GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Better Business Bureau is offering shoppers advice on how to avoid getting scammed during the Halloween season.

The BBB estimates 172 million Americans will be celebrating the holiday – spending around $8.8 billion on supplies, according to the National Retail Federation.

To avoid being scammed, the BBB says it is important to research store headquarters when purchasing online. You want to make sure they have a physical location and a phone number. 

They suggest you fully review your shipping order and ask questions.  Make sure you are clear on pricing and shipping and handling charges.

Also, this is the time of year pop-up shops begin to open. It is important to make sure they are reputable before purchasing.

Halloween Express owner, Lisa Cartwright, has been popping up her shop in Greenville for more than 20 years.

She says customers should trust her business because they are locally-owned and pride themselves on their customer service. 

“I feel like when you know that it is a locally-owned store, you know that I am going to do whatever it takes to help you, said Cartwright. “It is my reputation on the line as well as the Halloween Express.”

Cartwright also warns folks about online shopping. She says oftentimes costume sizing can be an issue.

“If you are a college student and you’re a girl, you don’t know if you need a two, a four, a six,” she said.

She also warns consumers about using their credit cards for international retail purchases. 

“A lot of times you’re not sure where it is coming from, and if it is coming from a long way away Lord knows when it’s going to get made,” she said.

Also, make sure you know the company’s return and exchange policy for items in seasonal stores.