Consider the ethics and policies of retailers you patronize. Some companies go above and beyond to work with you to correct problems but others are less consumer friendly.
The Better Business Bureau and your state attorney general office should be able to tell you if a retailer has a history of complaints. You might also try the consumer affairs reporter for a local television station or newspaper.
For online companies try BBBonline.org and take a look at the business ratings. Be careful specially purchasing from companies located outside United States. This has become even more problematic with the growing number of online retailers.
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