For diehard shoppers, Black Friday is the Super Bowl of the year. But with the crowds, limited quantities and fatigue from waking up in the middle of the night, fights are bound to happen and almost always do. Can Black Friday actually be civil and enjoyable?
Jacqueline Whitmore, an internationally-recognized etiquette expert, author, speaker and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says yes, if shoppers follow proper protocol.
Her 12 tips to a great Black Friday:
Have a plan. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the store and secure your place in line. Have your list ready before the doors open.
Practice patience. Anticipate long lines. Complaining will not make the lines move any faster. Eat breakfast, stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes. Being organized will eliminate a lot of stress.
Make friends with your neighbors in line. They may know about some great deals or share their coupons with you.
Be courteous to employees. Remember, they got up extra early just like you. Make an extra effort to give a warm smile and say “please” and “thank you.”
Stay positive. Don’t allow others’ grumpy attitudes to rub off on you. Move away from shoppers who are complaining, yelling or screaming.
Don’t be a hoarder. Only take items you may want or need.
Wait your turn. Don’t stand in line for others or ask someone to hold your spot so you can go shop elsewhere. Avoid pushing and shoving the people around you.
Refrain from talking loudly on your cell phone while you wait. Have your cash or credit card handy when you reach the register. This will expedite the checkout process.
Allow others to pass in the aisles. Help someone who is looking for an item if you happen to know where it is.
Observe store rules. Honor the advertised limits and don’t expect the cashier to make any exceptions for you. Don’t make a scene at the register if you disagree with the cashier.
Have fun. You may not get every item on your list but be grateful for the deals you do receive. If the store doesn’t have what you want, don’t gripe to the sales associate or the manager.
Watch for other drivers and pedestrians when pulling into or out of parking spaces. Don’t take up more than one parking space and remember to return shopping carts to designated cart corral areas.