Whether you are shopping for a last-minute gift or a dress to wear the same night, there are times when you want to find exactly what you need in a hurry.
- If you can, shop at neighborhood stores or other non-mall stores. Congestion is less and smaller specialty stores are easier to shop.
- If you must go to the mall, park next to the anchor (or big) stores. You'll find the traffic is lighter and parking is easier if you use the individual stores' entrances instead of main mall doors.
- Shop during off-peak hours: often these are soon after a store opens or near closing time.
Find What You're Looking For
- If possible, opt for a store with great service, like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. A great salesperson will save you time and money in the end.
- Look for fashion-forward or new items on the front racks of the department or store.
- Rack fixures -- four-ways and T-stands -- often house merchandise from the same manufacturer.
- Sale or promotional items are often put on a big round rack; clearance merchandise is usually separated by size.
- Basics and folded items -- jeans, T-shirts, sweaters -- are usually shelved or folded to the middle or back of a section.
- Make sure your item has a ticket and your purchase is correctly rung up. Ask immediately if you have concerns about being given a sale price.
- Even in a rush, make sure you correctly understand return policies. Many stores have them printed on the receipt. If in doubt, ask.