exchanges.

Recreational rentals — If you’re interested in renting ATVs, campers, canoes or other recreational equipment this Father’s Day, be sure you get a written contract that includes details such as the base rental cost, daily fees, insurance and time restrictions. Also, take the time to visually inspect the rental and get written verification of any existing damage before renting.

Guides, tours and classes — Fishing, sightseeing, skydiving and golf lessons are fun ways to celebrate and spend time together. However, it’s important to get details about these classes and adventures in writing and in advance of the trip. Be sure to clarify all of the factors listed below:

1. Are reservations required, and if so, by when?

2. What are the total costs and features?

3. What services and equipment are included?

4. Are taxes or any other charges added?

5. Are there any restrictions or special time requirements?

6. Are there any cancellation or refund penalties or policies?

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Posted June 12, 2014

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