It has been more than 110 years since the first Father’s Day celebration, which occurred in Washington on June 19, 1910. While initially challenging to promote, retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men following the economic downturn of The Great Depression. It wasn’t until sometime later, in 1972, that President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.
Since its origin, the typical gifts received on Father’s Day have both transformed and remained relatively steady. Tools, home improvement supplies and clothing are all common purchases for Father’s Day gifts — however, electronics, special outings and automotive accessories are growing in popularity, demonstrating how technologies change the types of gifts people receive.
When purchasing gifts online, for Father’s Day or any other celebration, it is essential to exercise caution and carefully read the limitations of purchase, expected delivery date and source of the product. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the most important consideration consumers have when choosing a Father’s Day gift is finding one that is unique or different. Additionally, the average expected spending on a Father’s Day gift has continued to rise since 2014, according to estimates by the NRF, resting at $174 in 2021. As gifts become more costly and meaningful, consumers are encouraged to take their time when searching for the perfect Father’s Day gift.
In 2020 after purchasing a wireless Bluetooth speaker for a Father’s Day gift, one Texas resident never received their product after paying more than $100 and providing their banking information, as well as home address, to an online seller. When providing sensitive personal information, such as a home address, it is important to carefully analyze the credibility of a seller to avoid both online purchase scams and identity theft.
While shopping for Father’s Day gifts this year, BBB recommends the following guidelines to avoid scams:
Read the fine print. When buying gift cards and certificates, check the terms and conditions before purchase to ensure that the expiration date and any other limitations will not be problematic. If you are giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure it is valid for online purchases.
Do your homework. Before ordering electronics, clothing or any other gifts for Father’s Day, check out the company’s BBB Business Profile at BBB.org. Check for the “lock” icon in the web address that indicates a secured system before placing an order or inputting banking information online.
Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the retailer or website to be certain you have allowed enough time to deliver any purchased gifts. Make sure that your preferred delivery date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order.
Be diligent with rentals. Sometimes to create a unique gift, rentals are involved. Before renting ATVs, campers, motorcycles or other recreational equipment for excursions this Father’s Day, be sure you get a written contract that includes details such as the base rental cost, daily fees, insurance and time restrictions for any equipment. Also, take the time to visually inspect the rental and get written proof of any existing damage before renting the equipment to avoid disputes over unexpected maintenance and repair fees.
Have a backup plan. Make sure you understand a store or service’s guarantee and other policies. Find out how the business handles customer complaints and what recourse you will have if the arrangement is unsatisfactory. It is best to use a credit card when ordering online due to the added protections credit cards have to dispute charges. Charges made on a debit card are the same as cash, and you may have no recourse through your bank if there is a problem.
Don’t click online coupons. If you see a post on social media or receive an email with an offer, unless you’re sure the source is legitimate, don’t click on the link as it could take you to a malicious website. If you see an offer online, search for it independently. Go directly to the company’s website to find and verify the coupon offer. Learn more about social media scams on BBB.org.
If you’re shopping online, be sure to check BBB’s tips for smart shopping online.
For more tips on how to protect yourself from scams this Father’s Day, visit BBB.org or FTC.gov.