20121114_inq_black27_400It’s coming. The day when people wake up at 4:00 a.m. just so they can get to the store in time to land a flat screen television half-off. The day when people don’t even sleep for fear that they may not wake up in time to be the first person to enter Walmart. The day when you can’t check your e-mail because there are too many people trying to get online to shop.  That’s right, it’s Black Friday and it’ll be here before you know it.

Most people probably think that the tradition of calling the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” came from some brilliant marketing executive or that retailers coined the phrase themselves. Neither is true. The term “Black Friday” actually originated in the 1960’s here in Philadelphia – where the shopping scene the day after Thanksgiving was so bad that the Philadelphia Police Department started to refer to the day that way with the unrealistic hope that it would deter shoppers from going to stores. Needless to say it didn’t work and the streets of Philadelphia, along with every other city, remained congested and clogged with motorists and pedestrians.

There are many people who go to great extents to avoid the streets on Black Friday. Then there are others who look forward to the tradition of shopping that day.

If you’re like me and plan to hit the stores on Friday, you may want take a look at these Black Friday shopping tips from internationally-recognized etiquette expert, Jacqueline Whitmore.

  • Have a plan. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the store and secure your place in line. Have your list ready before the doors open.
  • Practice patience. Anticipate long lines. Complaining will not make the lines move any faster. Eat breakfast, stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes. Being organized will eliminate a lot of stress.
  • Make friends with your neighbors in line. They may know about some great deals or share their coupons with you.
  • Be courteous to employees. Remember, they got up extra early just like you. Make an extra effort to give a warm smile and say “please” and “thank you.”
  • Stay positive. Don’t allow others’ grumpy attitudes to rub off on you. Move away from shoppers who are complaining, yelling or screaming.
  • Don’t be a hoarder. Only take items you may want or need.
  • Wait your turn. Don’t stand in line for others or ask someone to hold your spot so you can go shop elsewhere. Avoid pushing and shoving the people around you.
  • Refrain from talking loudly on your cell phone while you wait. Have your cash or credit card handy when you reach the register. This will expedite the checkout process.
  • Allow others to pass in the aisles. Help someone who is looking for an item if you happen to know where it is.
  • Observe store rules. Honor the advertised limits and don’t expect the cashier to make any exceptions for you. Don’t make a scene at the register if you disagree with the cashier.
  • Have fun. You may not get every item on your list but be grateful for the deals you do receive. If the store doesn’t have what you want, don’t gripe to the sales associate or the manager.
  • Watch for other drivers and pedestrians when pulling into or out of parking spaces. Don’t take up more than one parking space and remember to return shopping carts to designated cart corral areas.

Also, for those of you planning to shop in the Philly area on Friday here are some of our recommendations on where to go: King of Prussia MallMacy’s Center City , Main Street Manayunk Metroplex in Plymouth MeetingPhiladelphia MillsPhiladelphia Premium Outlets, and The Shops at Liberty Place