By Katie Griffiths

Six steps to surviving the sales

The Christmas pudding has barely time to digest when sales season takes our already-fatigued bank balances and coaxes us into a spending frenzy once again.

It’s been a controversial topic this year, with protestors signing a petition calling on Boxing Day to be preserved as a ‘day of rest’ to allow retail workers more time with their families.

But despite Parliament being forced to debate the issue, there are no plans to change the law, and so retailers will continue to slash prices from the day after Christmas right through to the New Year.

And an estimated 22 million of us will be tempted back into the shops, afraid to miss out on those bargains.

If you really must check out the sales, follow our six steps for survival.

Click and collect?

Go online and find out if any of your preferred retailers will allow you to reserve or purchase online. Then you can take a stroll through the stores knowing that bargain you really wanted is waiting for you to pick up at the till.

Dress for comfort

Don’t forget that you’ll be going from freezing temperatures outside to the near tropical heat of the department store. So a lightweight jacket is just as essential as the sturdy walking shoes. Also, don’t forget a bag to carry your booty home. A rucksack may not seem stylish but your arms will be grateful not to have to take the strain.

Think ahead

As you rifle through the rails, that designer jacket may seem ridiculously large for your child now, but if she’ll grow into it in a year or two, you may be wise to buy it for half price and stash it in her wardrobe. She’ll thank you later. Consider all ages and all seasons when the bargains are just too good to miss.

Take no prisoners

If your children/spouse would rather wrestle a crocodile than trundle through the shops, don’t take them with you. Or if you must, work out a way to drop them off at a café and arrange to meet up after you’ve braved the crowds. Holding your loved ones hostage in the midst of a sales stampede will only cause frustration on both sides.

Play hide and seek

Be wary of those who stash and return. Can’t find your size in that divine dress? That may be because someone else has spotted it and hidden it at the back of the rail – or even on a different rail – in case they want to come back for it. Don’t give up if the item you really want isn’t in the obvious place.

Store the receipts

There may be queues for the fitting rooms which stretch the full length of the shop. So if you’re tempted to take a chance and buy before you try, file the receipts away in a safe place, rather than absent-mindedly chucking them in your bag. Your consumer rights are still protected, even during the sales, and you can take items back if they’re not suitable.


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