As a full time retailer & a part time shopper the holiday’s are the most busiest time of year… The line ups get longer as the shopping days get shorter & the sizes & items that you needed most seem to magically disappear all of a sudden. So here’s just some tips and advice to a more calm, relaxing & jolly holiday shopping trip.
1. Before you head out to your first store BE CAFFEINATED.. drink your coffee, tea, latte, mocha or whatever it is that gets you energized, alert and awake! (have a smoke if you want too .. whatever gets you through)
2. HAVE YOUR LIST, DEBIT & CREDIT CARDS READY – on paper or on the phone & be prepared for both good & bad news from the sales associate who is helping you *specially when you have 14 days of shopping left* - also make sure you change your debit or credit limit for the days: too often do i see people who go over their limit and they are nowhere near done for the day. BE WISE & BE PREPARED.
3. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B or LISTEN TO THE SALES REP - when the style, size, color or item is no longer available hear the associate out, after all they have come across people who have needed their help all season long, they’ll help you choose the best alternative.
4. BE PREPARED FOR LONG LINE-UPS (any time of day) – it is not the cashier’s fault that the person in front of you or the person she’s ringing up is indecisive and needs advice on everything she chose in the store. Think about it this way THE PERSON YOU’RE BUYING THIS PRESENT FOR WILL LOVE IT AND IT WILL MAKE THE LINE UP WORTH IT!
5. DO NOT BE THE GRUMPY CUSTOMER – keep an open mind and understand that sales associates are there to help you, don’t take out your frustration on them.. I see this daily it is not fair to them when they are there to help… do not blame them for not having enough stock, enough sizes or enough selection … remember 2 weeks till Christmas day is cutting it close.
6. TAKE A BREAK – this is important…shoppers get so caught up on crossing off their list they forget how stressful time constraints can be, take a snack break every so often to relax! I’m sure your credit & debit cards need a breather too.
7. ENGAGE WITH THE SALES ASSOCIATE WHO IS HELPING YOU – so often people forget that the people who keep that store running are also SHOPPERS & CONSUMERS. We too go through the same shopping struggles as the next person; it’d be a much more pleasant customer to retailer relationship when both sides make the shopping experience more relaxing and smooth.
8. "1 FOR THEM 2 FOR YOU" – go with this ratio when shopping, you’ve already set yourself up by being at the mall so why not treat yourself while you shop for others. I’m not saying you need to buy something big for yourself but reward yourself as you go along; trust me it will make you feel much better… (ex: bought your sister a pair of Jeffrey Campbell’s .. reward yourself with a new lip shade & nail polish!)
9. ENTER & LEAVE EACH STORE HAPPY – when the greeter says "hello" or "how are you?" answer or say it back ... this will change your entire shopping experience! I PROMISE - when you leave the cashier (or the greeter greets you g'bye) and they say “Happy Holidays” take it to heart and say it back!!! Everyone deserves a great holidays so wish it upon everyone!
10. AVOID SHOPPING ON CHRISTMAS EVE – you just set yourself up for disappointment at this point have a plan a, b & c!!
Shoppers keep all this in mind … I guarantee a much more pleasant holiday shopping experience & remember that there are only 14 days left so better get those lists crossed.