Christmas Topical ways to save money

The top 10 tips for winning in the sales

Boxing Day sales seem to start earlier and earlier every year!

Making sure you know how to get the best deals, using your time wisely  and knowing what to do when things go wrong will help you grab the best bargains.

shopping rights Christmas sales

1) Plan what you want

Make a list of things you would like to buy. Don’t fall foul of the pack mentality that we often see on Black Friday, such as 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) Where can you buy?

Make a list of the stores where you are likely to find bargains. If you are going out to shop, work out the best route to do. This will save you the most time. It allows you to leave a purchasing decision and return to shops which you after seeing 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 or the day the sale starts!  Be absolutely sure that you on a legitimate website before ordering or putting in any personal information.

4) Think about the future!

Think of the year ahead 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) Compare prices

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.

Camel Camel Camel is a site that tracks prices on Amazon, for example. Check this first to see if that bargain really is a bargain. Has it ever been cheaper? The site will also send you alerts.

6) Know your rights

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 provided on their website.

More at Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries

7) Watch out for delivery costs

High delivery costs might make the items less of a bargain compared with another website. Some of the bigger and better-known stores will offer free delivery for orders over a certain amount. Simply order something else to reach the free delivery amount. For example, a gift you can put away or something you know you will need in the future and bingo, you have free delivery. Or use the “free delivery to store” option, so that 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) Know your consumer rights

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 cost of 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.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed (you have agreed a time frame if the listing supplies a time frame) the retailer must deliver ‘without undue delay’ and at the very latest no more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund.

9) Keep proof of purchase

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) Delivery Deadlines

If the retailer does not keep to its promised delivery deadlines then you are entitled to redress.


Good luck in your bargain hunting and don’t be fobbed off when complaining! You can find lots of tips around my blog and of course in my book!

PS: Don’t forget to use a cashback site when shopping online. The best I have found is *Topcashback.

*refer a friend

And bargains all year round…


Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo


If you need more help, information and tips with how to quote Acts, template letters and advice on how to complain effectively don’t forget the GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!


101 Habits of an Effective complainer book cover with logo



101 Habits of an Effective Complainer provides you with more tips




The Complaining Cow logo download templates



Purchase and download templates to gain redress swiftly.



Take a product with you wherever you go and remember to assert your consumer rights and get what you deserve! Fight for what’s right, have reminders round your house by way of pictures, or making The Complaining Cow be with you when you relax with your cuppa.

You can find t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, coasters, bags, pictures, stickers and more with the designs below on RedBubble.

The Complaining Cow mug, book, bag hat clock t shirt







Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods

Complaining effectively is good for your health!

Is complaining negative?

Complaining is frequently thought of as negative. But followers of this blog will know that I don’t see it like that all and when I posed the question on LinkedIn I think I made it quite clear how complaining can be positive if done in the right way.  But not only can it be a positive thing it can also be good for your health.

When things go wrong what happens to your health?

Imagine this. You’ve spent a quite a bit of money on that telly and within weeks it isn’t working properly. Slightly stressful. You are becoming increasingly annoyed about not being able to watch your favourite programmes properly, eventually contacting the trader to be told that as it’s now over 6 months you will have to pay for the telly to be sent for a repair. That’s a rise in blood pressure likelihood. You have to pay more money and be without the telly for ages. That makes you very stressed and puts strain on your heart. Too much stress is bad for your health.

Now, had you followed some simple tips for complaining effectively, stress would not have accumulated and you would be a happy bunny sat in front of your new telly.

Whilst you were without your telly you were complaining and that was negative. No, not in my world. What you were doing was moaning and at best complaining ineffectively. That has a negative impact on your whole outlook.

Caution when complaining

How complaining effectively is better for your health

Here’s how it could have been different.

1) Telly stops working have an almighty scream at it and everything around. That will make you feel better as a vent often does.

2) Then do something about it. Focus on a solution. Continuing to focus on the problems and how they are affecting you have a negative effect. Contact the trader explain the problem and request a refund, repair or replacement. (More details on the Consumer Rights Act 2015 ). This approach will provide you with a positive outlook.

3) If the trader tried to fob you off, assert your legal rights. Common fob offs and how to deal with them here. That will certainly make you feel positive and strong.

4) Complain in writing if you don’t get what you want from the outset. It will make you feel better venting your frustrations and you can rewrite and rewrite until you are happy with it. You can’t do that when speaking and complaining in writing stops emotional outbursts which are likely not to get you anything you want in any case.

5) Top 20 Tips on how to complain effectively will provide you with more ways to complain effectively to keep your stress levels down and get the redress to which you are entitled.

5 top tips for complaining effectively

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

If you need help with complaining effectively and making sure you are never fobbed off. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!



101 Habits if an Effective complainer book cover with logo


101 Habits of an Effective Complainer to help you become more skilled and assertive when making complaints (and see Rob’s review!)






Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress



So, who hasn’t felt better after successfully complaining? Who has felt good moaning about or ignoring a faulty item and doing nothing productive to get the matter resolved?