"Hold it to the last second and then throw it as far as you can. Just like we drew it up, guys!"



Admit it.

You walked into a store today only to have a clerk with fashionable eyewear tell you that Black Friday was like sooo many Fridays ago.

Of course, there are still plenty of items on the shelves, but unfortunately they are likely to be the kind that never go on sale.

Fear not!

We have some great suggestions that will help you do your last minute shopping like a pro:

Option 1: Make it Yourself-ish

If you planned on getting someone a branded product, such as an iPhone, you might be out of luck. But for almost everything else, there’s Etsy. There, you can find a craftsperson willing to make you something to spec that might be even better than the original brand-name version. But, it will take time. So, remember to ask for a handmade sketch of the item or a gift card up front. As far as anyone knows, you ordered it weeks ago and it’s just taking a long time to ship. And what is taking so long??

Outcome: You seem really sweet and thoughtful unless you’re a terrible liar, in which case, try the following:

Option 2: Gain Respect

March right into the store with your head held high. You’ll encounter the clerks and, yeah, they’ll give you a look that exactly says: “Oh boy. Here comes Last Minute Hero.” You look right back at them, stand on your heels and proclaim: “Let’s make this happen.” Show them a photo of the item you wanted and walk through the store with them to find something similar. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, ask them politely to check the stock at other store locations. You may not come out with what you wanted, but you will have earned respect.

You’ve never felt more in control! But, if you aren’t the hero type or can’t find something satisfying, try this:

Option 3: Teamwork makes the dream work!

Go to an on-demand assistant site like TaskRabbit and ask people on the site to check stores in your local area for the item. It may turn up sitting on a dusty shelf at a less trafficked outlet. If they find it, they can often get the item to you same day or within 24 hours. It sounds crazy but it just might be crazy enough to work.

Outcome: Hard to predict, but our adventurous side is telling us that you’ll beat the buzzer with one of these three strategies.

So choose one of these adventures today and let us know how it goes. And let the shamers be shamed!

Jack Lowinger

Jack Lowinger

Jack is an entrepreneur and social research specialist with a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He is also the founder and CEO of Cartonomy.
Jack Lowinger

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