So, Christmas nearly upon on us and Boxing Day sales start. Making sure you know how to get the best deals, use your time wisely and knowing what to do when things go wrong will all help you grab the best bargains.
1) Plan what you want. Make a list of things you would quite like to buy. Don’t fall foul of the pack mentality that we saw on Black Friday. People fighting to grab the “bargains” and then saying “I didn’t even want a telly”. It is not a bargain if you don’t really want it.
2) Make a list of the various stores you are likely to find those bargains. If you are going out to shop work out the best route to do to save you the most time and allows you to return to shops which you think you are most likely to want to return back having seen other stores.
3) Do your online research. Using your list, look up all the stores likely to have sales, mooch around the sites making a note of things that you would like if they were in the sale. Even put them in your basket so they are in there ready before other people if you intend to start at 12.00am on Boxing Day!
4) Think about next Christmas and presents that you will need to buy. Things like jewellery, toys, games and toiletries are always discounted everywhere and don’t have a best before date!
5) When shopping online use your list of items and compare prices. Just because it is discounted it does not mean that it is the best price. Use comparison websites too, or simply put the item into Google and see all the places the item is also sold.
6) When purchasing items online you now have 14 days in which you can change your mind and return the item under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 if the item is faulty the retailer has to pay for return postage. If you just change your mind then it will be down to the retailer’s Terms and Conditions which will be listed on the website.
7) Watch out for delivery costs. These might make the items less of a bargain compared with another site. Some of the bigger more well known stores will offer free delivery for orders over a certain amount. Simply order something else to reach the free delivery amount, such as a gift you can put away or something you know you will need in the future and bingo, free delivery. Or use the “free delivery to store” option, you’ll still get to the bargains in time but should have a few days grace in which to pick up the item(s).
8) Whether purchasing items in the sale or not, if you return an item because you changed your mind or it is an unwanted gift then the retailer does not need to refund the item. (Many of the bigger retailers will, however usually by voucher and at the cheapest price the item has been sold at). However if the item is faulty, unless the fault was pointed out at point of purchase (e.g. this jumper is discounted because of a mark on the sleeve) then you are entitled to refund, replacement or repair. See here for more details.
9) You do not need to have a receipt but you do need a proof of purchase so a credit card bill for example is fine if you are returning goods.
10) If the retailer does not keep to delivery deadlines then you are entitled to redress.
PS Don’t forget to use a cashback site when shopping online. The best I have found is Topcashback. To be transparent – that is a link that is mine and if you register from that I will get £5 or something when you have earned your first £10. Don’t forget when you register to get your own “Tell a friend link” to share with others.