It feels like very time I hear a ping on my phone these days it's somebody trying to sell me something.
Somewhere along the line I signed up for notifications from some random stores and now they are telling me "don't miss out" or the sales "frenzy is GOING OFF".
My leisurely, for me, early Christmas gift hunt online feels like that scene in Minority Report, where Tom Cruises' character walks through a shopping mall and the advertising is tailored just for him.
No, I do not need a new pair of boots.
No, I do not have FOMO that once the sale is over (they never really seem to be over these days, anyway) I will regret not having plonked down my credit card details.
It's also the season when the online scammers come calling. So beware.
They are getting more sophisticated by the day.
I had a close call recently with an email. I did all my normal checks and the sender seemed fine, so I handed over the information requested - only to serious second thoughts once I'd hit the send button.
After a sleepless night I tracked down the company's details online and contacted them to confirm I HADN'T been scammed. It set my mind at ease but reminded me to be careful.
If you're snapping up bargains this silly sales season, remember to make sure you are dealing with who you think you are. Christmas won't be so Ho, Ho, Ho otherwise.
Better still, shop locally. And in person.
There's nothing quite like being able to ask questions about what you're looking for, to pick something up and see the quality.
And you walk out with your purchase. Not left wondering if it's ever going to turn up.
There's also an added benefit to hitting the pavement. Our Wimmera retailers need the support in these belt-tightening times.
Juanita Greville, Central Western Editor
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