The 5 Holiday-Shopper Archetypes: Which One are you?

They sometimes travel in pairs, looking for that great bargain. Or they strike out on their own under cover of darkness, hoping to be the first one through the doors on Black Friday. When it comes to holiday shoppers, the variety is reminiscent of what we see in the wild.

Following are five types of holiday shoppers, and their natural habitats:   

The meerkat

Friendly and gregarious, the meerkat enjoys shopping with other members of the family. It’s not uncommon to see three generations of the meerkat shopper pushing a cart through a big-box retailer on Black Friday. These relatives are ever-alert, keeping an eye out for deep discounts and the shortest checkout lines. They also are keenly aware of potential dangers, such as pushy parents in crowded toy stores.  

The lion

This nocturnal hunter is lurking in the mall parking lot before dawn, waiting to pounce on sale items. The lion may prefer the company of one or two trusted friends, or she may stake out her pray alone, to reduce competition. (A tip: Never deprive the lion of her pre-shopping coffee).

The squirrel

While everyone else was basking in the sun all summer, the squirrel was buying presents and stuffing them in the back of his closet. As the holidays approach, the squirrel becomes increasingly smug about the fact that he’s almost finished shopping, except for a few small items. Some shoppers find the squirrel’s preparedness irritating. (Another tip: Don’t allow a squirrel to accompany the lion on bargain-hunts).

The turtle

The turtle’s easygoing attitude is great most of the year, but this shelled shopper sometimes takes too long to start crossing items off her to-buy list. The turtle who takes forever to get to the mall may find herself in a bit of a cash crunch, with no choice but to take out a payday loan to cover the cost of gifts.

The bird

The industrious bird doesn’t worry about what retailer is selling LCD TVs at a deep discount, because the bird makes gifts herself. She only needs a few choice items – like yarn or knitting needles or clay – to get started on her crafty creations. But the bird needs to stay focused, finishing a project before flitting off to the next one.

About 135 million people go shopping on Black Friday every year, hoping to find the best deals on gifts for loved ones. Bargain-hunters spend billions of dollars on this day, but plenty of gift-givers prefer to hide out in their burrows and order presents from the safety and security of their home computers. Generally, the key to a stress-free holiday is to start shopping early and stick to a budget. However, recognizing which of the above categories you fit into could be helpful, too. Because if you’re a lion, you probably don’t want a turtle slowing you down.

Which type of shopper are you?


Image courtesy of Benson Kua

Felicia Baratz-Savage
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