10 Smart Shopping Tips for the Holiday Season
If you’re planning on participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday shopping this holiday season, here are 10 smart shopping tips for you to consider.
Monitor Your Credit and Debit Card Activity
Use FHB Online to frequently review the activity on your accounts to ensure they’re all authorized. (Not a registered user? Enroll now!) Contact First Hawaiian Bank immediately if you notice any unauthorized or fraudulent activity on your accounts.
Use Secured Sites When Shopping Online
A secured site can be identified by the little padlock icon in the URL bar of your browser (the icon look may vary between browser types and versions). Secure connections encrypt data between your computer and the website.
Block Your PIN from View
Cover your PIN from view during checkout or at ATMs to prevent over-the-shoulder onlookers or hidden cameras from capturing your information.
Avoid “Too Good to Be True” Deals
During this busy time, scammers may prey on your desire to find a deal. Look for signs of a scam if you get emails from unknown senders advertising heavily discounted products. Check out the Better Business Bureau site for reviews on local and national companies. If you’re not sure, stick with sites you know.
Know Your Card Benefits
Review your credit card or other account benefits to see what kind of protections they offer. In addition to valuable rewards, many account programs offer additional benefits such as Identity Theft Resolution, Extended Warranty, Price Protection and Purchase Assurance.
Inspect Those Gift Cards
Gift cards are always popular items. When buying gift cards in-store, check the packaging and any security seals. Also be sure to review the terms and conditions of each card. Remember, Hawaii state law mandates that gift cards remain valid for a minimum of 5 years and paper gift certificates valid for a minimum of 2 years after the date of issuance.
Know Your Return Policy
Ask for the retailer’s return policy before you make a purchase. There may be restocking fees or credit-only refund policies. Save your receipts as many stores require them for returns.
Have a Plan and a Budget
Prioritize what you need or want the most, and hit the most important stores first. You may even want to map your route, including parking. Once you have prioritized your list, research prices to determine how much you are willing to set aside for each item on your list.
If you want to avoid the hustle and stress of the mall or big-box stores, consider going local. Many local shops also have sales, particularly on Small Business Saturday.
Don’t Forget to Relax and Smile
Black Friday and holiday shopping can be a stressful time. Remember to take deep breaths and stay calm. Smiling can improve not only your day, but your neighbors’ as well!