How to shop the Boxing Day sales

The allure of the Boxing Day sales has dimmed a little with the advent of November’s Black Friday and Click Frenzy sales days. But it’s still a big day out for consumers across the country.

Being surrounded by a frenzy of shoppers, sales signs everywhere you turn and the promise of bargains is enough to make your head spin. Here’s how to make the most of the day with the least aggravation.

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 Boxing Day crowds is to be prepared. Write a list of your ‘must have’ items so you know exactly what you want and where to head. Loiterers are not welcome.

Set yourself a budget

We’re 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 unnecessary purchases 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.

And arrive fully fuelled – shopping on an empty stomach often makes decision making that much more difficult.

Dress smart

If you’re planning to try on clothing or shoes, make sure what you’re wearing can be easily 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 you can try on tops 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 to click and collect. Also, by looking up your ‘must have’ items online, you’ll 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 you’re getting a bargain. Being surrounded by sale-crazed shoppers can make you want to snap up every ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ offer you see, but, in reality, those sales are probably going to be there for a while. Some clothing stores reduce prices well before Christmas and don’t offer further markdowns on Boxing Day.

Know your rights

All shops should display a sign that advises customers whether returns are accepted on sale items, but if you’re unsure ask the salesperson before you purchase the item. When buying display models, keep in mind that you might not receive 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 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s consumer rights section.

Do you look forward to the Boxing Day sales or do you now prefer other pre-Christmas sales events? Do you check whether sales specials really are special? Why not share your experience int he comments section below?

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