[an error occurred while processing this directive]
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 7, 2000
Some retailers have extended holiday hours. The least hectic times to shop are early morning and after 8 p.m. weekdays.
Shopping at night? Park in well-lighted spaces and have a buddy, or make sure that the parking lot has adequate security.
Don't leave purses unattended in shopping carts.
The strollers many malls rent make excellent carts for carrying the packages of overburdened shoppers.
You bought an item and later found it cheaper elsewhere? Often, the retailer who sold it to you will make up the difference.
Ask about return policies. Some merchants offer only store credits or exchanges. Stores that usually have a 30-day grace period often offer holiday extensions into January and February, but not always.
Save receipts for all purchases. Exchanges and returns often are difficult, if not impossible, without them.