It’s the eve of the big fashion event, Fashion Night Out (FNO). Are you excited? 😀 You should be, it’s another opportunity to get back to school stuff , buy the latest trends in gadgets, apparel, footwear, home décor and accessories, even dining at your favourite eateries at discounted prices.
However, even with all the fun and excitement of this event is expected to bring, we also have to be mindful that this type setting creates the perfect environment for petty thieves and offenders and will attract more shopping-related criminal activity. Sad but true and is the reality of large gatherings and also stores are opened beyond their normal business hours.
Try not be too carefree in your activities and I will encourage you to exercise preventive measures by paying attention to your surroundings at all times. Here are a few other tips on making this a fun and hassle free shopping experience and night out for you:
- We know you are grown but it is always good to let someone know where you are going to be (where you are going shopping) and what time you expect to be back from the event. Additionally, make sure they know what you are wearing, who you will be with and type of vehicle you are driving or travelling in (and I don’t mean public transportation here, lol).
- If you are driving, try to park in well lit areas and pay careful attention to your surroundings. When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat. It is always a good thing to car pool – keeps the group together plus you are likely to find space easily for one car than to try to find multiple spaces in close proximity.
- Shop with friends or in groups of not more than 5 persons. Single shoppers are usually targets for criminal activities. You also don’t want to travel in a large group of people as it will become harder to control and guard each other closely.
- Be very aware of strangers approaching you, your friends or your car for any reason. In respect of the car, have you car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected when your getting into the car. Keep your cell phone handy for emergency dialing.
- Avoid dressing up for a gala, make sure you are comfortably dressed (even casually) and please, do not come out in your expensive jewellery. It is a fashion event but believe me you don’t need to do the whole red carpet “head to toe” look. FNO is for the swift and sadly, that applies to dressing rooms as well – so wear outfits you can slip out and slip in under 10 seconds tops!
- Do not stack everything in your handbag/purse, that way if it is stolen – your whole life isn’t gone with the bag. Empty your bags and purses of unnecessary items for that one night. Put some cash in clothing pockets that are not easily accessible (note: back pockets are the easiest access). Keep your car keys on you (your person).
- Cards/Cards – I recommend the use of credit/debit cards as cash can become too bulky to handle. However, when using your card, please keep a close eye every time you use it. Look what the clerk is doing when you hand over your card and make sure it is back in your possession as quickly as possible. For cash transactions stack varying amounts on you all over (another reason you should wear clothes with more than one pocket) and in your purse. So if the item cost say JA$2,500 – you know which pocket has that amount or can cover the charge and your fumbling around in your purse for dollar bills.
- Bang for the buck – Haggle, haggle haggle but never argue with the vendor on their prices.No violence please!! Use your negotiating skills wisely. Remember you have the bargaining power that night and really sellers are looking for all items to go. It is a way for them to clear the store for new stock and the upcoming season’s trends.
Even with the hassle free tips, there are some of us who will not even budge from our couch and nothing is wrong with that. The internet has made shopping hassle free as well. So for you, Online Shoppers, you still need to exercise some safety measures:
- Shop with familiar sites, if it is your first time, check with friends who have done so before for advice or go to https://ease2elegance.com/e2e-haute-pursuit — for a list of reputable online stores for your shopping pleasure.
- Make sure your computer is protected from malware attacks (install an anti-virus, internet security, etc)
- Online shopping is strictly cashless base, so a credit card, visa debit card or paypal is the preferred method of payment. Shop with sites that carry the secure socket layer (SSL) – site usually starts with ” https” to protect your card/financial information.
- Make your passwords strong and use a secured internet access or WiFi to do your purchases. These things are too often taken for granted.
- Know what you are shopping for, check customer reviews, product description and terms of purchases, refund policy, international purchases and shipping. A lot of mishaps can be prevented if you just take that 10 mins and scan over these basic things.
- Be very mean and stingy with your data, some sites especially when signing up for rewards program wants your whole life story. So just be cautious not to give out to much details especially if this can be easily tied to card info.
- Check your bank statements — you do not need to hire an accountant, it a simple thing to gloss over your statements when you get them just to make sure your card doesn’t have unauthorized purchases (sign up for online banking – so you can see the transaction same day or next day)
- Be mindful that the word “free” can be very costly. Please do all your checks and balances, just be vigilant when making online purchases. Know when things are too good to be true and know what sales/bargains are legit.
Whew, breathe!! I hope I didn’t scare the heck out of you. This is just for your safety for a fun, hassle free night while you are on your FNO high. My readers, walk good, shop in style and I will see you on the town tomorrow night 😉
—HAVE FUN — KEEP SAFE — THROW IT IN THE BAG —