Shopper Safety

Shopper safety adds to holiday joy

Shoppers can enjoy the season if they take precautions for personal safety – online and off.

Shopping is about more than getting the best price. It’s also about staying safe – whether it’s in the retail store during Friday frenzy, or shopping online for holiday merchandise. Let the buyer be wary and beware – here’s how.

Take a photo of the kids with you

Shopping with kids is hard! But the one thing that’s harder than shopping with them, is trying to find a child who wandered away. Experts suggest taking a picture of the kids before you get out of the car. That way, if one gets separated it’s easier to find the child with an accurate description of clothing and whereabouts.

Keep the crazies in front of youfirst

I apply the rules of the road to in-store my shopping experience. What do shopping and driving have in common? Lots! You’re going to encounter “the crazies.” These are the other people out there whose lives are so emotionally charged that they get a little too crazy about the moment. Cutting in and out of other people, grabbing and pushing – just overall bad manners. My way of dealing with “the crazies” is to let them go ahead of me. Hey, I get that shopping would make anyone lose it a little. I don’t need to get there first – and I certainly want to shop and travel in safety!

It’s easier to look in front of you and see what the crazies are up to… than it is to guess what they’re doing behind you. Spread a little holiday cheer and let the crazys get ahead of you and hold your peace. Not to mention, crime often happens when people are distracted. Don’t let the crazy distract you.

Shop for the real thing

Unfortunately, some of the best prices online are for counterfeit goods or knock offs. These items lure shoppers with the unauthorized use of a logo or trademark goods that are “cheap imitations” of inferior quality. Merchandise is also “bootleg” when it is an outright copy of the real thing. The website shows images of the real item, but when delivered, there are tell tale signs that the consumer has been ripped off.

This happened when a friend bought a pair of sneakers online. They took weeks to get, didn’t fit properly and had to be returned to a foreign country before a “replacement” pair was received. By the time the sneakers were in hand, they were out of style.

Not to mention, she lost points in the eyes of her nephew for not buying “the real thing.” She had no idea and still regrets not verifying the authenticity of the goods in the first place.

CyberSecurity Counts

With so many shoppers using mobile devices, it is important to remember that mobile data can be hijacked. Many locations offering free wi-fi make users prone to hijacking data and credit card information over the airwaves. To avoid this theft, use your own data plan and network, rather than opting for the “free” data. The free plan may ultimately cost alot more than you bargain for.

Shopping is a more enjoyable experience when it is done safely. Let the buyer beware!

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About candi sparks

Candi Sparks is a fully licensed financial professional and a Brooklyn mother of two. She works with private clients, business owners, the NYC Department of Education, faith based, non profit and community organizations on financial education and implementing financial strategies for success. Events are fun, interactive and solid financial information. Sparks Fly, financial literacy for YOU(th) Learn more so you can live more! toll free: 866.556.2432
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