The Wisconsin State Fair begins next week. Some people go to the State Fair to eat something deep-fried and on a stick, others go to get up close and personal with farm animals (perhaps some that they'd never get a chance to see otherwise), some head straight to the Midway for the rides, while others go to shop. If you're in the latter category, please read on.
While some great deals can be found at the Fair, some "deals" you'll definitely want to avoid -- kind of like the cow barn on a really hot day! While shopping at the Fair, the BBB offers this advice for consumers:
- Prior to making a purchase, get the company's refund and exchange policy -- in writing, if possible.
- Obtain the company's physical location and telephone number, in case you need to return or exchange an item after the event.
- As with any purchase, it makes sense to comparison shop. Keep in mind, however, that the least expensive item may not always be the best value. If you are making a large purchase, don't be afraid to leave the fairgrounds to do some research.
- Don't be pressured to buy. After the demonstration or sales pitch, walk away from the sales person to give yourself some time to think about the purchase.
- Ask the vendor if a sale price will be honored after the fair -- if so, you will not feel pressured to purchase the item "on the spot."
- It's important to note that the Federal Trade Commission's "cooling-off rule," which normally allows consumers three days to cancel a purchase, does not apply to the following purchases at fairs:
- Purchases under $25
- Goods or services not primarily intended for personal, family, or household purposes
- Insurance, securities, or real estate
- Motor vehicles
- Arts and crafts
While you're at the Fair, please stop by and see the Wisconsin BBB's booth - #819 in the Exposition Center. We can give you more consumer advice, and give you the BBB Business Review on any product or service that you might be purchasing at the Fair.
This is our first year at the Fair, and we're very excited! We're also offering consumer "Tips on a Stick". While not quite as delicious as deep-fried peanut butter cups on a stick (well, technically, they're not even edible), our "Tips on a Stick" are healthier and will make you a smarter consumer. Each "Tip" gives great BBB advice on a different scam - plus it comes attached to a stick so it doubles as a fan that you can use to stay cool!