It’s almost that time of year again. The one that gets you so excited that you can hardly sleep, thinking of all the goodies you are going to find. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about the SALES! The time of year when you find all manner of bargains at rock bottom prices, from dresses to designer bags, from boots to gift sets, from jumpers to the best shoes Selfridges can offer.
I have always loved the post Christmas day sales. For many years I spent 27th December with my mom and sister, braving the Birmingham crowds in order to grab bagfuls of bargains. Favourite buys included Carvela purple heels for £9 from House of Fraser, a leopard print faux fur swing coat for £35 from River Island that I am still wearing three years on, and a Jasper Conran bustier that bookended my year by serving for a ball in January, and then for New Years eve that same year. Alas, now I have Baba in tow, I often take the softer option of shopping on-line, spending even more money filling my little on-line baskets to the imaginary brimful.
I love the sales with all my heart, but they can be a minefield if you’re not careful. What should you buy? What constitutes a bargain? When do you walk away? All these are questions that many ask about the sales. With this in mind, Fashion-Mommy is offering the benefit of years of experience of jostling for bargains with a few handy shopping tips. Keep these in mind,and happy shopping!
- If you like it – pick it up and hold onto it. The sales are no time for hesitation. If you like an item, but are unsure about buying it, pick it up and hold onto it whilst you’re making your mind up. You can make your mind up before heading to the till. If you don’t pick it up, someone else is sure to buy it.
- Take cash and vouchers, but leave cards at home. It is hard to set a limit on how much to spend if you are pushing the plastic. The sales are a good time to spend vouchers as you get more for your money.
- Find out exactly when the sales start in your favourite stores. Some now start BEFORE Christmas. I had a fantastic time in Wallis today, buying two dresses, one blouse and one pencil skirt for just £45. Many online sales start before Christmas, and there are also seasonal offers. If a stores sales start before December 26th, there may not be much left after Christmas.
- Don’t think about trying things on. The changing rooms are horrendous places at this time of year, and we are currently bulked up with extra layers to protect against the awful weather. Trying things on is just a nightmare. Instead, check out the stores return policy and if they offer exchange or refund against sale goods, buy it and try it on in the comfort of your own home. But make sure you do check out that returns policy – some stores, like Monsoon for instance, change the returns policy from 28 days to 7 days for sale goods.
- Avoid the Christmas glitter. Unless you are looking for a specific party dress for New Year or an upcoming occasion, don’t be sucked in by the sequins. Look instead for knitwear, boots, leather bags and shoes, day dresses in classic styles and basics in neutral shades. These are real bargains that you will wear again and again.
- Dress sensibly – comfortable shoes or boots and a messenger style bag that will leave your arms and hands free. Take a bottle of water and a snack. Shopping is hard work – you will build up a thirst and may get hungry!
Follow these easy tips and snap up those bargains!
Some early sales bargains worth snapping up.
- Cheap and chic: A guide to the Christmas sales (independent.co.uk)
- Ceriwholesale.com Slashes 15% Off On All Wholesale Shoes Purchases (prweb.com)
- Bargain Shop-aholism Is The Hottest -Aholism of 2010 [Ladies Be Shopping] (jezebel.com)
- Christmas Gift Guide: Black and gold (mirror.co.uk)
- Online Women’s Clothing, Accessories, and Ankle Boot Retailer, MakeMeChic.com, Invites Customers to Take Part in End of Year Offers and Sales (prweb.com)
- Will snow affect Christmas sales? (bbc.co.uk)
- Boxing Day bargain hunting starts now (theglobeandmail.com)
- Rise of the killer heel: Stiletto sales quadruple despite recession (dailymail.co.uk)
- Holiday Shopping: Going Crazy for Bargains and Sales? (socyberty.com)
- House of Fraser Announces Jaeger Winter Collection Now Available Online (prnewswire.com)
- Shoppers Brave Big Freeze For Xmas Bargains (news.sky.com)