Tips | December 16, 2009

Top tips for surviving the sales season

With just a few shopping days until Christmas – not to mention the Boxing Day sales – a consumers group has issued its top tips for snapping up bargains.

Consumer Direct in the United Kingdom warned gadget-lovers that computers, mobile phones and TVs were all in its 10 most complained about goods. Women's clothing also made the top 10 most complained about list. An eZonomics poll in October suggested shopping in sales was popular, with 86% of respondents saying they postponed buying clothes until shops cut prices.

Five tips for shopping in sales season
Consumer Direct issued top tips for surviving the sales season:

1. Shop within your budget Have a clear idea of what you can afford and remember sales should save you money, not get you into debt.

2. Do your research first and shop around for the best deals.

3. Think about what you need before you hit the shops and ask yourself if you would have bought a sale item at full price (or if you have thought about buying it before). If the answer is "no", it's probably not the bargain you think it is.

4. Be sure you're happy with the sale item before you part with your cash If it's a piece of clothing – is the size, colour and feel right?

5. Know your rights A Know Your Consumer Rights campaign launched in the UK in September 2009 and will run for six months to educate shoppers about the rules associated with buying at full price, in sales and online.

Cashing in on coupons can save money
A new post on the We, the Savers blog by ING Direct in the United States detailed how one man saved $25 – or 25% of his $100 purchase – while lining up at the check out. He searched on his mobile telephone for a discount code and gave it to the cashier.
In the online comments responding to the post Katarina wrote: "I thought discount codes were only used for online purchases and that you needed a printed out coupon to use in store. Thanks for the insight, it is definitely helpful to know that you can give them a discount code in store."

eZonomics team
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