The official Winter Sale season started on Boxing Day and many retailers are offering hefty discounts.
As most of us are still shouldering the expense of Christmas, however, it’s important not to get too carried away.
Follow these few rules and you should ensure that you don’t come away with bags of stuff that you don’t really require.
Work out what you really need before going shopping
Make a list of all the things that you actually want before going surfing or to the high street. If you’ve been waiting for months for the sales so that you can replace your battered old sofa; purchase that leather jacket you were going to treat yourself too from your annual bonus; or, replace the children’s school shoes that they’ve now outgrown, then these are the only items you should be targeting.
Avoid shops that are always priced stratospherically above your budget
Don’t walk into stores or land up on websites where you couldn’t afford even 30% of their pre-sale price tags. It is very rare that anything is discounted more than 50%, so it’s unlikely that you will be able to afford anything they are flogging in the sale either.
It’s too easy to fall in love with a beautiful jumper that’s had its price slashed from £500 to £250 and then find yourself handing over your credit card details, but it’s actions like this that get people into debt. Stay away from enticing offers at high-end stores if you have limited funds.
Don’t buy anything you could have afforded to buy outside of the sales
If you regularly shop in a certain store and could afford to buy most of their stock items out of the sale, if you really loved those shoes, that pair of trousers or top, surely you would have bought them by now?
So avoid that retailer during the sale period, you’ve probably walked past everything in their sale dozens of times over the last few weeks and shown little interest in it, don’t let the rock-bottom price tag entice you to buy it this time, it will just lie unworn at the bottom of your drawer.
Lastly get bartering. All these products are discounted because stores need to clear their stockrooms, they don’t want it hanging around. It might not work, but there is no harm in asking ‘whether this is the best price’ on pieces that you are really keen on.
Even large retailers may slash a few more quid off that bed and little boutiques have even more flexibility, a quick word with the manager may see another 20% slip off the price of a suit.
If you notice a product which is still reasonably expensive even in the sale online and it’s been on offer for a few weeks, you could even contact the webshop and ask them if there is any chance of getting it cheaper. If you never ask, you never get….