Tips to help you save the most on the biggest shopping day of the year.
No other shopping day of the year is quite as coveted as Boxing Day. For retailers and consumers alike, the Boxing Day sales is the biggest shopping event of the year. Being surrounded by a frenzy of shoppers, overwhelming sales signs everywhere you turn and the promise of bargains is enough to make your head spin. So here are a few tips to help you beat the Boxing Day mania.
Make a list
This point is number one on the list for a reason. The best thing you can do when attempting to take on the Boxing Day crowds is to go prepared. Write a list of your ‘must have’ items so you know exactly what you want and where to head straight away.
Set yourself a budget
We are all guilty of allowing ourselves to get a little carried away during a sale, so it’s a good idea to set a budget. This will help you to avoid buying unnecessarily and keep your shopping trip on track.
Get an early start
Avoid the desperate fight-to-the-death for the last parking spot and the crushing crowds around the sales shelves by arriving at the shopping centre just before opening time.
If you’re planning on trying on clothing or shoes, make sure that what you’re wearing can easily be removed and put back on and wear comfortable walking shoes that you can quickly slip off and on. In cases where you might be trying on tops, wear a singlet underneath so that you can try tops on without having to line up at the fitting rooms.
Check the retailer’s website
Before you leave home, plan and shop ahead by checking which sales particular shops will have on the day. For some retailers, such as department stores, you’ll have the option of buying online and going to pick up the items in store instead of waiting in a queue to purchase them when you get there. By looking up your ‘must have’ items online, you’ll also be able to compare prices between shops and know that you’re getting the best deal.
Remember: not everything is a bargain
Just because it has a sale sticker, it doesn’t mean that you’re getting a bargain. Being surrounded by frenzied, sale-crazed shoppers can make you want to snap up every ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ offer that you see, but, in reality, those sales are probably going to be there for a while. Many clothing stores reduce prices well before Christmas and don’t offer further markdowns on Boxing Day, so there’s often no urgency to nab clothing at this particular time.
Know your rights
Often, if you commit to buy something on sale you’re agreeing to a no-returns policy. This is true of many items, such as clothing, electronics and furniture. All shops should display a sign which advises customers whether returns are accepted on sale items, but if you’re unsure ask the salesperson before you purchase the item. When purchasing display models, such as microwaves and DVD players, keep in mind that you might not recieve all the usual documentation, such as warranty documents or manuals, but this won’t affect your statutory rights.
To familiarise yourself with your rights as a shopper, visit Moneysmart.gov.au.
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