I am a former retail professional and I hate Black Friday. There I said it. I hate it. Years of rude people, the annoying dueling chorus of Dancing Santas and Billy the Bigmouth Bass, the long hours and did I mention rude people?
As a result of my years of retail experience, allow me to provide you a guide to Black Friday shopping that will make your life and the lives of your friendly retail clerk so much easier.
- Don’t go shopping. No, really. Do you have to have that big screen TV or BOGO sweaters? At 6 a.m.? Seriously? OK. Fine. So here is my real list:
- Be prepared. Most deals now are available online ahead of time so you can plan where you want to wait in line for doorbuster deals.
- Be patient. Everybody wants the same thing, no need to push and shove to get in the door.
- Be realistic. You are not going to get every doorbuster item you hope to get.
- Be kind. To your fellow shoppers and the retail employees. There is no need to wrestle the last $20 PlayStation out of an elderly woman’s arms and there is no need to be angry with an employee because the store ran out of an item. Remember, those employees are not responsible for stock levels or the price of advertised items. Their job is to show up at the crack of dawn on the day after the holiday and try to reign in the chaos of thousands of shoppers vying for 40 televisions.
- Be happy. If you are out at 5AM looking for bargains, you must enjoy the hunt, so embrace it. Be festive, grab a coffee and a friend and make it fun. Even if you miss out on the $10 toaster.
- Don’t bring your kids. Remember they hate shopping at 2PM on a Tuesday. They will not like 6AM on Black Friday.
Lastly, I implore you to leave the actual Thanksgiving holiday to the family. I understand that crowds of people at the local mall may seem preferable to listening to Uncle Eddie talk politics for three hours but if you are there, then employees have to leave their families to help you. By keeping the holiday a holiday, more retailers will join the growing list of those choosing to remain closed on Thanksgiving.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!