Black Friday Is Coming: 19th Century Shopping Etiquette

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2nd Dragoon

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I use old sheets for petticoats, and for making the “muslin” before I cut the good fabric. It’s saved me a time or two from having things be too small or yards too big. Some of these modern patterns! Yeesh!
I remember my grandmother using a parachute to make a wedding dress for one of my sisters... Also flower sacks became dish-towels or diapers for the babies.
 

TerryB

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hills-p151_orig.jpg

(Courtesy of The Victorian Life.)
It seems the phrase, Black Friday, may have first been used in Philadelphia to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that occurred on the day after Thanksgiving. The term has now become almost synonymous with shopping mayhem.

Well apparently our Victorian friends also dealt with frantic and rude holiday shoppers. This list originally appeared in the 19th-century book, Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms, in 1891.


Do not take hold of a piece of goods which another is examining. Wait until it is replaced upon the counter before you take it up.

***
Injuring goods when handling, pushing aside other persons, hanging upon the counter, whispering, loud talk and laughter, when in a store, are all evidence of ill-breeding.

***
Never attempt to "beat down" prices when shopping. If the price does not suit, go elsewhere. The just and upright merchant will have but one price for his goods, and he will strictly adhere to it.

***
It is an insult to a clerk or merchant to suggest to a customer about to purchase that may buy cheaper or better elsewhere. It is also rude to give your opinion, unasked, about the goods that another is purchasing.

***​

Never expect a clerk to leave another customer to wait on you; and, when attending upon you, do not cause him to wait while you visit with another. When the purchases are made let them be sent to your home, and thus avoid loading yourself with bundles.

***​

Treat clerks, when shopping, respectfully, and give them no more trouble than is necessary. Ask for what is wanted, explicitly, and if you wish to make examination with a view to future purchase, say so. Be perfectly frank. There is no necessity in practicing deceit.

***​

The rule should be to pay for goods when you buy them. If, however, you are trusted by the merchant, you should be very particular to pay your indebtedness when you agree to. By doing as you promise, you acquire good habits of promptitude, and at the same time establish credit and make reputation among those with whom you deal.

***​

It is rude in the extreme to find fault and to make sneering remarks about goods. To draw unfavorable comparisons between the goods and those found at other stores does no good, and shows want of deference and respect to those who are waiting on you. Politely state that the goods are not what you want, and, while you may buy, you prefer to look further.



Seem like really sensible rules to me! :smile:
 
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I'm wondering how many of my CWT friends went shopping today. :giggle:
Well not today, but even right last Monday, when Cyber Monday week on amazon started.
I saved about 30% (50 Euros) on my new Kindle Fire (that replaces now my old, broken one) and 10 Euros on the new cover.
I'm very pleased with my prey! :smile:
@Zella , did you get your new smartphone?
That purchase will have to wait here until either Prime Day next year or even Cyber Monday/Black Friday 2019. Hope my present one will make it that far!
 
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Zella

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@Zella , did you get your new smartphone?
That purchase will have to wait here until either Prime Day next year or even Cyber Monday/Black Friday 2019. Hope my present one will make it that far!
I did--thanks! I could have gotten more off if I'd waited for Cyber Monday. But in the past week, my old phone's deteriorated more, so I was afraid to chance it. I also got 50% off on the accessories I ordered for it. Should get everything early next week! :D
 

AshleyMel

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I'm wondering how many of my CWT friends went shopping today. :giggle:
Not I, but poor darling daughter had to work yesterday and today and she has been just miserable. Texting me when on her breaks. Yesterday was so busy and there was even a slight ruckus as someone was trying to force their way in the store as the closing managers were trying to close the front doors. To top it all off, she's come down with a head cold. Luckly, she was able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and some leftovers today before heading off to work, thanks to some cold medicine.
I really feel bad for holiday workers, but not just because my daughter is one of them. I just remember when it was a little different and I wish there was more time for rest and family. As long as there is money to be made and people willing to spend it, there will be stores open the extended hours.
 
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Zella

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Not I, but poor darling daughter had to work yesterday and today and she has been just miserable. Texting me when on her breaks. Yesterday was so busy and there was even a slight ruckus as someone was trying to force their way in the store as the closing managers were trying to close the front doors. To top it all off, she's come down with a head cold. Luckly, she was able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and some leftovers today before heading off to work, thanks to some cold medicine.
I really feel bad for holiday workers, but not just because my daughter is one of them. I just remember when it was a little different and I wish there was more time for rest and family. As long as there is money to be made and people willing to spend it, there will be stores open the extended hours.
I have never worked retail, but I have a lot of friends who did. They uniformly despised working on Black Friday.
 
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Bought a coveted winter sweater yesterday at 40% off, Black Friday has arrived in France, hurrah!
I agree with @FarawayFriend that it's a pity that shops are closed on Sundays, here Supermarkets and
groceries are open in the morning. Now that the summer tourists are gone and the annual "Film Festival"
is over, our little town does look bleak, but everybody is looking forward to the Christmas Market, which
also includes an outdoor ice skating rink - no mean feat for our mild winters....
 

Dom71

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When I was a young lad i worked in retail, right around the time stores started toying with the idea of opening on Thanksgiving. I remember the meeting on it people were not happy about it. The funniest part was the customers complaining that we shouldn't be open as they pushed their full carts to the register.
 
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MRB1863

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We skip the whole black friday stuff...
Concur wholeheartedly! We are not really good at shopping. Throughout the year, if we identify a need for an item, we buy it. Done. Hence we don't have all that much of a wish list...well, can always find something we "vitally" need (perhaps just-one-more Civil War Book or something else important)...we do however support our local markets in food purchases. And, each fall we tend to stock-pile even more on non perishables "just-in-case".
 
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Goodwill, Veteran Thrift Stores, etc, etc are really a great place for bargains. Especially CD's and DVD's that are listened to once (then downloaded) and given away to these stores. They often sell pennies on the dollar.
That is something that slowly gains a foothold here, too.
We have "Oxfam" (which I think was initiated by Bob Geldof) and now a chain of charity stores called "Fair Trade" where you can donate things you don't need anymore or buy used things for small money. I like the aspect that good things that just don't fit anymore (in terms of furniture or housewares) don't have to be thrown away. (And I love these old vintage wine glasses that are sold for a few cents there!) Right now two bedside lamps are sitting in my car, waiting to be brought to Fair Trade.
 
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gary

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Thank you Elenor Rose for sharing those tidbits from the past.

I for my part only went to the Post Office on Black Friday. Rather than carry them by hand, I sent ten pounds of books home at $7.76. Last of the big spenders.
 

2nd Dragoon

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When I was a young lad i worked in retail, right around the time stores started toying with the idea of opening on Thanksgiving. I remember the meeting on it people were not happy about it. The funniest part was the customers complaining that we shouldn't be open as they pushed their full carts to the register.

One of my many sisters complains that she and co-workers have to work on Thanksgiving at a large chain store. I am very unfeeling and rational about it. "Told her NO ONE put a gun to her head and told her she had to work for this chain. Quit and work someplace else." Blank stare and would not talk to me for weeks which was a blessing of sorts.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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It's inching nearer- I'm seeing Black Friday deals advertised. Not a lot on Cyber Monday but we don't go out then, even for a dash to the car. Half the house is hunting, other half laying on the floor. We live where deer do, too.
 
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Northern Light

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It's inching nearer- I'm seeing Black Friday deals advertised. Not a lot on Cyber Monday but we don't go out then, even for a dash to the car. Half the house is hunting, other half laying on the floor. We live where deer do, too.
I noticed now that we have pre-Black Friday sales and Black Friday Every Week sales. Why don't they just lower the price in the first place?
 
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This year I will watch out for a vacuuming robot. I was sceptic about them, but a friend now has one and is all excited and when she told me about it in the Metro, a total stranger chimed in and also told she has one and that they are fabulous. The house looks much cleaner with them. So... if Black Friday offers something, I might accept!
 
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Mrs. V

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This year I will watch out for a vacuuming robot. I was sceptic about them, but a friend now has one and is all excited and when she told me about it in the Metro, a total stranger chimed in and also told she has one and that they are fabulous. The house looks much cleaner with them. So... if Black Friday offers something, I might accept!
We have one. Just make sure your pet hasn’t left a little brown gift for you on the floor when you start your robot...just saying...
 
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