Skint Dad

Prepare for the sales

You may be in full on Christmas mode but if you want to bag a bargain in the January sales, now is the time to start planning.

Unlike years gone by when sales didn’t start until January 1st, nowadays you have stores slashing prices on Boxing Day, Christmas Day and even Christmas Eve itself. And it’s because of this that you can get ahead of the game but you need to do some groundwork and draw up a plan of attack.

Although you will be making a saving when buying an item in the sale, it’s a notorious time to spend far too much money. Rather than wasting money or buying things on a whim, you can use a few different strategies for getting the best from the sales.

Do your research

Whether you’re buying in the sales or not you need to do your research. If there is something in particular that you want to purchase, jump online and start searching for that particular item. When the sales start, you will be in a position to know whether you are getting a sale bargain or not.

Use tools like price tracker CamelCamelCamel to do the leg work for you. With this nifty tool you’ll be able to see if the item has been sold lower in the past so you know whether to hold off buying it this time around.

Follow brands online

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t miss the sales is to follow your favourite brands online. They all have an online presence and whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram; you need to follow their channels as it’s here where they will make announcements of when their sales are starting and what the hot items will be.

Signing up to their newsletters will also pay dividends as you’ll be sent details of when their sales start and will quite often be sent special discount codes and offers that you can’t normally find on their site.

Get your timings right

There are some sales where you need to get an early night, set your alarm clock and even queue up before opening hours to make sure you get through the doors! It’s a sure fire way to be first in line to see the new sale stock but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the best bargains. Although you’ll get first pick of what’s on offer, if you grit your teeth and hold back a week, the sale prices will start to get cut more.

You won’t always win though. If you’re waiting for a particular item and you wait too long then it may sell out, but if you hold back you could find you make even more of a saving – it’s a risk factor you have to weigh up.

Know your rights

Whatever time of the year you buy and whatever price you pay, you still have full consumer rights. Some stores have different returns policies so it’s worth checking with them before you part with your money as if you don’t like what you’ve bought by the time you get home you may not be able to get your money back. Always try clothes on in store if you’re wary.

Think of the future

Every year we know Christmas will come (however quick it sneaks up on us), that the kids will have another birthday and their school clothes will all of a sudden shrink so why not plan for them well ahead of time?

The January sales are the best time to start shopping for next Christmas as you can pick up festive bargains at a snip of the price. Also use this time to stock up on the sale winter clothes for the following season. As soon as the summer is over and the sales start again, start buying everything in the next size up so the kids will be kitted out in half price clothes the following year.

It doesn’t just apply to clothes. Buy any outdoor items like patio furniture and BBQs out of season for the biggest discounts too.

Don’t let sales shopping get the better of you and splurge, leaving you with shoppers remorse. Do a bit of work upfront, make sure you know what you’re after and be happy with the fact that you know you’ll be getting a true bargain.