Black Friday is an American tradition in which millions of individuals decide to awaken from their turkey and mashed potato-induced slumber in hopes of purchasing items at a discounted price. This unofficial holiday brings out the worst in humanity - greed, gluttony, wrath, envy - for the sole purpose of saving money.
We are known to succumb to these insatiable appetites while shopping at Target TGT or Best Buy BBY because those specials on the iPhone 7 or the 55-inch Samsung curved Smart 4K UHD TV are too good to pass up.
All of us have attended a Black Friday sale hoping that the item we’ve been yearning for is still in stock, pushing or shoving a fellow shopper, running to specific sections, or ruining displays. It may not be our proudest moments, but we will do whatever it takes to cash in on savings.
Because we all enjoy getting discounted prices, we too often neglect any semblance of etiquette while shopping in a store. We at Zacks - who have previous experience working in retail during multiple Black Fridays - are here to provide some tips and tricks for all prospective Black Friday shoppers this year. Our suggestions will hopefully make your holiday shopping run smoothly and successfully.
Tip #1: Promoted items are in limited stock. There is a multitude of reasons why items are discounted so drastically. One of the reasons includes the fact that retailers need to rid themselves of items. In order to do so, placing them on promotion for Black Friday is a great way to sell the item.
These items also sell out quickly because they are usually items of high demand, like that above mentioned 55-inch television. If you want that TV or those video games discounted by over 50%, you better get to the store early.
Tip #2: Do not ask for stock checks. This point coincides with the first. Contrary to popular belief, the stock room of many retailers is not a magical wonderland of countless items. It is not a vast, never-ending abyss filled with clothes and shoes and other products.
For sales events like Black Friday, retailers usually display the bulk of their inventory on the sales floor. If that navy cotton-cashmere sweater in a size medium is not in the pile, there is a very good chance the retailer is out of stock.
Tip #3: Ask an employee to get the item you desire. This point rings true for all of those who have worked in a clothing retailer during Black Friday. Clothing displays are presented in a particular fashion. Piles of clothes are sized smallest to largest from top to bottom and are folded specifically, depending on the retailer. Hung items are sized smallest to largest either from front to back or left to right.
Rummaging through a pile of t-shirts only makes the clean up after closing more laborious than it already is. It will make things easier if you simply ask a nearby or available employee to grab you the item from the pile.
Tip #4: Avoid trying on items at the store. On Black Friday, going to the fitting rooms to try on items is a fast way to bring added stress upon yourself. Fitting rooms are always crowded and busy during large-scale promotional days like Black Friday. There will be long, unavoidable lines during peak shopping times, i.e. during the middle of the day until just about the store’s closing time.
Tip #5: Be patient at the check-out line. Similar to the fitting rooms, lines for the registers are even longer. This is an unavoidable truth you must be aware of when Black Friday shopping. The cashiers are fully aware that the lines are long and people are annoyed at waiting in them. They are doing their best to perform a transaction that is smooth, quick, and void of mistakes.
Cashiers are also told and trained to follow specific protocol at the registers. Make sure you have your ID ready to show for a credit card transaction, or coupons out beforehand. If you do not care for the proper packaging, simply let the cashier know and they will throw your items in the bag to get you out of the store promptly.
Tip #6: Understand that disappointment is likely. Like we said in tip number two, many retailers will overstock their sales floor on days like Black Friday so that the majority of their product is available first hand for customers. With that being said, certain items may sell out completely before the day is over. If you arrive at a store on the later side, please understand that the things you were hoping to snag at a good price may be gone.
Disappointment during Black Friday is a potential emotion you may experience. And if you do end up feeling dissatisfied, just remember it will all be okay in the end. Black Friday is only the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Your favorite store will most likely get that sold-out product back in stock, as well as run many more sales through the rest of the season.
Tip #7: Please don’t steal. Our last tip, and certainly the most important one, is don’t steal. Just don’t do it. It’s not worth the hassle, because there is a 100% chance you will get caught. Most retailers have a highly-trained Loss Prevention team that will be watching the security cameras throughout the entire day; the team, including associates and managers, will all be on high-alert. And, nothing, not even that awesome curved Smart TV, is worth getting arrested for.
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