- Constantly bump into people
- Can't find anywhere to sit
- Are forced to stand in long lines
And if the mall is that crowded, it usually means finding parking will be a huge headache, so the frustration begins even before one sets foot in the mall.
Granted, I live in South Florida, an area notorious for being heavily congested. Even if a crowded mall is the exception rather than the rule where you live, you've probably found yourself in a badly crowded venue at some point, whether a concert, nightclub, or theme park.
Making matters worse is having the urge to use the restroom and not being able to because it's out of service or there's a gaggle of people waiting to use it. Or, how about being so hungry you could eat a horse, but finding that the lines at the food court virtually snake around the building?
Nothing spoils a good shopping experience than hordes of shoppers jostling for products, especially on busy days like Black Friday.
It gets to the point where doing one of the following is worth it, even if it isn't always the most convenient option:
- Hitting the mall early to avoid the crowds
- Going on less chaotic days, even if it means spending a little more or missing out on some deals
- Buying the item online, despite not being able to see the item in person first
As I've reiterated on the blog, time is money. One thing is to go shopping because you genuinely enjoy the experience -- from people watching and snagging deals to trying on jewelry and clothing. Another is having to contend with a multiple of shoppers swarming in and out of stores, giving the feeling of being packed like sardines in a can.
The convenience of shopping online can't be overestimated. Nowadays, with companies like Amazon, you can have the item on your doorstep in two days -- if not sooner.
For some people, braving the crowds and the elements is worth it so long as they can get great deals. I think big ticket items like jewelry and TVs should be purchased in person. After all, you're shelling out so much money that it makes sense to scope out the item for yourself. But that doesn't mean it has to be at a mall. You're far less likely to get big crowds at standalone stores like Best Buy and Jared's.
I also advise people to do their research before going to the mall. If you've never been there before, look for layout of the mall, as well as a listing of its stores, to get the lay of the land. This will save you loads of time. Be sure to take any coupons, receipts, and items you wish to exchange or return as well.
How often do you shop at the mall? Do you enjoy doing so? How bad are the crowds there?
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