After battling it out in the shops pre-Christmas to get your hands on last minute Christmas presents, it’s likely that you’ve had a break from the shops for a few days. Unless you’ve ventured out to the sales, that is. If you’re yet to leave the comfort of your onesie and warm bed, here are some tips to help you manage the mission that is sale shopping.
1. Head out early
When it comes to sales shopping not only does the early bird get the worm, but the early bird also has the least stressful shopping experience. Hitting the sales before 12pm will mean that you get to browse in relative comfort and this way you’ll get a much better view of the bargains, beat the queues and be home with enough time to try out all your new purchases.
2. Wear comfortable shoes
You’re bound to be on your feet for a while if you head to the shops in the sales. So, it’s no use wearing your highest heels as you’ll soon be complaining of sore feet. Let’s face it, sales shopping isn’t glamorous. You’ll be spending hours rummaging through rails, racks and piles of last season’s fashions, queuing for what feels like forever for that “must-have” item (which you really don’t need and actually aren’t quite sure what you would do with).
3. Wear clothes which are easy to get off
This is nowhere as seedy as it sounds. In fact, it’s a very practical piece of advice. The worst thing about going sales shopping is waiting in line for a free cubicle in the changing rooms of a store. With a simple outfit, if you do decide to queue at least you won’t be confronted with taking off several layers insulating clothing before being able to try on that dress, jumper, trouser or top which ends up not fitting anyway. Also if you decide to skip the changing rooms all together, and instead find a quiet, incognito corner, then you can still retain your modesty.
4. Have a list (but don’t be afraid to be distracted)
Heading to the sales sans-list can be a very brave, and we would argue somewhat dangerous move. Not only are you more likely to come away disappointed, but you can also just get so wrapped up in the whirlwind of sale excitement that you come away with lots of entirely useless items. A list is a great way to stay focused among the genuine and disingenuous bargains that sales bring. But being open-minded is also helpful when you can’t find anything on your list and you spot a wildcard bargain.
5. Take a bottle of water and some snacks
If you’re a serial shopper, you’ll know that dehydration and hunger can be an issue when it comes to shopping (completely serious). And this problem only increases during the sales. During winter, the shops turn up the heat to keep all of us shoppers nice and warm. But after you’ve donned your layers (hopefully not too many after reading survival tip 3), travelled up on the tube and are now carrying several bags following some successful sales purchases you’ll probably be feeling a little hot and bothered. Now, this can all be fixed with a sit down in a coffee shop or restaurant, but a much quicker fix is to carry a drink with you and keep some energy boosting snacks in your bag.
6. Don’t forget the internet
Some of the best bargains can be had online. That’s why a quick browse to compare prices online before you head out can save you even more. Also if the physicality of sales shopping makes you want to crawl back into bed, then maybe it’s best if you do all your sales shopping online.
7. Be saver savvy
Sale items have managed to make it through months of handling by customers, so it’s not uncommon to find that the only blouse left in your size has a button missing or a makeup stain. Pointing this out to the cashier at the time of purchase can often get you up to 10% off, but it will make the item non-refundable (so make sure you’ve given it a good inspection first).
8. Be adventurous
Sticking to your favourite shops can be good for picking up those recently discounted items you weren’t prepared to pay full price for. But stepping out of your comfort zone and seeking out bargains in shops which are usually out of your financial reach is a great way to bag some of the best reductions.