Avoid Back to School Crowds

Whether it is shopping for blue jeans or pencils, back to school shopping can really bring out the crowds. It can be frustrating for shoppers to stand in long lines to pay for the items, waiting for dressing rooms to try on clothes, and struggling just to look at the notebook aisle. These are a few tips to manage the back to school crowds.

Avoid the weekends

The worst time to be in the stores is the weekend because that is the time that most parents are available to go shopping with their kids. If at all possible try to do the shopping Monday through Friday which will result in fewer customers in the stores.

Shop early in the morning

Especially if there is no time other than the weekend to shop, then make sure to be the first shoppers in the doors. Know exactly when the stores and mall open. Most people aren’t going out to shop at 8:00 a.m. so there will be a much lighter crowd during those hours.

Shop at the end of the day

Another tip is to wait to go to a particular store until one hour before the mall closes. By that time many of the shoppers have left the mall and it frees up dressing rooms and lines. As well, there is a finite amount of time to try on clothes so kids will need to make choices fairly quickly.

Shop online

There are many great buys on shoes and clothing on many online sites. If kids know their sizes, it is really easy to sit in the comfort of one’s own home and order back to school clothes that will be delivered right to the door.

Shop at noon

Another good time to shop is during the noon hour. This is when most people take a dinner break and there may be a few less people in the stores.

Prioritize shopping

Consider which stores it is most important to get to first and which ones are most likely to be busy at different times of day. Often times the major retailers are open later at night, so shoppers can go there later in the day for purchasing school supplies. Try to go to the mall earlier in the day.

Look at the ads

Another good tip is to read the advertisements for the major department stores as well as going online to see what the special sales are for back to school. Then as a shopper you can make a plan to go immediately to the item that is desired. Even consider asking a salesperson to help you find the item.

Don’t waste time, ask a salesperson

Instead of searching for the one medium pink tank top in a pile of clothes, ask a salesperson to help. A lot of time is wasted shopping by searching for items. By getting some help from a sales person, you are out of the store faster making shopping easier for everyone else too.

Bring a calculator

A lot of time can be spent in the stores trying to figure out the discount that will be figured on the item when the store gives 30% off. Save time by bringing a calculator along to figure out the prices. This will also get you as a customer out the door faster and helps when getting to the checkout because you are sure of the cost.

Demonstrate patience

Quite often the shopper just needs to apply a level of patience. Expect that there will be a little bit of waiting in line and traffic on the streets. By showing some patience it makes everyone in the crowd a little easier to get along with in the course of the shopping day.

Back to school shopping can be a fun experience and can net some real bargains in the process. With a little planning and organization it can happen without fighting the crowds too much.