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Make sure Black Friday gifts make it home

6:29 PM, Nov 25, 2013   |    comments
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Shoppers rush to grab electric griddles and slow cookers, on sale for $8, shortly after the doors opened Friday at a J.C. Penney in Las Vegas.(Photo: Julie Jacobson, AP)

Stores are offering doorbusters and deals, just like every year before, trying to get more money into their cash registers. There are only four weeks separating Thanksgiving and Christmas, so stores are offering even more time to come shop.

That means the deals are here before the turkey's done digesting! In some cases, before the bird even goes in the oven!

K-Mart starts its Black Friday deals at 6 a.m. Thursday. The deals it is previewing early are a 50-inch TV for $399.99 and a 32-inch for $179.99.

Toys "R" Us starts the pre-holiday shopping with stores opening at 5 p.m. Best Buy opens at 6 p.m. and is offering 30 to 40 percent off appliances.

Walmart, JCPenney, Target, and Kohls open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. JCPenney has a Dirt Devil Vacuum for $59 that was $150. Target has buy two video games get one free. Those deals are all in the store and online.

Consumers planning to shop on Black Friday should pay attention to things going on in the parking lot. This is a good opportunity for thieves to take home all of the gifts parked in peoples' cars.

The National Crime Prevention Council offers these tips:

1.    Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.

2.    Shop online with companies you know and trust. Check a company's background if you are not familiar with it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

3.    Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.

4.    Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as one-time or multi-use disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.

5.    Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.

6.    Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.

7.    Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

8.    Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.

9.    Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.

10.    If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.

First Coast News

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