This is the season when people are buying more often and spending more than any other time in the year. Here are a few safety tips:

         When buying children’s toys, examine it for ingredients and size.  Often if the toy is made outside the USA, it could contain dangerous and even deadly chemical coatings.   Also, be aware of small parts that can easily be broken off the toys.  They can become choking hazards.   Study the product and imagine the toy being broken or abused by a child and decide if it or its parts are safe.   Check out the government recall website.

          There is no true sale if the product is marked down only 30%. Look for sales that involve at least 50% off if you want to get the best deal.

         When buying products that involve companies trying to sell you additional warranties, remember that such an add-on is how the sellers really make significant profits.   And do not forget that most products already have express and implied warranties as part of their basic price. Don’t agree to buy more warranty protection so easily.

         This is a time of high crime.  Keep your purse locked to your shoulder. Walk down the middle of aisles in parking lots until you get to your car. When approaching your car, look under it to make sure no one is hiding underneath.   If it is dark, walk with someone else or ask for an escort. Carry mace in your hand if need be.

         When paying with a credit card, makes sure that there is no one behind you watching what you are doing. Put “check ID” on the back side of your credit card. This will force vendors who take your card to makes sure the proper person is using it.

         If using a gift card, make sure that you know the rules, state and federal, that apply. For instance, you cannot be charged service costs if you do not use the card for the first year.