CROMWELL, CT—Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer retail "holiday" season by flooding consumers with ads across newspapers and television for amazing deals for new & used cars, appliances, furniture, electronics, and more! But how do you know that the deal is for real?
It's important to be able to know the difference between legitimate ads and 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 ad jargon is really true?
Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut (BBB) shares a few 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 old version? This could be especially helpful for consumers looking to purchase tablets or other popular electronics.
Percentage off of what? 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 applies to consumers looking to purchase new or used cars. Even though you saw a low price advertised, you may not actually qualify for that offer.
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?
Guarantee vs. Warranty. Do you know the difference? 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.
To learn more about how to spot a "bad ad" you can take the AdTruth Quiz here.
If you see a questionable or confusing advertisement, report it here.
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. Data provided through the BBB AdTruth Reporting Tool will provide insights for future research into questionable advertising techniques.