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The Holiday season this year is very unique because of the bad economy. It poses some challenges because the wealth and purchasing powers of many families has diminished. The other problem is that personal day to day expenses in many ways still remain the same making it more difficult to buy anything for the holidays. However, there are some great opportunities that people who position themselves properly can take advantage of. Companies seeing lagging retail sales will start to slash prices as never before and if sales during the holiday shopping season lag. They will be forced to lower prices even more to clear their inventories for the next season. Despite the opportunity desperate customers can be easily scammed if they are not careful here are some major scams to avoid.
Do not shop at unsecured websites even if the prices are exactly what you are looking for. You are playing Russian roulette with your identity and finances. As the internet has advanced so have hacker and other schemers. They are so effective even geography doesn’t affect them. Someone in Africa and China can deceive you just as well as the hacker in your own country. Make sure the site has the established and commonly accepted security protocols and does simple things like not show your entire credit card or bank account number.
Avoid look-a-like sites which can look just like the official store site. Collaborate and check with local store and customer service to confirm some key identifiers for authentic sites. This more than anything will help you avoid most major scams. Once again make sure that the site is secured by the proper online security protocols.
Use your credit card, PayPal, or other well recognized online payment account. These are more secure than your debit card. Credit cards and online payment accounts stake their reputations on reducing the likelihood of identity thefts. Doing so will help you avoid many major scams. You can also put your purchases on store credit cards. Just make sure to use the credit when you have enough money to pay it off immediately. You don’t want to go into debt or ruin your credit report for a little extra security.
Look at shipping times on online purchases especially the big ones. The one downside about shopping online is that in many cases you can’t expect to have the item at your home the same day if you are not willing to spend the extra money you saved. So look carefully at shipping times and try to make sure that purchases can be tracked. Ask whether they are being shipped by UPS or FedEx both of these companies allow you to track your packages on your website. Of course ask for the tracking number whenever possible. Also if the time is too long it will be better to purchase especially if it is a high cost purchase.
Something special you can do for your children is to have them get a special letter from Santa Claus. It is very simple to do. You order them online and personalize them. Make sure to include how they have been good this year and some important items that they wanted for Christmas. You can also choose from different fonts to match for more specific occasions a child is celebrating in additions to Christmas such as getting well from an illness or a birthday.