The 6 Secrets to Good Holiday Shopping Etiquette Everyone Should Know

Truth—holiday shopping can feel hectic, high-stakes, and overwhelming. Remember these tips to keep your cool at the mall.

Even for Amazon diehards, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid hitting the mall at least once around the holidays—and here’s the thing: Shopping in a crowded mall is stressful. So stressful it can make even the best of us forget our manners. Keep reading for a quick refresher on bad habits to avoid while holiday shopping this year.

1

Focus on Shopping—Not Chatting on Your Phone

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Photo by Mint Images/Getty Images

Of course, sometimes you need a second opinion but try to keep convos to a minimum. Chatting on the phone can be distracting for other shoppers who don’t necessarily want to hear your life story, and staring at a text message while making your way through the aisles is a recipe for running into your fellow shoppers.

2

Follow the Flow of the Line (And Don’t Cut!)

Crowded shops can mean chaotic, ill-defined lines. Is there one single feeder, or separate lines leading up to each open register? Keep your eye on the movement of the group. It’s better to feel out the situation and communicate with others than race to the front and cut in front of shoppers who have been waiting.

3

Throw Your Trash Away, Rather Than Leaving it in a Dressing Room

If you’re really hardcore about your shopping, you probably already have a caffeine break scheduled into your day. But when you’re done, make sure to throw empty coffee cups and other trash in the trashcan (or recycling bin!) rather than just leaving it around the store for someone else to pick up. There is almost always a trashcan behind the register that store employees are happy to let you use.



4

Always Return Clothes From the Changing Room

Sure, we’ve all been in a rush and hastily left a pile of “no’s” in the dressing room, but doing so creates extra work for store employees. Make sure to re-hang or fold the clothes you tried on and hand them directly to someone on your way out of the dressing room. If you can’t find a dressing room attendant, you can usually leave them (neatly) on the rack near the entrance.

5

Have Your Coupons Out Before You Reach the Register

Sales team members want you to get your discounts, but when you’re in a crowded shop that has a line out the door, the register is not the place to start trying to pull up a random coupon on your phone. Bring a hard copy, or save digital coupons as screenshots that can be retrieved quickly.

6

Treat Sales Team Members the Way You Would Want to Be Treated

The Golden Rule! This one seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating because it’s so important. Be polite and courteous. If you need someone’s attention, don’t snap at them or physically touch them. Make eye contact and initiate conversation. And if someone is particularly helpful, make sure to leave a nice comment with a manager or customer service. It’s always appreciated!