Christmas Holiday Shopping

The DOs and DON’Ts of Black Friday Shopping

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Black Friday: the biggest shopping event of the year. If you love to shop, you look forward to this day every year. You can’t wait to eat your fill of a delicious Thanksgiving meal and then head out to the mall. I understand…I feel the same way.

Last year, though, I had a very different Black Friday experience. Instead of taking advantage of the amazing sales at all of my favorite stores, I worked a six-hour shift at a clothing store in the mall. This was my first time experiencing Black Friday as a retail worker, and it completely changed my perspective on the day. I learned a lot about Black Friday etiquette and wanted to share my list of most important Dos and Don’ts for this shopping holiday.

black friday white text on black background

Credit: Square Space

DO: Be Mindful of Sales

Not all stores will have sales that are worth going bananas over. Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean you should forgo logic. One way to help prevent buyer’s remorse the next day is to make a list of everything you want or need to buy that day and stick to it as best you can. Take some time doing research on your favorite stores’ websites to learn about the sales ahead of time. This will help you refine your list, and you can have a better idea of how much you will be spending. It might turn out that if you buy everything on the list, it will cost a lot of money! It’s better to figure that out now rather than Saturday morning when you check your online banking account. Or, if you are just shopping for the fun of it, give yourself a max budget and do not go over it.

Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean you should forgo logic.Click To Tweet

DON’T: Get Caught Up in the Craze

black friday shoppers

Credit: NY Daily News

Avoid being swept away by the Black Friday Craze! You are a strong, independent thinker who can make rational shopping decisions despite the mass hysteria. Don’t go into debt in one day!

DO: Have Reasonable Expectations of Employees

Retail workers want to help customers—it’s the main part of our job! On a normal day, I’d be happy to spend an hour walking through the store with a customer to help them assemble the perfect outfit for a special occasion. On Black Friday, though, this sort of thing is impossible. It’s perfectly understandable to expect assistance from employees, even on a day as busy as this. Want someone to check in the back to see if your size is in stock? Sure! Not sure where to find the denim jackets? We’d be happy to help. Need our opinion on whether an outfit matches? So there for that. However, retail workers will probably not have the time or energy to go the extra mile, as they might on a normal day. Choosing Black Friday to be a particularly demanding customer will probably just leave you disappointed and frustrated.

DON’T: Hide Items to (Maybe) Come Back For Later

Shoppers do this more frequently than you might think. Unfortunately, it’s a behavior that becomes even more popular on Black Friday. Bringing order back to a store after Black Friday is made even more impossible when you find a shoe hidden behind a stack of sweaters, or a pile of t-shirts thrown into a corner on the floor. If you are contemplating a purchase, ask one of the employees to put it on hold, just like on any other day.

DO: Be Respectful of Those Around You

Other shoppers and retail workers are all trying to enjoy the hectic environment that Black Friday creates. Despite the fact that on Black Friday last year I was working harder than I have ever worked at my retail job, it was a blast. There’s a special sense of camaraderie you feel with your co-workers when you’re all caught up in this whirlwind. Don’t be the customer who ruins that fun for workers and other customers. There’s no need to push or be aggressive towards other shoppers.

gif from the office ahhhhh!

Credit: I Hate Working in Retail

DON’T: Lash Out at Retail Workers

This is a rule that everyone should follow 100% of the time. Unless you know for sure that a retail worker made a mistake, don’t blame them for something going wrong. And even if you do know they are at fault and you’re really upset, do your best to express yourself in a kind way. Working retail is not an easy job, and we all make mistakes. Everyone who has this job truly appreciates kind and understanding customers. Trust me.

This guideline is especially important on Black Friday. Everyone who is working retail on this day is extremely stressed out—there are way more customers than normal to attend to, the store is a mess, a child is crying in the fitting rooms, and you’ve been running around the store for the past five hours. No amount of experience can fully prepare you for this. As a customer, please remember that those working on Black Friday are people too!

DO: Remember that those working on Black Friday are people too!Click To Tweet
clueless black friday shopping

Credit: Vogue

DO: Shop ’Til You Drop

This is a fun day; enjoy it! This list is meant to make everyone more mindful of their actions on this particularly busy shopping day. Get out there, get some holiday shopping done, and have a great time while doing it.


Black Friday can be a fun day spent with friends and family. These guidelines will ensure that you, as well as those around you, have a positive experience. Happy shopping!


Resources: Buffalo News, CBS, Kiplinger


  • Brittany Love

    I’m more of a Cyber Monday type of person but I know a ton of people who live for Black Friday shopping. I can’t wait to share this post with them. I’m sure they will like your last “DO” Shop Til’ You Drop! Thanks for sharing…I think these Do’s and Dont’s are helpful.

    • Lexi Bollis

      Cyber Monday is so appealing because you don’t have to deal with lines and you can be in your pajamas the whole time! Haha. Thanks for reading, tell your friends to comment and say you sent them to this article!

  • Wish we had something similar in India.

    • Lexi Bollis

      Yeah, Black Friday is a very American thing haha. Thanks for reading!

  • This post should be broadcasted nation wide as a PSA. If everyone followed these Dos and Don’ts I’d be more inclined to get into Black Friday. These are super helpful rules.

    x Sola

    • Lexi Bollis

      Wow, thank you! Glad you liked the article so much :)

  • CouponDivaAndi

    and let me add one more tip – make sure you get to the stores you want early! :D

    • Lexi Bollis

      Absolutely! Thanks for reading :)

  • These are some great do’s and don’ts and I need to pass it along. I do all of my Black Friday shopping online because there’s some crazy folks out there on Black Friday.

    • Lexi Bollis

      There really are! I’d love for you to share this article around. Glad you like it so much, thanks for reading!

  • Michelle

    Great tips. I love shopping on Black Friday, I always get the best deals. I love being around people as long as they aren’t rude and cutting in the lines.

    • Lexi Bollis

      As much work as it was, I loved working retail on Black Friday and I’m looking forward to it again this year! The crowds create such an exiting energy :) Thank you for reading!

  • Brianna George

    the don’ts hat people do are the reason I have never participated in a black friday, ever. :)

    • Lexi Bollis

      Haha I can’t really blame you, it gets pretty wild. Thanks for reading!

  • I’ve actually never shopped on Black Friday but last year did work at Target on Black Friday. My number one advice for anyone shopping at Target is to not pass something with hopes of coming back to it because they just wont let you. And the usually friendly staff gets a lot less friendly when there’s hundreds of people trying to run around lol

    • Lexi Bollis

      That’s a great tip, thanks!

  • I think it’s so important to remember that employees are people too and not lash out at them. Since I worked retail for nearly a decade I tend to avoid the sales and buy online.

    • Lexi Bollis

      Absolutely!! Most people don’t have that perspective, though, unless they’ve worked retail before. I’m so glad that I’ve had that experience, it has completely changed the way I interact with people! (Not that I was ever mean to retail workers previously…) Thank you for reading!

  • Lisa Rios

    These are some great list of dos & dont’s. Though we love Black Friday shopping as they come up with best deals, these days with kid around I always tend to go for the best online deals that are available.

    • Lexi Bollis

      Oh man, I have seen many mother struggle while shopping with young kids on a normal day…I can’t imagine taking them Black Friday shopping! Thanks for reading :)