Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer retail “holiday” season when consumers see ads flooding across newspapers and television for amazing deals for new and used cars, appliances, furniture, electronics and more! But how do you know that the deal is for real?
It is important to be able to discern legitimate ads from those that may be confusing or misleading. During Memorial Day, many retailers claim to have limited time offers that are only available once per year, but how much of the ad jargon is really true?
Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa has some tips to help consumers sift through holiday sale flyers to see which retailers are truthful in their adverting.
Read the fine print. Is the retailer offering you a discounted price on the latest model or are they trying to sell off the older version? This could be especially helpful for consumers looking to purchase tablets or other popular electronics.
What is the percentage off of? A retailer may be advertising 50% off, but are they applying the discount to the regular price of the item or a marked up price that matches what the regular price normally is once the discount is applied?
Lowest price! Is the price advertised available to everyone or only those with good credit? This could be especially helpful for consumers looking to purchase new or used cars. Even though you saw a low price advertised, you may not qualify for that offer.
Is it a limited time offer? Is this truly the only time of year this retailer will run this sale or will you be able to get the same price in the future?
Do you know the difference between a Guarantee and a Warranty? Guarantees and warranties cover different things for a different amount of time. Does a “lifetime warranty” mean your lifetime or the lifetime of the product? Does “satisfaction guaranteed” mean you can return it used for a full refund? Make sure the retailer offers you full details on any deal they are offering you.
You can take the AdTruthSM Quiz here (bbbi.typeform.com/to/vc5f1R) to learn how you can tell when you’re being duped by an advertisement.
BBB AdTruthSM is an educational program that teaches consumers about potential advertising abuses and empowers them to report advertisements that could cause financial or personal harm due to problematic tactics or faulty products.
In 2018, BBB AdTruthSM launched a new online reporting tool at bbb.org/ad-truth/report-a-bad-ad/ that allows consumers to report questionable or confusing advertisements. Data provided through the BBB AdTruthSM Reporting Tool will provide insights for future research into questionable advertising techniques.