Shopping safely during the season!

Author : teriann

The best part about shopping is when you get a deal but there are so many other factors that can ruin your trip. My biggest pet peeve is being hassled by over zealous sales persons.  While I appreciate that they are trying to secure a sale, at times it can be too much and ends up having the opposite effect.

Although usually clerks can be distracted and inattentive throughout the year, I have discovered that during December they seem to be over attentive as they seek additional funds. Some stores encourage this behaviour by paying a commission depending on how many sales are closed by their representatives.

However one of the challenges of doing this is that it can be very distracting to consumers and cause them to lose focus on what else might be happening around them which is one of the most important thing to remember in order to stay safe while shopping.

Stay focused

Pushy sales clerks aside, it is very important to stay focused on your surrounding. I have seen shoppers get so caught up with searching for a bargain that they become careless. Women place their handbags in shopping carts or on shelves during shopping which are simply advertisements for thieves.

Other shoppers might get so distracted that they hand over their debit or credit card and then they don’t realize that the amount entered in the POS does not match the price of the item.  I have had this happen to me multiple times and it is usually a result of human error, however it is best to pay attention to your surroundings to avoid this mistake.

During heightened traffic during shopping there are those who follow others hoping to relieve them of their purchases so if you know who’s around you then you will be able to discern the ones who might be dangerous. Pickpockets seem to multiply as they walk through large shopping crowds. It is better then not to walk with large amounts of cash on these shopping trips.

Large Purchases – Take along sufficient bags

Since plastic bags are now illegal, you run the risk of showing everyone what have just bought which is not a good idea. In order to retain your privacy take along large enough bags that you think that you might need.

If you can get the company where you bought the item or a friend to deliver large purchases to your house then that would further protect your privacy and give you peace of mind.

When you have to shop for a prolonged period, another good idea is to take purchases to the car intermittently instead of walking with several bags.

So how do you keep safe while shopping? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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