Here are some shopping tips from FGI Member Mayna Sgaramella!
As a Wardrobe Consultant, I do a lot of personal shopping with my clients. But many people will be fighting the crowds on their own this holiday season. So here are some much needed tips on how to shop smart during the rush:
1. Know what you want. Ah, the key to all things in life. Well, you'd be surprised at how many people don't shop with a list during the holidays. Even with a list, things can get confusing. So, cozy up with some hot tea and spend a good hour looking up gifts in store catalogs, online, and in magazines. This will inspire you to create a list for all those on your list and it will give you ideas for yourself!
2. Research sales. Days before you plan to shop (like today), go online, look at advertisements in the paper, and call the store. Many associates are willing put items aside for you if you know what you want and call before the day of the sale. Ask if they do pre-sales where you buy the item over the phone at the sale price and just pick it up the day of the sale. You can even ask for the store manager and get his/her tips on shopping in their store.
3. Shop with a list. Don't just write down what you're getting, but also write down where you're going to buy it, the phone number of the store, and the store's special hours of operation (ask me about creating a spreadsheet of local stores tailored to your shopping needs). Treat it like efficient grocery shopping or running errands; start with the store where you can get the most checked off your list (a department store for example), and map out your route in regards to traffic or rush hour.
4. Keep a map of the mall with you before you shop in order to plan out parking, elevators (if you have kids in strollers), and restaurants (because you will get hungry). Use valet parking if it is available. It will be worth the money rather than waiting in traffic.
5. Set a time limit. Give yourself a couple hours in one large store, then hit a couple smaller shops and take a break. Keep a few snacks in your purse and drape it around your body for more hands free movement, but leave your coat in the car.
6. Start early and wear comfortable shoes. There are few ways to avoid long lines during this time of year, but go with a partner who will stand in line while you shop or hire a professional shopper who will shop for you. Try to beat the crowds by shopping during slow times, usually around store opening, late afternoon, or dinner time.
7. Be Flexible. Sometimes, that perfect gift you had in mind for your friend is just not available or is sold out. If you can keep the intention and meaning behind the gift, it will be easier to let go of the material aspect of it and you'll save yourself some unnecessary stress. Remember to shop online if you get in a jam. More info on online shopping and tips for saving money during the holidays in December's Newsletter!
Good luck! Fashionably Yours, Mayna Sgaramella of Closet Fly, LLC