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Tips to keep you safe in and out of the store this holiday shopping season.

We’ve all seen the photos and TV images of people waiting in lines and rushing into stores to get a jump start on their holiday shopping (and, of course, trying to snag a good deal!) We’ve pulled together some tips to keep in mind when you’re waiting in line, searching for a specific item or anxiously waiting on your computer for the clock to strike midnight to grab a cyber deal.

What you need to know to survive Black Friday:

The Wait
Depending on where you live, you could face a variety of weather elements and varying temperatures. Remember to:

Dress for the occasion. If you’re planning on waiting outside, dress warm, but in layers. (You don’t want to overheat in the store).

Say hello. If you’re in it for the long haul, you might as well make some friends. Introduce yourself to your fellow line-waiters. They might have intel on where the items you’re looking for will be.

Do your homework. Many stores have special Black Friday store layouts, placing popular items throughout the store in various areas. Meaning your TV could be in a clothing section or in an aisle next to dog food. If this is happening at your store, check its website while you wait to see where your item is located.

Put safety first. Don’t be that guy (or girl) who pushes through the crowd. Enter the store at a normal pace and be mindful of others.

In the Store
Patience is a virtue. Yes, there will be waiting; yes, there will be lines. And yes, it’s important to stay calm. Here are some ideas to keep yourself busy while you wait:

  • Text a friend or family member about the screaming deal you just got (if it’s not too early).
  • Check to see if there are any additional online savings you can capitalize on for your item by checking for coupons or deals on your smart phone.

Stick with one card. By using only one credit card for shopping on Black Friday, you reduce your risk of having multiple cards compromised. Read tips to shop online safely

Be careful on public Wi-Fi. It’s tempting to maximize your time waiting in line by snagging a good deal online. Be careful using a public Wi-Fi connection to make purchases, your information could become available to anyone on that network.

In the Parking Lot

Light the way. Many times, shopping begins before the sun comes up. Make sure you park in a well-lit area of the parking lot.

Gift placement. Be conscious of where you store your gifts in your vehicle. If possible, clear room in your trunk and don’t leave gifts or large items on your front seat. Typically thieves look for clothing (40% more are stolen out of cars on Black Friday) and video games (42% more are stolen out of cars on Black Friday). On average, there are 28% more thefts overall on Black Friday than any other day in the year, according to Fortune magazine.

Navigating traffic. It’s no fun to kick off the holiday season with an accident. During a day like Black Friday, you’ll want to be on high alert in busy parking lots

Read more about staying safe in parking lots on Black Friday.

Black Friday from the comfort of your couch
Similar tips apply to Black Friday when you’re shopping online.  If the deal sounds too good to be true, and it’s not from a major retailer, then it probably is. You need to make sure the website is secure and be sure you’re shopping on a trusted website. Any page that lets you enter credit card information should start with https:// and include a locked padlock icon. Make sure to enter the correct spelling of the site you intend to visit.

Whether you’re staying in or heading out, make sure you have fun, stay safe and enjoy the thrill of a good deal. To get an insurance experience that’s personal, fair and affordable, contact a Miller's Insurance agent.

This article brought to you by our friends at Erie Insurance. Miller's would like to extend it's gratitude to Erie Insurance for both being a wonderful business ally and for letting us use the articles found on their blog, Eriesense.

Posted 10:00 AM

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