The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
From October to December, shopping is something that we can’t help but think about. Whether it be excitement or dread over hitting the malls to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list, shopping is inevitable.
However, there is one day in particular where the drive to hit the malls or avoid them at all costs is the strongest. Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving when many people consider the holiday season to truly begin. People crowed the malls to try and take advantage of all the new sales the stores put out and make sure their shopping lists are all checked off before merchandise run out.
As someone who has seen Black Friday from the perspective of shopper and retail worker, here are a couple do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for next year.
Do: Hit the stores you want to go to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. A lot of stores have their Black Friday sales start the Wednesday before and run through the weekend. I have worked at both Justice and Banana Republic, and both stores have started their Black Friday sales early. This means you can get the same discount, avoid the crowds and long waits, and see the merchandise before it gets picked over.
Don’t: Go shopping the weekend after and expect fully stocked shelves and less of a crowd. If you go shopping in the days after Black Friday the stores will likely be very picked over. Most stores do not get a new shipment until Monday, so what is left after Friday is what they have to work with for the weekend. The stores will likely be a little less crowded than Black Friday, but it is still the first weekend of the Christmas season and people are looking to shop. While the store will probably be crowded up until Christmas, this weekend will be more so than normal.
Do: Go early and have fun. Black Friday is one of the only days of the year where I prefer to have a shift start at 6am. Customers that shop early are typically there to have fun and manage to score the best deals.
Don’t: Think you will get all your Christmas shopping done that day. If you get to the mall past noon, merchandise will be picked over and you could be waiting in line for over an hour at each store.
Do: Have a plan. Black Friday is not a day for browsing. Know what you want. Go in, get it, and get out.
Don’t: Think you will get the best deals the store has to offer. When I worked at Justice, the whole store was up to 40% off on Black Friday. A week later, the whole store was 50% off. Companies know you are going to shop on Black Friday, so they are not necessarily going to put their best deals out there.
Do: Be kind to the retail workers. Working on Black Friday is exhausting. Most people are working at least an 8 hour shift. Have you ever had multiple little kids asking you for something at once and felt extremely overwhelmed trying to give them all the same attention? That feeling for 8 hours is what it is like working on Black Friday. For managers it is even worse because they are being constantly bombarded by both the customers and employees.
A couple suggestions on how not to make the employees immediately hate you:
- Just assume your coupons won’t combine with the sale because they won’t.
- Don’t choose this day to make returns.
- Don’t ask to check for something in the back because chances are most of their merchandise is on the floor, especially in a smaller store.
- Don’t ask if they have been busy. They have been.
- Be nice. Odds are they have already had their fair share of rude customers. Don’t become the story they go home and tell their family about.
Black Friday done right can be a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. I hope these tips are helpful to you in your future Black Friday endeavors and as you continue shopping this holiday season, please, treat your retail workers well.
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