On 26th December 2013 we spent £2.7 billion in stores and at online retailers across the UK, with many shops reporting their busiest Boxing Day to date. While the January sales are a great time to pick up those items that you have been secretly (and not so secretly) eyeing up while doing your Christmas shopping, here are a few golden rules for bargain lovers to keep in mind while rummaging through those rails.
Take your time and check the quality
Our enthusiasm for bargain-hunting means that we often forget to sense-check our shopping. Always look for fabric pulls, garment stains, construction faults and missing buttons in the clear light of day before you part with your hard-earned cash. With stores like M&S you can also check online to see if the garment has any product reviews, as knowing what other people think can be pretty helpful. Sizing can be haywire, so always check the garment label rather than the hanger and in terms of footwear make sure that both shoes are the same size before leaving the shop.
Have a coffee break
Shopping is hard work so remember to pace yourself and pencil in a juice/coffee/lunch stop where needed. That way you will be able to think straight about your purchases and your shopping should prove to be less tiring as you won’t be trying to run on empty.
Remember – true bargains are the ones you need
We can easily justify buying a top in the sale if we think that there is any remote possibility that it will be worn. Always buy tops with the same level of caution as you would a coat, as it it doesn’t matter whether an item is £5 or £500 – you don’t want it taking up unnecessary wardrobe room and brain space as you try to figure out how you can possibly make it work. Always ask yourself if you would still buy it, even if it wasn’t reduced, and if the answer is ‘no’, then try to avoid it!
Try it on when you get home
Always try on everything when you get home – this is a great way to see how you can wear your new purchases with your existing wardrobe and it also provides a sense check for any of those impulsive buys!
Be honest with yourself
If it doesn’t work for whatever reason or it doesn’t quite fit, then always be honest with yourself. The likelihood is that you aren’t going to wear it or use it, so save your money and take it back while you still have the receipt to hand!
Images: Find My Style