While some tend to the turkey, many are revving up their engines to begin marathon shopping to gather up all the holiday bargains. We talked to law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau for tips on staying safe and shopping smart.
Traffic is already picking up at Prien Lake Mall where some shoppers are trying to get a jump on the Christmas rush.
Starting Friday, Calcasieu Sheriff's Deputies' command center at Prien lake mall will be staffed. Captain Craig bean says they want shoppers to feel safe and to be proactive:
"Park in well lit areas, don't leave your purses, gifts, things like that, don't leave them on your front seat, back seat, where somebody walking b y could actually look in your car and see that. Make sure your doors are locked," he said.
Also he says at night, park as close to store entrances as possible and have keys in hand.
"Don't have your keys in your purse, or in your pocket or somewhere you can't access. Make sure you have those things readily available to make quick entry into your vehicle," said Bean.
When it comes to shopping smart, BBB president Carmen Million reminds people to get gift receipts and make sure they understand store policies on returns.
"Some stores will give you a refund but it may only be only within the first 30 days after the purchase. They may give you a store credit. They may give you your money back but may keep a restocking fee," said Million.
And, with online shopping, it's important to deal with secure web sites and protect yourself.
"You want to make sure you pay with a credit card or pay pal. That way if you don't receive your merchandise you have an option to dispute the purchase. Make sure that the site you're on is protected. You want to make sure that the address has the HTTP which means it's secure. Another level of security is normally they'll have the lock and key at the bottom. Click on that lock and key and it should open up and tell you how you're going to be protected, how your information is going to be protected," explained Million.
She says if it doesn't open, it means it's not activated.