Sunday, 19 August 2012

Fashion: how to shop the sales

This week, rather than showing you the latest collections, I’ve decided to reveal all my knowledge of the sales and help you invest your time and money wisely when shopping the sales.

The High Street seems to be full of sales at the moment, with many shops hoping to make up for falling profits during the year. The traditional sales have usually been the big Boxing Day and Summer Sales, but generally now most stores will have a sale at least four times a year (one after Easter, before the start of the summer, and another usually one in October, before Christmas). But don’t presume the sales only happen at regular times in the year; they can run whenever. Unless your DFS (where you’re guaranteed to find a sale every day of the year), stores will pick and choose depending on the retail climate and how much profit they have already made in the year. If a store is losing money, then it’s guaranteed they’ll start their sales early or have them at varying times in the year.

So what does this mean for the consumer? Well, it means you’re guaranteed a bargain. But what constitutes a bargain, and how do I know if you’re saving money? Follow these tips to save as much money as possible:

1) Check the season - generally, most stores will put last season’s unsold clothes in the sale, and these are the ones that are cheaper. Yet increasingly stores are putting current collections in the sale too. When you look in the sales, make sure you’re clothes match the season. Generally, this seasons clothes will be reduced towards the end of the sale

2) Be patient - like I mentioned above, it’s best to wait to the end of the sale to bag yourself a bargain, particularly if it’s a current season item. Most sales will only start with modest discounts of 25-50%, but towards the end, you can get discounts nearing 75% or more

3) Shop around - when shopping the sales, always make sure you visit different shops to compare prices. Sales can be competitive, with stores marketing their discounts so that more customers visit. In the Boxing Day sales for example, a price war between shops can result in some fantastic bargains

4) Check all items vigorously - make sure the clothes aren’t damaged or broken. It’s really important that the quality is still perfect and you should check your clothes before you pay for them. Also, make sure they fit you…there’s been many a time where I’ve gone to buy an item which was on a ‘small’ hanger and taken it home to find it’s a ‘large’

5) Find out about exchanges - a nasty marketing tactic by stores is usually to close their fitting rooms during a sale period, meaning you can’t try before you buy. Many stores don’t offer refunds for sale items either, meaning many of us have to presume it will fit us if we buy it. Check the returns/ exchanges policy. Some stores may offer refunds/ exchanges or even a gift receipt if you’re unhappy with your purchase

6) Check online - bargains are not just confined to the High Street. Many stores offer discounts online too, with a much wider selection of clothes available, all from the comfort of your own home. Be careful though, delivery charges can often be expensive on sale items, and you’re guaranteed to find a cheaper bargain in-store

7) Keep on looking - you’ll find most stores nowadays have a continuous ‘sale rail’ which is full of bargain buys. New Look, H&M and Primark are just some of the stores I’ve noticed that have a continuous sale. Keep your eye out for any one-day promotions too

Picture courtesy of cardsave. net

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