Spend Smart on V-Day

iStock_000008585883_ExtraSmallLove is in the air – and with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love is also being marketed to us from all sides.  Special promotions, advertisements, and marketing campaigns are in full swing with V-Day a week away.  Before spending big bucks on your sweetheart (or on trying to find a sweetheart in seven days) check out our tips on spending smart on Valentine’s Day:

Dating Services

From just after Christmas to Valentine’s Day is the most popular time of year for online dating services.  Finding love online is incredibly popular, but many sites have “catphishers” trolling for vulnerable users to steal from.  If you are going to try your luck online, don’t get scammed like Manti Te’o:

  • If a possible paramour is asking you for money, personal information, or material help and you haven’t met them in person, that’s a red flag.
  • Be cautious when giving out your phone number, links to your other social profile pages, or your address.  If the person you are talking to isn’t legitimate, they can use this information in bad ways.
  • Know your rights on dating websites – Consumers in California are allowed to cancel any dating service contract within three days of when it is signed.  More details on your rights in CA: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/CIV/5/d3/2/5/2.1
  • Make sure you read the Terms and Conditions of dating sites. Some sites charge upfront for a year of service when it might look like you’re signing up for a monthly plan.

Shop Smart

If you haven’t bought your significant other’s gift yet, you have a few days left to get the job done.  There are many special offers, promotions, and discounts to take advantage of, but make sure you read the fine print on any purchase you make.

  • Some special offers are sold as is – meaning your sweetheart can’t return the gift if he or she doesn’t love it.  Make sure to get a receipt and ask about a store’s return policy on the items.
  • If you’re buying online, especially from secondhand or handmade sites, the arrival date you get is usually an estimate.  In California, an online purchase has to be shipped within 30 days.  If it isn’t, you have the right to a full refund.
  • Make sure they’re accredited – If a business is BBB Accredited, it means they have agreed to uphold BBB Standards of Trust, including addressing all consumer complaints in the case you have a problem with your purchase.

Have fun, and shop smart, on Valentine’s Day!

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