I used to work in retail. From the day after Thanksgiving all the way up until New Years, were the worst times of the year for me. Within this time frame you have Black Friday, Christmas, the day after Christmas for returns and New Years Eve. It was a nightmare. At least at the time that is what it seemed like.
Now since I have moved in a completely different career path I can now say I am somewhat grateful for my experience. My experience, though painful at the time, has given me some insight into how to do holiday shopping right. Also, with the increase of modern technology I have some tips to help make your shopping experience so easy that it will blow you away. The beauty of them is they are simple and just things that many people don’t take advantage of.
Let’s get to it.
Know exactly what you are looking for before you enter the store. Use the web to search stores exact inventory of the item you are looking for. Also plan for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th option just in case it is sold out or can’t be located when you go in.
RECRUIT A SHOPPING TEAM
I have seen people work as a cohesive unit when it comes to their shopping. Several people would carpool in one large SUV or van. One person pulls up to the door at the store and lets out all the shoppers while they park, another few people immediately stand in line if there is a wait, and the remainder grabs all of the products off of an itemized list.
Once all the material is gathered the person who has been waiting in line allows the group to come where they are therefore forgoing the wait. Genius. Christmas shopping is done in one night and completed in less than an hour.
Collect all of the most recent ads and bundle them together. Many stores are doing price matching which means you can normally get everything you need at one store. By having all of the ads available you are guaranteed to get the best price that exists at the time.
When I was working in retail clients would call into the electronics department and request that I put certain items on hold for them. I would take the so called item write their name on it and put it away for safe keeping. This was allowed and encouraged by management because it generated loyalty from the client. Therefore the person would not have to wait or be concerned there was a sell out because their item is on hold.
Now there are some exceptions and not every company is the same but it doesn’t hurt to try. To save you some time calling the Apple store for an iPad is a waste of time. Been there done that. In the past though I have put exclusive items on hold for clients who called in. Don’t miss your chance.
Alright, with all of these tips that should at least give you a slight heads up on all of the competition that is out there. I promise you this much, as we get closer to Christmas the more you will see items in demand run out of stock. Do me a favor and get out there and buy me an iPad before they are all gone. I’m too cheap to pay that much myself.