Ready. Set. Shop!

With Thanksgiving approaching, most have pushed aside the turkey and stuffing and are focusing on the upcoming sales. Everyone is trying to get a head start on shopping, and Black Friday is slowly becoming Black Thursday. Well, maybe not completely Black Thursday since it’s still Thanksgiving. More like a Cloudy Thursday and a Black Friday. But, what about avoiding all the hassle and waiting for Cyber Monday? You can do all your shopping in the comfort of your own home. There are no lines, no crazed shoppers, and no elbows to the face. It sounds like waiting for the sales are worth it.

However, just as Black Friday is slowly inching into Thursday, Cyber Monday is slowing inching to Saturdays. In addition, with businesses offering selective in-store deals, cyber stores are now offering separate online sales. Each is competing with the other to win the consumer’s heart.

While I have never been a Black Friday shopper, I have worked in plenty of retail stores on the infamous day enough to offer a few suggestions to keep in mind:

  1. Create a team. The more people you have to spread out, the better the chances are of getting the item you would like first. Too many times I’ve seen people shopping in a group asking each other questions such as, “Is this the one he wanted or is it this one?” Whether you use walkie-talkies or push-to-talk, communicate which stores you are at and where you are going next. Divide and conquer, trust me, it works.
  2. Know what you are buying. In relation to number one, most people have no idea as to what item they want. Sure, they might have a vague idea, but that doesn’t work on this eat-or-be-eaten day. When looking in local flyers or even online flyers, there will be an item number listed with each product. This is your golden ticket. This will ensure you are getting the exact item you want. Sure you’re going to have to play a hunt-for-numbers game in the store, but you’ll walk out with something you know your loved one will enjoy.
  3. Use both online and in-store mediums. We all know that every team has one of those nerdy tech characters. Find one for this day. If you can’t find one, designate one. Place this person in an area with great Wi-Fi reception on his/her tablet, iPhone, or laptop and have this person shop online. While the rest of the team is conquering the stores, this person will be conquering the internet. It’s another way to divide and conquer.
  4. Be kind to the workers. As someone who has been a cashier for years on Black Friday, let me tell you to be kind to the workers. They do not want to be there anymore than you do. They have about a dozen people asking questions at any given time. Most of them were just hired a month prior as ‘holiday help’ and don’t have the answer to any of your questions anyway. Yelling at them does not help. In fact, it does nothing. You will not receive personal assistance on this day. These workers cannot leave their station to show you where the luggage is located. Again, this is not the worker’s fault. Be kind to them and they will be kind to you.

Now that you have received insider knowledge, I wish everyone the best of luck in this shopping season. While it’s going to be frustrating from now until Christmas, remember that it is still the holiday season to spread joy and cheer. Be thankful for those in your life and be happy that you have made it to the end of this wonderful year. Season’s Greetings!

Jessica Falkowski is the Writer at Flying Cork.