Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.
Well before shopping:
- Research the following about items you’re considering buying:
- Features available
- Warranties available
Before leaving to go shopping:
- Call store(s) to ensure the item is available
- Ensure store(s) will be open when you plan to visit
- Avoid having to carry a lot of purchased items with you difficult to ward off attackers
If a store does not have the item you’re looking for:
- Ask if they can recommend where you might check for the item
Before walking to your vehicle:
- Have your vehicle keys ready
While walking to your vehicle:
- Be aware of your surroundings (look for potential attackers)
Before buying an item:
- Ask if the item, or a similar item, is on sale
- Ask if the price is negotiable
- Ask about the warranty
- Is labor covered? If so, for how long?
- Are parts covered? If so, for how long?
- Ask about return policy
- Time limit?
- Avoid buying too large a quantity of an item you may not use it all, e.g., your tastes may change
- Avoid spending too much on a gift if it might make the recipient feel too much in debt to you and/or others giving gifts might feel their gifts are inadequate
- Consider using credit card if you use check or cash, less chance of getting your money back if problems (e.g., store doesn’t deliver)
- For free over-the-phone information on a wide range of consumer issues specific to your state, call United Way of America 1 (703) 836-7100
- Call (800) 664-4435 for a free copy of the Consumer’s Resource Handbook – lists all Better Business Bureau’s, Consumer Affairs offices, Attorney General offices, etc in the U.S. (published by the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs)
- Consumer’s Information Catalog 1-(719) 948-3334
After buying an item:
- Check for indications that the item (especially electronic items, cameras, etc.) is not new:
- No warranty card(s)
- Accessories not wrapped up
- ‚ÄúX‚Äù marked on outside of box or on item
- Stickers removed from box
- Outer box not sealed
When shopping with children:
If child says he/she wants something:
- Offer to put the item on their ‚Äòwish list’
- Don’t buy real fur coats, etc.
According to furisdead.com: "Millions of fur-bearing animals including foxes, raccoons, minks, coyotes, bobcats, lynxes, opossums, nutria, beavers, muskrats, otters, and others are killed each year on fur farms … and in the wild …"
- Call The Jewelers of America 1 (800) 223-0673 for information on buying jewelry
- SPF of at least 15
- UVA and UVB protection
- Waterproof (if you might be swimming)
- Paba-free (if you’re allergic to Paba)