Boxing Day sales: How UK shoppers can get the best deals | Shopping | Daily News Byte

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Retail experts are predicting “big discounts for savvy shoppers” in Boxing Day sales as stores cut prices on unsold winter clothing, home goods and gadgets as life crises, strikes and snow dampened the most important Christmas trading period. is the street

In recent years the huge discounts available on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday have stolen Boxing Day’s thunder. However, after discounting stopped in December, when Christmas shopping should be in full swing, transport and postal strikes disrupted high street visits as well as online shopping.

PwC retail director Kien Tan says the disruption means many retailers will be left with excess stock at the end of the year. “As a result, retailers are expected to reward patient shoppers with higher-than-usual discounts as they clear out seasonal stock in Boxing Day sales, which could prove challenging in 2023.”

So if you’re hoping to snag a deal, we’ve got some top tips for successful sale shopping – but don’t forget what personal finance guru Martin Lewis has to say: “If you were going to buy it anyway, and it’s half- Price, great, you saved 50%. If you weren’t going to buy it but do it just because it’s half price, you’ve wasted 100%.”

Do your research

You can avoid wasting money in the Boxing Day sales by planning ahead and bypassing impulse buys. If you’ve been coveting a certain item, check how much it costs at various retailers now, so you can tell if you’re really saving and when it goes on sale.

A product must be on sale at the higher price for at least 28 days before the retailer can mark it as a discount. “There are strict rules that retailers must adhere to when announcing a reduction in sales,” says the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, a government-sanctioned voluntary scheme for the retail sector.

“This is to ensure that you can trust that the reduction is real. If items are further reduced after you make your purchase you are not entitled to the difference, so make sure you are happy with the current price you are committed to paying and don’t feel pressured by messages like ‘two only’. Pending’ or ‘Three other customers are viewing this item.’”

Shoppers carry bags at the start of the Boxing Day sales in 2020
Do you really need what you are considering buying? Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Reading consumer and expert reviews before buying on sale can help you make smart decisions, especially when it comes to tech products. Also look at your finances in advance and set a budget for your sales purchases.

Rina Sevraz, retail editor at consumer body Which?, says: “Make a wishlist of what you want in advance to avoid making impulse purchases that you might regret later. Shop around online to measure prices, so you can find a bargain at an exaggerated discount. If you see something cheaper elsewhere, some retailers will mark down the price. promises to match.”

Get online…

Retailers these days often start their sales before Christmas, and after a tough few weeks many chains have already fired the starting gun on Christmas Eve, often offering early access to customers who sign up to receive newsletters.

A woman is shopping online
If you have been sent details of an additional discount, check your email before purchasing online. Photograph: Philadendron/Getty Images

For example, high street stores and Other Stories, Jigsaw and Cos offered newsletter subscribers an early sale until 15 December, and H&M’s sale also started early. Remember to check your emails for any additional savings that may be available, such as codes for additional discounts or free shipping.

… But think before you click

Shopping online during a sale period can make you more vulnerable to fraud as scammers try to take advantage of bargain hunters.

Use only trusted websites for online shopping. If you’re using a site for the first time it’s worth checking if it has good reviews on Trustpilot or if other shoppers have flagged it as a potential scam.

Never transfer money directly to a seller and remember that if a deal looks good, it probably is. If you fall victim to a scam, notify your bank as soon as possible and report Action Fraud.

Start early

According to VoucherCodes’ Shopping for Christmas 2022 report, shops and websites are predicted to be busy on Boxing Day, with 20.8 million people ready to buy something.

Although not as large as in previous years, around 13.1 million people are expected to head to the high street and shopping centres, with £2.3bn spent in stores in just one day. A further £1.3bn is predicted to be spent online on 26 December as 7.8 million people shop from home.

However overall spending is expected to add up to £3.6bn, around 10% lower than last year, as higher food and fuel bills forced Britons to use their budgets to pay for Christmas.

Anita Naik, savings expert at VoucherCodes, says, “Boxing Day sales have long been considered the best time to grab a post-Christmas deal. “However, with the cost of living crisis putting significant pressure on people’s finances, it is not surprising that fewer of us will be moving towards selling this year.

“If you plan to browse the sales after Christmas, make sure you’re smart with your money. Compare prices at different retailers to make sure you’re getting the biggest discount possible, and always be sure to check for discount codes.”

Also, if you plan to visit stores, keep in mind that the best discounts are likely to be available earlier in the day.

Sevraz adds: “If you’re hitting the shops, the best deals are likely to be found quickly, so it can pay to get an early start. But beware of getting caught up in the hype. Consider whether the discounted price offers true savings and ensure that you are buying a high-quality product at a price that truly provides value for money.”

Bargain hunters are expected to spend a total of £13.8bn between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve, but overall numbers fell last year due to financial pressures caused by the cost of living crisis, VoucherCodes reports.

People carry shopping bags in search of bargains at the traditional Boxing Day sales in Liverpool in 2021
Around 13.1 million people are expected to head to shopping centers and high streets on Boxing Day. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

While hitting stores early in the sales period usually yields the best results, Dean Evans, director of partnerships and expansion at e-commerce platform Shopify, predicts that online sales will stretch into January longer than usual — so it might be worth your while. Anxious to see if the price drops further.

“This year almost half of UK consumers are putting more money aside for the holiday season than ever before,” says Evans. “So we’re likely to see sales over the traditional Boxing Day period, both extending in advance and extending into January.”

Think ahead to summer

Winter sales can sometimes be a good time to pick up summer items at a cool discount but again make sure you buy the items you know you need.

“Boxing Day and the January sales are the perfect time to think ahead to the summer. If you’re looking to buy some bikinis or beachwear for your summer vacation, you might be in luck and find them cheaper during the winter, when demand isn’t as high,” according to the Essential Student Living website.

Check your refund rights

Return and refund rules are often different for items purchased on sale, so make sure you know your rights before purchasing.

Retailers must offer a refund if the item is faulty, not as described or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. This applies to sale items and full-price products, whether purchased in-store or online.

Shoppers who bought online have 14 days to tell the retailer they want a refund and another 14 days to send the item back. They do not have to give a reason for their return.

Some stores will change their refund and return policies during the sale period, either shortening the time you have to return the item or offering only store credit instead of a cash refund.

Retailers are not required to offer refunds for certain products, including personalized or customized items, perishable items – for example, food or flowers – and CDs, DVDs or games that have been unwrapped. You can only get your money back on these items if the product is faulty.

Value is always in fashion

It can be easy to get carried away in the Boxing Day sales, especially when there are huge discounts on offer everywhere you look. If you plan to use this year’s sales to update your wardrobe, there are a few things to consider before hitting the shops.

The average person in the UK owns 115 items of clothing, 30% of which have not been worn in the past year. So, before buying anything new, go through the clothes you already own and consider which purchases will give them a new lease of life.

Experts say that successful sale shopping means writing down a list of what you want and getting those items down without getting sidetracked. Journalist Lucy Siegel suggests only buying clothes you can see yourself wearing 100 times, so recite this to yourself if you’re drawn to something amazing that you know you’ll never get enough of.

It’s better to be frugal and look for safe investment purchases, such as woolen winter coats, boots or accessories that you’ll use throughout the year. Think quality over quantity. Be strict. Buy a piece of clothing that only fits in the changing room, rather than the diet you plan to go on in January. If you’re shopping online, create a wishlist on your favorite retailer’s website during your Christmas downtime and then check back when the discounts go live.

A shopper wears a Christmas jumper as she walks past the shops on Oxford Street in central London in December 2022
The average person in the UK owns 115 items of clothing. Photograph: Isabelle Shishu/AFP/Getty Images

With £140m worth of clothes ending up in landfill every year, if you have a particular item, why not see if you can pick it up cheap secondhand. There’s eBay, Vintage and Depop for high street clothes and Vestire Collective and RealReal for designer. Many charity shops also have online portals.

Another thing to consider is the type of fabric the clothes are made of. The 100x rule might discount mega-cheap dresses at the lower end of the market, but if they’re not made of greasy polyester, you can keep the dress longer. For example, look for natural fibers, such as organic cotton, and wood-based fabrics – Tencel and EcoVero.

Whatever you do, don’t buy just because it’s on sale. Go for tills only if you’re sure the style is right for you, and, most importantly in these tough times, if you’re sure you can afford it.

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