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Safety Corner: Safe Holiday Shopping

By Megan Griffin-Adams

The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping! Picking out just the right gift for each person on your list can be a challenge in itself - but even more important is keeping yourself safe during the holidays. Don’t let the Grinch steal your holiday spirit - utilize the tips below and make sure the season is one to celebrate.

  • Parking lots can be a zoo! Be patient and watch carefully for other drivers (everyone is trying to get that coveted close parking space). When backing out, go slowly and watch carefully for pedestrians.

  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area and be sure it is locked when you leave it. While walking, be aware of icy parking lots, especially black ice.

  • If you’re headed to more than one store, hide your shopping bags from previous stops in an out of sight area, like the trunk or under a seat. If you’re purchasing a large/expensive item, try to make that your last stop and head straight home after purchasing.

  • While you’re in the store, keep your purse or wallet close. If possible, try to pay with a credit/debit card. If you do decide to use cash, don’t carry more than is necessary; only take it out at the register, and ensure your change is secured in your purse/wallet before leaving the store.

  • If possible, try to shop at nonpeak hours, when crowds will be smaller.

If you want to avoid the crowds entirely, online shopping can be a great alternative; and with days like Cyber Monday, there are great deals to be had. However, online shopping has its own risks associated with it. If you choose to shop online, the following tips can help to ensure a positive experience:

  • If possible, stick to online shopping with large, well-known retailers, or ones that you have shopped with before. If you aren’t familiar with a particular retailer, a quick Google search can help to confirm their legitimacy.

  • Use a credit card instead of your debit card. Generally speaking, credit card disputes are easier to handle than debit.

  • Don’t make purchases over public Wi-Fi.

  • Check a websites security by looking for the lock icon in the URL, making sure the URL starts with “https”.

Holidays are a time for joy and celebration. Make sure you follow these tips to avoid a negative shopping experience that could hinder your festivities. Here at Blossom, we want to ensure that you have a cheerful and safe holiday season!

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