11 Tips for Black Friday Shoppers Leave the pushing and shoving at the door this year and practice patients instead. BY DIANE GOTTSMAN
Remember to be kind to your fellow citizens while flying around as a super shopper.
“ It is always a relief to those receiving the gift to find a receipt for the item gently placed beneath the layers of white tissue paper.”
Black Friday: the day the shopping frenzy begins for the holidays. This year even more retailers are opening their doors a day early (on Thanksgiving Day) for those looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping. So, do you just bust in and fight the crowds or is there a better way? Here are some etiquette tips that can help you have a successful and drama-free shopping day this holiday season!
1. Use your manners and indoor voice. Don’t push, shove or yell at fellow shoppers… even if they push, shove or yell at you first! Just because the "deal of the century" is within your grasp, does not give you permission to forget your manners.
2. Smile. It may help if you need to leave your place in line to use the restroom. And while your shopping day ends at a certain time, those working in the stores have to clean up the mess. Act friendly and show consideration for the sales team.
3. Don’t leave home without a plan. Write out a specific list of stores to visit, what you are planning to purchase for each person on your list, and how much you wish to spend. Review various store offers before hitting the streets to ensure you are getting the best deal. You don’t want your 3 a.m. wake call to be in vain!
4. Eat a good breakfast. Stock up on protein and carbs for energy, and don’t forget to throw a few power bars in your bag for a mid-morning snack. You will have no time to stop and eat when you are power shopping for the perfect holiday gift.
5. Stick to a budget. Don’t get "glazed" by the lights and merriment. Have a dollar amount in mind you would like to spend on each person and don’t feel pressured by the amazing deals and steals the stores are offering.
6. Shop solo or with a compatible shopping companion. This is not the best day to bring along young children. Between the large crowds, non-stop walking from store to store, driving from location to location, fighting the parking lot, and waiting in long lines, your children will be happier staying home with grandma. Unless, of course, grandma is with you!
7. Dress comfortably and bring band aids. Wear tennis shoes and dress in layers so you can peel off clothing as you shop until you drop.
8. Ask for a gift receipt. Just in case your gift is the wrong size or color, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is always a relief to those receiving the gift to find a receipt for the item gently placed beneath the layers of white tissue paper.
9. Check the return policy. Nothing is worse than receiving a gift that cannot be returned, or, must be used as store credit. Double-check the return policy before handing over your cash or credit card. It might be best to find another store that sells the same product with a more liberal return policy.
10. Be courteous. Be polite to the sales people online and in the store. They are overwhelmed, and also have the power to give you a great deal or an extra 10% off—maybe!
11. Shop Alternatively. Some people thrive on Black Friday chaos, but others would benefit from staying home and decorating for the holidays. Consider saving yourself a headache, crushed toes and gallons of gas by waiting until Small Business Saturday (a relatively new shopping day where it's encouraged to shop and support your local small businesses—they have great deals too) or Cyber Monday, where exclusive holiday deals will lure you in once again.
Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, is the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals, striving to polish their interpersonal skills. You can reach Diane at 877-490-1077 or www.dianegottsman.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @: www.twitter.com/DianeGottsman and Google+.