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Shop wisely for Mother’s Day!


Consumer business by Denisha Maxey

MOTHER’S DAY falls this Sunday. No doubt, retailers are raking in the dough as consumers spend hundreds of dollars searching for the perfect gift to celebrate mothers around the world.

If you have not found a gift yet, there is still time. However, before you splurge, do your homework and find the best gift that will really make your own mom’s day. You do not want to leave her disappointed with a non-working product or poor customer service.
Nor do you wish to find yourself fighting a battle if there is a need to return or exchange the gift, so here are some savvy tips to being a smart shopper for Mother’s Day.
If you decide to give your mother a day of relaxation at the spa, make sure you have researched the business before you buy a gift certificate to pay for the day. You can always view a business’ rating, customer reviews and complaint history at Houston Better Business Bureau’s website,
Read what other consumers have to say about their experience. Also, pay close attention to any special policies regarding the use of the certificate. You want to avoid any hassles that could possibly turn your mom’s day of relaxation into a day of stress!
Gift cards are a popular go-to item for gift giving. There are several different options, such as buying one for a specific retailer or a card that uses a Visa or MasterCard logo. Whichever you choose, make sure you are aware of any additional fees associated with the card. Gift cards can carry fees for checking the balance or a transaction fee each time it is used.
You definitely need to verify all such information before you purchase the card. You do not want to purchase a gift card valued at, say, one hundred dollars only to find mom can only spend eighty of them! Lastly, make sure you verify whether it has an expiration date.
Nowadays, the number-one popular resource for buying gifts is the internet. There is still time to order mom a gift online and receive it in time for Mother’s Day this weekend, although you might have to pay extra for expedited shipping to ensure it arrives on time.
Most online retailers advertise Mother’s Day gift specials, so check your options to find the best price for your budget. If traditional candy and flowers are your go-to items, still beware! Make sure you get what you pay for.
Ordering flower arrangements online can be tricky. While the picture online might display a beautiful arrangement with blooming flowers, your mom could end up with a bouquet of dead flowers on Mother’s Day. That has happened to me on more than one occasion!
Thoroughly review the business’ policy regarding returns or exchanges before buying. You want to avoid a battle if there is a need to ask for a refund or a replacement of your gift.
As always, before you buy, check on the selling business’ rating, complaints and reviews at
Whatever you decide to give your mom for Mother’s Day, I hope she enjoys it!
Denisha Maxey is director of dispute resolution at Houston Better Business Bureau.

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