With today's busy schedules, more people are shopping online.
But now more retailers are taking advantage of that.
Fashionable clothing websites like WhatsMode are popping up all over Facebook these days.
A jacket for $39.99 caught the attention of Channel 3 reporter Susan Raff. She said it seemed like a pretty good deal, but it took almost six weeks before she finally got it. When it finally arrived, she didn’t really like it.
The company’s policy said she had 10 days to return it, so she went to the post office to send it back.
In order to return the jacket, the post office told her she first needed to fill out one a “customs declaration” form because the jacket needed to go back to where it came from China.
The cost to return the jacket was more than half of what she paid for it, more than $23.
"I would be upset if I had to send something back that cost almost as much as the merchandise itself,” said Howard Schwartz, of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.
He said this is another case of “buyer beware.” Clothing from companies may be coming from China, but shoppers may not know it. Also, sometimes in the fine print it says the company isn't responsible for return costs.
Still few people would expect to pay more to return something than what the clothing may actually be worth.
"When you are looking at the bigger companies, they are a little more transparent. You can see the policies up front and it's easier to find and their dispute resolutions. If you look at these websites, you don't see the same things,” Schwartz said.
There's another issue too, which is the time it takes to get your merchandise.
A law passed by the Federal Trade Commission says what you bought has to arrive within 30 days.
If not, you have the right to cancel and get your money back, but that also could be challenging with these smaller international.
Companies especially if you don't use a credit card. With credit cards, you can dispute the transactions. If you use a debit card, the money is taken out and it’s harder to get back.
So it's important to know where the clothing is coming from, and realize that the inexpensive jacket may not be so reasonably priced if you have to send it back.
Also, do some homework before you order. Go online and Google the companies and name and search for problems.
Many of the websites have a quite a few complaints from disappointed customers.
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