How to be savvy sale shopper

Who can resist the lure of a January sale? Everything you’ve had your eye on in the run up to Christmas is suddenly a fraction of the price. With social media now influencing consumerism more than ever before, it feels as though sales and discount codes are available everywhere, but how can you tell if you’re really bagging a bargain? With this in mind, we’ve put together six simple tips to help you become the smartest of sale shoppers:

Where to start

Before you head into the crowds it’s vital to have a clear idea of what you need. It can be tempting to indulge, but neither your wardrobe or your bank balance will thank you for it. Though the glitzy party dress you wanted is now only £20, will you really wear it next December? Pre-sale online research and making a list of key items will stop you wasting your pennies. Generally department stores are ideal for savvy buyers as it has everything under one roof.


Quality over quantity

Towards the end of last year, thanks to Stacey Dooley’s BBC documentary ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’, there was a shift in buying habits. The programme showed the shocking environmental impact caused by fashion, and as a result influencers and bloggers started to share the importance of sustainability in fashion with their followers. However, sustainable fabrics come with a higher price tag for obvious reasons, but the sales are a great time to snap up a bargain. When shopping, check the fabric of the items of clothing. Organic cotton, hemp, linen, wool and cashmere usually cost more so are worth buying in the sale – you’ll be helping the environment and buying pieces with longevity saving you money in the long run!

Be prepared

Changing rooms are hell on earth during the sale season. Long queues and tropical temperature cubicles are enough to make you throw in the towel. Avoid having to try clothes on by wearing a thin outfit under your coat so you can simply slip items over the top and make use of the store full-length mirrors. It will save you buying an item that doesn’t fit, that you’ll never get around to taking back.

Bargains on Bargains

If you’re in need of a wardrobe update head to one of the region’s outlet shopping destinations. Dotted throughout the East is the likes of The Galleria in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and Braintree Freeport and Clacton Factory Outlet in Essex. These outlet destinations offer up to 60% savings on RRP prices on designer and well-known brands. Add to that sale discounts and you’ll pick up clothing, accessories and homeware items at a fraction of the original price. 

Think bigger

Yes the sales are great for picking up clothing and home furnishings, but those who save the most are those that think bigger than material items. We all know January is rather depressing, so why not escape your blues with a holiday. Flights from the UK are far less packed with holidaymakers and business travellers in the first weeks of January and the time is referred to in the industry as the “dead zone”. Depending on the destination and whether its low or peak season, with some time, effort and research you may be able to find some cheap flights to put a smile on your face.

Choose your company

If you’re not brave enough to go it alone, choose a shopping companion that is honest and will tell you the truth about the clothes you are thinking of buying. Partners are generally a no go, they will sulk their way around the store making you miss the good stuff and mothers are dangerous territory too as they will claim you look good in everything. Choose your co-shopper wisely.


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