Nowadays it seems that as soon as you’ve finished your Christmas pudding and woken up from your turkey-induced nap, the Christmas sales have begun. Even the decent Christmas television is interrupted by a load of adverts about the Boxing Day sales.
And, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of working in a shop on Boxing Day, you’ll know there’s nothing like it. Braving a Christmas hangover, you blearily turn up at the shop bright and early to be faced with stampeding crowds desperate to snap up a bargain.
But you can hardly blame them – on Boxing Day, prices are slashed by between 25% and 75% on all stock brought in for Christmas. Things that would have cost you an arm and a leg not 48 hours ago now cost only a fraction of that.
But, like all sales shopping, there’s a zen art to making the most of the Boxing Day sales and not getting caught up in the stampeding crowds.
Here are our five top tips for snapping up a bargain this Boxing Day (and a few tips to stop you from breaking the bank – it’s never easier to spend money than in a sale!).
Before you hit the shops, make a list of all of the things you’re looking to buy (or would consider buying if they’re the right price). Not only does this help you save those pennies, but it also helps you stay focused and snap up the deals. Rather than getting distracted by all of the offers and bargains by the door, you can get in and head straight for the section you need and grab one of those precious bargains before everybody else.
On Boxing Day, this is the golden rule. You’ve got to be a well-trained, well-drilled shopper – the SAS of shop-goers. You cannot hesitate, not for one second. If you see something you think you might want, pick it up, even if you change your mind and put it back later. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in shops on Boxing Day, and taking an extra few minutes to think about that nice top you saw or a new TV might make the difference between taking it home and missing out to another eager Boxing Day shopper.
Don’t try things on
Another key tip for Boxing Day: don’t try clothes on. Not only are the changing rooms really busy, but the time you’re in there trying the clothes on is time you’re missing out on bargains. If necessary, buy two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit. (Don’t feel bad about doing this – the staff in the shops know that this is going to happen and are ready to do refunds after Boxing Day.)
Set a Boxing Day budget
This one is important to prevent yourself from overspending – set yourself a Boxing Day budget. If you know that you want a new TV or electronic device, some new clothes and a few bits and pieces for the house, work out the most that you want to spend on each of them. This stops you from being tempted by the shiny discounts, which sometimes aren’t as great as they first seem.
(Plus, when you’re planning your budget, make sure you give yourself some wiggle room – just in case you see something that you desperately want, but hadn’t considered before you left for the shops.)
On Boxing Day, you can snap up a bargain without even getting changed out of your pyjamas: go online. Everybody from Amazon to Tesco make their Boxing Day bargains available online now, meaning that – from the moment the clock strikes midnight – you can start snapping up bargains.
And not only do you get to avoid the huge crowds of people, but you also get a chance to look around, see whether you want the product, read reviews and do a little bit of price comparison before you buy. (However, don’t forget to add the products you’re interested in to your basket – this should buy you the time you need to do your research and make up your mind.)
For the inside scoop on Boxing Day deals, head over to HotUKDeals – they list all of the best bargains as they become available. For Boxing Day bargain hunters, it’s an invaluable resource.
If you’re looking to snap up some bargains before the Boxing Day sales, why not check out our guide to keeping the cost of present-buying down.