Survive the sales and bag a pre-Christmas bargain

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The Christmas sales are one of the busiest shopping times of the year, even more so now that the sales are beginning before Christmas Day has even arrived. Long gone are the times when ‘January sales’ actually started in January – now we have to be prepared to get our elbows out and fight through the crowds in the middle of December. There’s nothing worse than wandering into a clustered and disorganised high street store with no clue of what you’re looking for, or how to even start looking. So here are a few tips to help you with your search:

1) Avoid pointless buys

So, you’ve found the glamorous burgundy sequinned cami-top that you spotted in the store a few weeks ago, hanging on the sale rack with over 50% off the original price. It’s in your size. Your heart starts to race and you think “YES! I can definitely wear this with…” – but can you? Although the sales are a perfect time to pick up lots of beautiful clothes at lovely low prices, you should always be realistic with your purchases – your purse will thank you in the long run. How many times will you wear it? Always try to picture at least three outfits in your head that the item would work well with; if you can’t, it’s a sign that you shouldn’t buy it. Try to avoid pointless buys – if you wouldn’t buy the item full price there’s a chance that you shouldn’t be buying it at all.

2) Check the returns policy

Always remember to check the returns policy of sale items BEFORE you buy them. A lot of stores have different returns policies for sale items, including exchange or gift card only. If you’re happy with that, then go ahead. If not, pop into the changing rooms and try it on before committing to buy it. Yes, there might be a big queue and you’re wearing millions of layers so trying on clothes isn’t ideal. Trust me – you’ll be thankful if you do.

3) Buy the right size

Yes, it’s always tempting to buy a different size and think “oh, I’m sure I can make it work somehow…“, but in reality, if it doesn’t fit then it’s likely to remain hanging in your wardrobe unworn. By all means, be creative! If you can make it cropped or oversized then give it a go, you might even end up with something better than the original! But if it’s guaranteed not to fit then don’t give into sale pressure: put it down and walk away.

4) Don’t be fooled

Lots of stores now try to be helpful and organise their sale racks by size. DON’T BE FOOLED. Many people will pick up an item, walk around, decide against it and put it back… in the wrong place. Don’t just search through the section for your size, take the time and look through all of the racks. You’ll be surprised at what you find!

5) While it’s in your hand, it’s yours

You’ve found the perfect dress, in the perfect colour, in the perfect size. You know that you’ll wear it countless times. But then the seed of doubt sets in, and you go to put it back on the rail. DON’T! Keep it in your hand as you walk around the store and think about it for a little while. The thing that must be remembered about sale shopping is that if you put it down, it’s very likely that someone else will pick it up. Whilst it’s in your hand it’s yours, so keep it there until you’ve made up your mind.