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How to be a savvy sales shopper!

Posted 09 July 2015

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How to make your money go further by becoming a savvy sales shopper.

It’s a great feeling when you come out of your favourite high street shop with a bargain you bagged yourself in the sale, isn’t it? If only that happened more often! Well, if we all became a little bit savvier with our shopping, we might find that we get that feeling a lot more and save quite a bit of cash in the process.

Big high street names have sales at certain times of the year and announce them enough in advance so that you can capitalise on those slashed prices. We’re not advising that you go crazy here – if you buy loads in a sale that you weren’t intending to buy you haven’t made a saving at all! But if there’s something you’ve wanted for a while then it pays to keep an eye out for the sale and get it at a discount.

Do a little bit of research

Go online and find out when your favourite stores are having their sales and make a note in your diary. The main high street shops often have sales at the same time every year so they become quite predictable. For instance, Next usually have their larger sales in December and July. The exact date of a big store sale is often a closely guarded secret for a while, but if you keep checking the website or sign up to the newsletter, you’ll see it eventually.

Sometimes it pays to do a ‘pre-shop’. What we mean by this is go to the shop and scout what you want so that you know where you’re going and what you want on the day. If it’s clothes you’re after, some stores actually close the changing rooms on the day of a big sale so it’s best to try what you want on beforehand.

Bear in mind that some deals will only be available online whereas some shops will have in-store sales as well.

There are great sites that let you in on sales from high street to designer brands like Secret Sales. You can also use Megashopbot which is a price comparison site that will tell you where an item is available for the lowest price!

Be the early bird

Remember that if you know about the sale, so do others! Get there early and make sure that you get what you’re after. If you think it’s going to be really busy, and you don’t fancy waiting in line, then check whether you can just get it online instead. The only thing with this is that sometimes the sale starts earlier in store than it does online, so check this first so that you don’t miss out.

Be prepared

If you’re hard-core and you’re going to be queuing from opening time, come prepared. Bring some snacks and drinks along with you on the day to keep your strength up. Maybe bring a book to keep your mind occupied, those queues can be long!

It may also be best to leave the kids with someone else if you can as it can be a long day for them and can get quite manic in the store.

The Golden Rule

There’s one sure fire way of making sure you don’t buy things you don’t need by using the golden rule – if in doubt, do without! Quite simply, if you find something in the sale that you’re not sure about, put it back. Like we’ve already said – it’s not a bargain if you really don’t need it.

Follow these tips, keep your cool and you’ll soon be a savvy shopper!

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.