Survive Black Friday Safely

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Anonymous, Lynn, Robbi and 1 other

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Are you ready to march into the malls and discount stores this Black Friday? Yes, Black Friday is really about targeting the greatest bargains available. You will definitely be out there scoring discounts, but remember that thieves of every kind are out there to score, too. When you plan to spend hard-earned money, you need to be sure that you are safe while doing it. You have to keep yourself from being a helpless target and going home without anything at all. These discounts and unique items are forms of distractions. Criminals use them to take anything from you especially when you're stuck in a thick crowd. Be a smart shopper. Survive Black Friday safely. Make those criminals know that you are aware of what you're doing and that you will go home satisfied with the best buys of the season.

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Black Friday's Popularity

After Thanksgiving, the hype of Black Friday started in the 1960s.

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It was then coined "Black" to start the season for Christmas shopping. Back then, records in accounting noted losses in the red ink and profit in black ink. So, Black Friday is when stores gain more profit because of the humongous sales and consumers obtain huge benefits from their purchases. These days, Black Friday can take place on any day between the 23rd and 29th of November. It's not a national holiday in the US but most employees have their Black Friday day off. Only those who work in malls and other stores apparently don't. On a negative note, the 1960s also paved the way for the term Black Friday given by the police in Philadelphia because of the congested streets. The year 1869 also described the financial crisis experienced by the stock market. The gold spectators failed to take a good hold of the stock market and this caused the market to plummet and collapse. Modern Black Friday is known as the ultimate shopping day for Americans.

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Different stores come up with enormous discounts to draw in the crowds. Every price is cut down unbelievably. It's because of this that Black Friday is even more popular than last minute shopping sales during Christmas. Offline stores present the discounted products early morning during Thanksgiving. Online stores email their consumers to let them know what's heavily discounted. Popular items on drastic sale are apparel, toys, electronics, furniture, and appliances. Black Friday is a long day of pure shopping. Customers are at the mall doors and Windows by 5 a.m. Others head toward the stores right after Thanksgiving and wait there until opening time. Large retail companies inform their patrons of sales through online messaging, coupons, and TV ads. These enable the shoppers to plan their shopping well. For customers who want to add more convenience to their Black Friday shopping, online shopping is the key. By shopping online, you can easily know if the items you want are still in stock without wasting gas money just to check out every store.

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How to Survive Black Friday Safely

With all those sales, it is a killer to shop during Black Friday �" literally. The crowds on this shopping day are willing to fight for their item, especially when they're at a drop dead price. There is lots of chaos and confusion in stores as customers go in and out. You and your finances are put at high risk. Criminals await this day as well because it's the most fitting opportunity to take advantage of the shop-crazy consumers. Below are some useful tips on how you can survive Black Friday safely:

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General Guidelines

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  1. 1
    Choose trusted companies when shopping online.
    Before you make a purchase online, check if the company is reputable first. Do not be swayed by sweet deals easily. It's better to be safe than very sorry.
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  2. 2
    Only buy what you can take home with you.
    If you want to purchase more items, you can bring a family member or a friend with you to help you carry your filled shopping bags home or to your car.
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  3. 3
    Do not use your credit card directly.
    In every purchase you make, use alternative methods such as money orders, multi-use credit cards, or onetime credit cards, especially when you plan to shop online.
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  4. 4
    Keep your receipts.
    Using your credit card is an opportunity for identity thieves to do what they do best. Keeping receipts of your purchases will enable you to check if there are unauthorized purchases made with your credit card.
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  5. 5
    Always keep your purse close to the front of your body.
    This will discourage pickpockets from victimizing you.
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  6. 6
    Do not wave your credit card or checkbook around.
    Wait until the cashier asks for them. Thieves also shoulder-surf careless consumers so that they could get your information without you even knowing it.
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  7. 7
    Be aware of unattended packages.
    Notify security guards if you see a package that's unattended. It may be a hazard to the crowd's safety.
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  8. 8
    Never leave packages that can be seen through your vehicle's Windows.
    Just take them home right away or lock them in your trunk.
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  9. 9
    Make sure that you check your car before you get in.
    Have your keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle. These precautions will make sure that you go home safely and not with a thief or a mugger.
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  10. 10
    Plan with your kids.
    If you have no choice but to bring your kids with you, confirm a meeting point. This is the place where you can converge if ever you become separated. Tell them to seek help from mall authorities if they are in need of further assistance.
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Guidelines When You're Inside the Store

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  1. 1
    If you're alone, buy only items that you can conveniently carry.
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  2. 2
    Bring one debit or credit card with you.
    In the event that your wallet gets lost or stolen, you would just have to cancel one card.
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  3. 3
    Do not carry cash.
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  4. 4
    Be aware of people around you.
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  5. 5
    Do not place your wallet or purse in your shopping cart.
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  6. 6
    Always accompany your children, especially in public restrooms.
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  7. 7
    Do not bring your social security card or Medicard.
    These are treasure troves of information for identity thieves.
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Guidelines When You're Outside the Store

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  1. 1
    Park your vehicle in areas that are well lit.
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  2. 2
    Check your vehicle's back seat and perimeter before opening it.
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  3. 3
    Don't tempt thieves by placing shopping bags that can be seen through your vehicle's Windows.
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  4. 4
    Ask for help if you think you need it.
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Tips

  • Make a list of what you want to buy.
  • Avoid loitering the malls and stores with your purchases.
  • Eat and drink before you enter the store so you won't have to carry food while shopping.
  • When purchasing online, look for the padlock icon or "https" in the site's URL.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
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Categories : Holidays & Traditions

Recent edits by: Robbi, Lynn, Anonymous

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