Monday Musings: ‘Tis the Season…

Closeup of woman holding shopping bags on the street with copy space

Welcome to ‘Monday Musings’!

A new segment from Teenplicity, ‘Monday Musings’ will explore personal interests and thoughts in a multitude of ways. Whether it be through lists, fan interaction, or discussion posts, each week will offer a different topic and new perspective from Teenplicity about what is on our mind. The range of topics, just like our interests, will be vast. Some might be familiar, as it could highlight previous feature stars, while others will discuss uncharted subjects for Teenplicity. They might be fun posts with a silly twist or a more serious discussion about something that could concern you.

The goal is for Teenplicity to become more engaged and involved with our readers. The Teenplicity Team is made up of fans, just like you. Let us know what you care about – a show, a film, music, an event or aspect of your life. There are no limits for what can be explored in ‘Monday Musings’ or how we present it to you.

Here’s your friendly reminder…

A lot of things are out of the hands of retail workers. The prices? The available discounts? The stock in store? 99% of the time, the retail worker on the floor or behind the register has zero control over that. It’s an important thing to remember as we dive deeper into the holiday season. With the craziness of Black Friday behind us all, don’t forget these significant details, tips, and tricks while you shop!

 

  1. Don’t get mad at retail employees for prices.

Like I said before, this is something that is out of their control. Odds are they probably think paying $65 for a pair of name brand sweats is also ridiculous; alas, they can’t do anything about it. The more you get mad at them over how much an item rings up, the less likely an employee is to look for coupons that might help. There’s not a ton they can do but if you’re nice, they might be able to add a little holiday magic to your purchase.

  1. The (sometimes) annoying newsletter? It can help.

Stores will publish their new sales at least once a week, though others might have online deals sent out daily. If there’s an item you have your eye on and you know the store you want to get it from, sign up for their e-newsletter. The downside to these newsletters is that they tend to be pretty frequent – some email me multiple times a day. However, the good thing about these is that you will be immediately alerted to flash sales as well as any special coupon codes that are valid for that day only. While these emails tend to be a nuisance and often times are sent straight to trash, quite a few flash sales and online-only coupons have saved me a bunch of money.

  1. Rewards programs are your friends.

This goes back to signing up for a website’s newsletter. Often times they’ll give you the option to sign up for their rewards program too. Do it. Sporting goods retailers, clothing stores, and electronics dealers all have reward programs that come at virtually no cost to you. They are free to sign up for. The way you gain points is by shopping at the store. Those points can then be used towards your next purchase. I have Best Buy Rewards and it’s probably my favorite program yet. Every time I enter in my information during a purchase, I gain points which then accumulate to coupons, ranging from $5-$20 off. These coupons have no exclusions and can be used on anything, with as many being used at a single time as I have readily available. They don’t expire for a year so you really are able to stack them up! Another points program is one with Sears. Running on the same logistics, the points you earn translate to money that you can take off your next purchase. Even if you only have enough points to take off $0.30, it still helps.

Another thing to keep in mind with these rewards programs are that sometimes you even get special deals or additional discounts when there’s a sale online. All you have to do is enter your rewards number during the transaction. At grocery stores like Publix and Stop & Shop, they have deals that are for rewards members only which can seriously help out with all the holiday food that’s to come. If a rewards program is not advertised online, go to a local store and see if they have one or have a physical sign-up.

  1. The truth about coupons.
In addition to pricing, the coupons or exclusions to the coupons were things I did not cause nor could I change. Retail made me read the terms and conditions on every coupon I intend to use and here’s why. Often times you’ll see that a certain brand is excluded from your 40% off coupon and it can be a bummer. If you want, you are always able to go to a register and ask an employee to scan your item and the coupon to see if it can be used. I encouraged customers to do this, especially with Under Armour and The North Face. These two brands would constantly be excluded in the terms of the coupon yet every once and a while, it would work. Don’t ask me the reasoning, this is just what would happen – so it doesn’t hurt to double check! However, if for some reason your item is excluded from the coupon, don’t get mad at the retail employees in the store. They are not the ones who develop and determine the coupons or what is included/excluded. Yes, sometimes a manager can get involved and try to push it through but it does not always allow for that. So don’t get mad at them if it doesn’t work.
-Talking from personal experience – the nicer the customer was, the harder I would look for a better coupon to use for their purchase. Sometimes there were old ones lying around that were still good and were a better deal than what was currently in-store.
-Another tip is to ask if they have any discounts! Some stores offer veteran, police, and fire discounts!
  1. Price matching. Use the app – it helps!

Smart phones are able to do so much for us already and they’re making the holiday season even easier. A lot of times, prices of items will be the same at the store as they are online. For the times that they differ in price, it’s usually because it is cheaper online. This could be for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to an exclusive online sale.

When you’re out shopping, always ask if they price match their website and/or other stores. Some retailers will only price match their website while others will do that and competitors.

A good thing to have is the store’s app. Nowadays, most apps have the ability to scan the barcode of an item and then bring it up online. This is super helpful when looking for deals. I was holiday shopping the other day and scanned an item on the app. It came up at half price online. The cashier was able to price match what the store’s app was selling it at so I got it for the same price without waiting for it to be shipped.

***Please keep in mind that some stores will not match online sales as it can be an exclusive just for online shoppers. It doesn’t hurt to ask though!

  1. Seriously, though. Don’t get mad at retail employees for circumstances out of their control.

Being nice will get you really far. Not only does it feel better to be nice and lift your mood but, sometimes being a better person comes with perks. Really. Out of the different lines of business that I have worked in, retail still takes the crown for being the worst. The horror stories are larger than life and seem impossible or ridiculous but are very, very real. One of the most common things I got yelled at by customers for were things that were simply out of my control. However, when a customer was understanding about the situation and very nice, I went out of my way to help them out. You will probably find a lot of things going wrong with your holiday shopping, whether a store is out of the size/color of a shirt you wanted, there’s no coupons/discounts, or it is just too expensive. What will help you in the long run is being nice and friendly with retail staff. There is nothing they can do in their store if any of the above apply, with the exception of possibly finding a better coupon. If you’re nice and are inquiring, it seriously becomes no trouble at all to look online through the store’s computer (sometimes you get free shipping if purchased online while at the store) or to call up another local store, see if the item is in stock, and ask them to hold it for you for the rest of the day. While there’s a lot that they can’t do when holiday shopping turns negative, retail employees will try their best when presented with a good attitude.

Remember to be nice and have a happy and safe holiday season!

Did you like ‘Monday Musings’? If so, you’re in luck! Each week, Teenplicity will feature a new ‘Monday Musings’ post about things we are looking forward to, topics close to our hearts, or suggestions from readers!

Do you have a suggestion for ‘Monday Musings’? You can let Teenplicity know what you’d like to see on Twitter or anonymously on Tumblr! Or you can directly contact Mary Ayers on Twitter and anonymously on Tumblr or Brie Garrett on Twitter and Tumblr

 

23. Television and radio production graduate. || I think some people underestimate the range and variety of things that interest younger generations. I'm determined not to.

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