Tips for a safe home show season | Better Business Bureau

Better Business Bureau is joining forces with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and the Seattle Home Show to ensure a safe home show season for Washington consumers.

“Home repairs or remodeling projects can be significant investments,” says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “A little bit of upfront preparation can prevent problems down the road.”

When attending home shows or expos, BBB reminds attendees to walk in with a plan:

  • Know the layout. Visit show websites in advance and locate appealing vendors. Check for discounts and coupons and research vendors at or at the show, before striking a deal—BBB’s iPhone app can be very helpful.
  • Be picky. Engage interested booth owners by asking questions, collecting pamphlets, business cards and samples; also, get specifics about pricing, return policies and contact information.
  • Avoid impulse spending. Stay on budget by sticking to goals and avoiding high-pressure sales tactics. Pay for expensive merchandise with credit cards and monitor accounts for unauthorized charges.
  • Check registration. Before hiring contractors, check to see if they are registered with the state; registered contractors must have liability insurance, business licenses and bonds.

“Home shows are great for ideas when planning to build or remodel a home,” says Labor & Industries Director Joel Sacks. “Stop by the L&I booth [at the Seattle Home Show] to learn how to avoid pitfalls and achieve the project of your dreams.”

Purchases made at locations which are not the sellers’ permanent places of business—like tradeshows or fairs—are subject to the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule, giving buyers three days to cancel for full refunds.

Seattle Home Show has been working hard with BBB and L&I to screen exhibitors and encourages visitors to visit the L&I booth with any questions.

BBB, L&I and Seattle Home Show organizers remind consumers to shop smart. Potential customers are encouraged to visit to check contractor registration and use the HireSmart worksheet to verify that a contractor is legitimate.

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