Advertising traps and how to avoid them - CBS46 News

Advertising traps and how to avoid them

Posted: Updated:

Reading the fine print honestly pays off, especially when it comes to certain advertising terms that sometimes sound great but are not so great on the wallet...

  • Satisfaction guaranteed. This is when a retailer is willing to give a full refund if you are unhappy with a product. Some retailers will do that, while others may only accept an exchange.
  • Going out of business sale. Watch out for these because there will be liquidated prices that are higher than the typical sale price.
  • Lifetime warranty. This does not refer to your lifetime. With no legal meaning behind "lifetime warranty," it can refer to the time the retailer carries the product, whether parts are available, even whether or not you still own the item.
  • Free. Federal Trade Commission guidelines say the price cannot be inflated to offset the cost of the free item. At times, there are catches like additional shipping and handling and those so-called 'free trials.' 

With those retailer tricks, comes the treat of knowing how to avoid those traps...

  • Carefully read the store policies before buying, like the warranty and satisfaction guarantee. Make sure you know the limitations and requirements.
  • Do not jump on an item too quickly, even if the price seems really low. Always do you comparison shopping first. Search the web via model numbers and product name. Be sure to read the reviews as well.
  • Head to the Better Business Bureau site to check on stores with which you are not familiar. Make sure they at least get a "B" rating.
  • Pay with a credit card, which makes it easier to file a dispute if there's any misrepresentation. 

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.