While you’re busy researching deals and cutting coupons, you may be forgetting one essential component of the Black Friday experience – your safety.
Here are some simple tips you can follow to ensure that you make it through the cart pushing, tight parking and elbow throwing injury-free.
1. Keep It Pleasant
While shopping, be mindful of your surroundings (and your manners). If someone else gets to a product before you, don’t try to take it away from him or her. If a line is long, don’t try to cut in front of someone. If a space is crowded, don’t push and shove your way through. Shoppers take bargain hunting seriously, and they’re almost guaranteed to become upset if anyone breaks the rules. No deal is worth a fight.
This tip extends outside of the store as well. Parking lots are sure to be packed this weekend, and with a limited number of spots available, shoppers can become aggravated when trying to locate a place to park. You can prevent the possibility of a conflict by not stealing a spot someone else appears to have already claimed. If you and a fellow shopper approach a space at the same time, you’re probably better off letting him or her have it than getting into an argument.
2. Keep Your Purchases Hidden
If you’re planning to hop from one store to another this Black Friday, you’ll likely be dropping off some of your discount loot in your car to lighten your load in between retailers. If you do so, be sure to keep your bags and gifts out of plain sight. Keep them hidden or put them in the trunk, but do so before you park in that next lot – that way criminals who may be nearby won’t see where you put your valuables.
This doesn’t apply just to packages that you’ve stowed away in your car, either. You may want to consider hiding your bags even while you’re shopping. Forbes recommends bringing along an unmarked bag with you to carry your purchases in, especially if they’re high in value. If you’re not broadcasting the type of products you’re carrying, criminals may be less likely to try to swoop in on them.
3. Keep Your Possessions Within Reach
Stores will be packed with people on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. When you are surrounded by such large crowds, it’s easy for items to get lost or stolen, and if any of your belongings leaves your sight, you may never see it again. As a result, vigilance has become an important part of protecting yourself from becoming a victim.
Carry as few items as possible, and be able to account for the items you are carrying at all times. In general, keep purses and wallets in front of you rather than behind you, don’t leave any of your possessions unattended and always fasten the zippers or other closures on your purses and bags.
4. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
It’s easy to get caught up in the Black Friday experience, but don’t let the excitement and frenzy distract you from following safe practices. You’ll want to be on your guard at all times for any possible dangers and hazards.
For example, while you are either walking or driving through a parking lot, be on the lookout for pedestrians who are making their way to a store or motorists who may be backing out. Additionally, if you bring your children with you to the store, don’t let them wander off and leave your sight.
Follow these four steps to help make your Black Friday experience as safe as it is fun.
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