Plan for next Christmas
One in 20 shoppers begin their Christmas shopping 12 months ahead of the big day, meaning they buy some of their presents in the January sales.
While this might not work for kids’ presents – children quite often want the latest trend – it can be a great way to buy cheaper gifts.
Don’t leave yourself short
If your budget is tight then don’t be tempted to bash the plastic too hard in the sales. We’re a funny species; the fear of missing a great deal can make people very irrational.
Think seriously about what you can afford to spend and don’t go over. It might sound obvious, but set yourself a realistic spending limit in advance.
If you buy something in a sale, you still have the same rights as if you’d bought it before the sale began. If it is faulty, unsatisfactory or doesn’t fit the description given when you ordered it, then you can ask for a refund, replacement or repair.
However, some retailers may not allow customers to return purchases because they’ve changed their minds. Their returns policy is up to them and may be stricter for sales items.
The only time your rights are reduced is if you buy something that’s known to be faulty. For example, a top might be marked down because it’s missing a button. If you’re told about this when you buy it then you can’t return it on those grounds – although you could still ask for a refund if something else went wrong with your purchase.
When you need to return a faulty item, take it to the retailer and not the manufacturer. As the seller, it has a duty to resolve your issue, so don’t be fobbed off.
If you’re shopping online, you have even more rights. You get a seven day ‘cooling off’ time, meaning you can return or cancel your order without giving a reason. Unfortunately, that’s not the case if the item has been custom-made.
What are your tips for shopping in the January sales? What’s the best bargain you’ve ever found? Share your advice and experiences in the comments below.