Friday, December 6, 2013

10 Tips For Dealing With Long Lines This Holiday Season

Sometimes I like to see-feel-touch merchandise before I buy it.  Still, going shopping this time of year is no fun, so here are:

10 Tips For Dealing With Long Lines This Holiday Season

  • Make sure you've eaten and gone to the bathroom before you go. This sounds obvious and it's probably advice you've automatically given your kids, but make sure your physical needs have been met before you Go Forth And Shop. Being hungry will make you cranky and impatient and there's nothing worse than having to give up your place in a line to desperately find a rest room.  You can also pack a protein bar in your pocket or purse just in case you do get hungry while on line. 

  • Wear comfortable shoes.  You're not doing yourself any favor by going home with aching feet.  Forgo the pumps for cushy sneakers and give your tired tootsies a break.  

  • Have any and all receipts/gift cards/coupons accessible before you leave the house. Fumbling for those things when you finally reach the sales counter will frustrate you and tick off other shoppers.  Plus, how many times have you been unable to find a coupon or rewards card and told the cashier to just go on with the purchase anyway?  Be prepared ahead of time to save the money you planned on saving.  

Long lines and high heels do NOT go together!

  • Dress in layers, especially if you're in any stage of menopause.  Again, you want to be comfortable on line, not frantically fanning yourself.  And remember that if many people are gathered in a small space like a line all at one time, the temperature is bound to go up.  Be prepared to shed a layer or two if need be.

  • Understand that if lines are long, it is not the fault of the customer service rep at the checkout line.  Long lines indicate poor decisions by management who may under staff their stores or just not train sales personnel properly.

  • If possible, shop with a friend.  This way, if you do need to get off the line or run to the bathroom, your friend can take your place.

  • Know the store's hours and go earlier in the day if you can, or late at night.  Our nearby Target opens bright and early which is perfect for those of us dropping kids off at at school.  There's no traffic and I can get out quickly.  If I waited until the afternoon, I'd run into lunch-hour and after-work traffic.

  • Chat up the person next to you if they're receptive.  No one wants to wait in long lines. Empathy and conversation can work wonders to lower stress.

  • Make sure you know where your valuables are.  Some websites suggest bringing something to distract yourself while on line.  I think that's a mistake.  There are too many thieves out and about this season.  You need to keep your wits about you, especially if you have no choice but to lug the kids with you. Know where your wallet and cellphone are at all times. If you're carrying a purse, make sure it's closed.

  • Place your receipts in one designated place to make returning items easier.  If something is broken or doesn't fit, you don't want to be searching all over the place trying to find the receipt.  

The stress of the Holiday Season will be over in a few weeks. Plan well to minimize it for yourself and those around you. I'm off to Toys-R-Us! Ta-ta!


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