Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Top 7 Holiday Shopping Etiquette Tips

As the holidays approach and we, the sheep of capitalism, are busy buying those perfect widgets for our list of friends and family they just have to have. . . let us not forget simple holiday shopping Etiquette.

Here are my top 7 holiday shopping etiquette tips. . . 

1. Have a plan. Make a list of places you need to visit and allow your self plenty of time to park and wait in line for checkout. Shopping while in a hurry will only leave your temper and patience running on fumes.

2. Be prepared to pay.  While you are standing in line go ahead and have your preferred method of payment ready and then it's your turn at bat be sure to have any coupons, gift cards or price matching sales sheets ready.

3. Help the cashier bag. If you are standing around doing nothing but waiting for the cashier to ring up and bag your loot . . . offer to bag if the store is short staffed. This will save you and everyone else in line time.

4. Pick up items that have fallen to the floor. Yes I know that you didn't put it there, but it's the right thing to do. Don't leave the item that you happen upon in the store on the floor for someone else to run over or move out of the way. You know that saying lead by example? Well boy howdy is this the way!

5. Let someone go ahead of you.  If you have a cart full of items and the person behind you has only one or two items . . . let them skip ahead of you. You will make their day.

6. Be patient. Understand that many people are in your position and doing their best to get everything done, stay on schedule and in budget and keep their cool.

7. Smile. Simple right? Not always. . . but it sure does help deter frazzled exchanges by those who are feeling overwhelmed. Your smile and a genuine attitude of gratitude is your best defense against the Bah Humbuggers out there.


I was inspired to write this post because of an encounter my husband and I witnessed.  Recently my husband and I were at a store where the three cashier lines open had at least 6-10 people in each. As a new cashier was opening a fourth, she made eye contact with a couple in their 50's (Couple A) and motioned them over to her lane - as soon as she removed a display that was blocking the lane another older woman and her husband (Couple B) pushed by Couple A as they simply stood in shock. The wife of Couple B literally used her overflowing cart as a battering ram to make it to the cashier first.

The husband of Couple A, not wanting to risk profanity in public, calmly walked past us to wait for his wife on the other side of anger. We shared our disbelief and shock and he woefully said, "THIS is why I tell my wife I'd rather stay at home."

Thankfully the cashier motioned the wife of Couple A (who had only one item) past the rude duo and sent her on their way with a smile and a Happy Holidays.

This 'cutting in line' exchange we witnessed was a shock. The offending couple was older and you would think would know better . . . but sadly they proved that the "me first" mentality that many attribute to a younger generation had to be learned from somewhere.

It's easy to only think of ourselves when we have a finite amount of time and an endless list of things to do and places to be . . .  but I encourage you to remember what you are teaching your children and others around you about your character.

Slow down. Be kind. Smile and do your best not to lose your temper when others behave badly.

Here is another great list of Seven Secrets of Holiday Shopping Etiquette.


How have you kept your cool in the face of rude behavior while shopping?

What ways do you deal with rude behavior in public while shopping during the holidays?