Ads seeking beauty pageant participants read: “Win Big Prizes! Scholarships!
Participating in a beauty pageant may provide a rewarding experience, but many would-be contestants find that some pageant promoters do not deliver what they promise. While there are legitimate pageants, there are also those whose only purpose is to fatten the pockets of promoters.
In 2010, Better Business Bureau received nearly 10,000 inquiries across the country from consumers about beauty pageant promotions.
Entering the world of beauty pageants can carry a heavy price tag, so parents must look beyond the glare of the runway lights.
“Consumers who consider enrolling their son or daughter in a beauty pageant should realize it is a major investment and do their research accordingly, by checking pageant promoters with BBB,” according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti.
Before entering into a pageant, parents and others who want to get involved should consider the following questions:
*How long has the company been operating pageants? Who are the directors? Usually pageants are operated by for-profit organizations that solicit participants through mail and print advertising, and broadcast media, to compete for recognition and prizes from the promoter.
*What is the total cost of pageant participation for both the entrant and the chaperone? Oftentimes, family or business sponsors are asked to pay a sponsorship fee which can vary in size, to the pageant promoter, to cover hotel rental fees, awards, administrative costs, salary for company personnel, and generate profits. Also, keep in mind that there are other costs for entrants, such as clothing, make-up, food, travel and lodging.
*Can the location (place of business) of the pageant company be verified? Where and when will the actual pageant be held? What accommodations are provided for contestants?
*Do the details add up? What are the judges’ qualifications?
*Do the winnings sound too good to be true? If so, they probably are. Be sure to read any contract carefully and thoroughly before entering a pageant to understand the financial obligations, rights and responsibilities of the winner or other contestants.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit http://www.ct.bbb.org/
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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.