Black Friday is an exciting and much-anticipated day for Michigan shoppers who cannot wait to get their hands on those great deals that only roll around once each year. If you have been through it before, you know how frenzied it can be; people lined up outside the door, even around the block to make sure they get their hands on those unbelievable bargains. It can be fun, exciting, even stressful if you don’t really enjoy the crowded atmosphere – but it can also be dangerous.
Unfortunately, Black Friday is the day many thieves and pick pockets choose as their best opportunity of the year to make a few “hauls” of their own. Here are a few tips to help ensure both yourself and your purchases make it safely home on Black Friday 2013:
- Take steps to ensure you’re not the victim of a pickpocket. Wear your purse across your body so it cannot be easily removed, or better yet, leave it at home. Considering carrying your wallet in a pants pocket or inside coat pocket.
- Don’t purchase more than you can carry. If you intend to buy out the store, take a friend or family member along who can help you carry your purchases to the car, or ask an employee for help.
- Park as close as possible to the entrance of the store; at night, park under a light if possible. Always have your keys in your hand when walking to or from your car.
- Before entering your car, take a close look around it and peer inside (particularly the back seat) before getting in.
- Never place your purchases where they are visible through the windows of your vehicle, such as in the back seat. Put them inside the trunk for safe keeping.
- Be safe at the check-out by leaving your credit card or checkbook in your purse/wallet until the cashier asks for it. Would-be criminals would like nothing better than to look over your shoulder and get account information!
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged, turned on, and easily accessible. Keep it close to your body so that if you’re in a noisy crowd you can feel it vibrate. If shopping with a group of people who will meet up later, make sure everyone has all of the others’ phone numbers programmed into their phones.
- Decide on a specific place to meet at a designated time if shopping with a group.
Shopping online this Black Friday? You still need to be safe. Shop only with companies you trust and have dealt with before. Save all of the receipts for items you purchase online by printing them out and keeping them together in a file folder. Instead of using your regular credit/debit card, consider a disposable credit card or money order instead.
Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for getting your hands on those unbelievable bargains and Christmas gifts, but be cautious!
Grabel & Associates wishes you a happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and a safe Black Friday.