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BBB: Don't Fail At A Memorial Day Sale

May 25, 2013

Memorial Day is not only a kick-off to summer, but it’s also a big time for shoppers to look for some good deals. Better Business Bureau urges consumers to spend wisely on those “extra savings” and “sales” you see in advertisements.

According to American Automobile Association (AAA), median spending during the Memorial Day weekend is expected to be $659. Nearly half, 44 percent, of travelers also intend to partake in shopping. This weekend will bring big sales from many markets: car dealerships, clothing and even grocery stores.

In order to avoid confusion with consumers, BBB Code of Advertising often works with businesses as an advertising guide with basic standards to adhere to. Here are five of the most recognizable advertising terms:

Comparative price, value and savings claims: Advertisers often use words like “regularly” or “originally.” If the business uses the word “originally,” the original price should be the most recent price before the sale.

Sales: The word “sale” should only be used if there is a significant price reduction for the merchandise offered for a limited period of time. Sale merchandise should be taken off “sale” and priced regularly immediately after the sale time period.

“Up to” savings: Businesses should clearly state the range of savings without focusing on the maximum. They should also have a good amount of items available at the discounted price.

Lowest price: It’s difficult for sellers to compare their lowest price with all competitors. If advertisers claim they have the lowest price, they should have evidence to verify their claims.

Free: The word “free” may be used in advertising when the business is offering an unconditional gift. The advertiser must clearly disclose this condition with the “free” offer.

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