Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Tips for successful shopping in the sales.

As if Christmas doesn't leave us frazzled enough, days later we're all back in the scrum for the start of the sale season. Of course, we'd be mad not to, with prices being slashed all over the shops – but the January sales have the potential to make or break us both physically and mentally.Remember a bargain is only a bargain if you wanted it in the first place!
So here are my tips for coming out on top and gaining the sense of smugness that only comes from grabbing a bag full of bargains (and not killing yourself in the process)...

1 – LOVE IT NOW, WEAR IT LATER – if you wouldn’t buy it at full price, don’t buy it just because it’s reduced.  It’s easy to get giddy when you see something reduced by a big margin, but if you don’t love it now, you won’t wear it later!

Ex: €40 spent on some jeans that used to be €120 is still not a bargain if they're destined to live their life at the bottom of your drawer, rather than on your bottom.

2 – PREP IS KEY – do your prep and go through your wardrobe to remind yourself of what you’ve already got to avoid doubling up.  Create a shopping list of items you think you need or are missing to make existing pieces work hard for their place on the hanger.

3 – STAY FOCUSED – take your list with you and keep in mind the idea of what you are looking for, this will save you getting swept along and buying things you don’t need or won’t wear.

4 – SET A BUDGET – set a limit if you feel you need to, that way you will stop before you
get too carried away and will have some left over for when all the lovely new season collections arrive and last season looks feel so out of date.

5 – BE TRUTHFUL – many shops will bring out old items from the back which haven’t sold, so ask yourself is it really you?  Avoid going for something too small which you think you’ll slim into, instead save the money and treat yourself when you have lost those extra centimeters.

6 – NEVER, EVER GO WITH SMALL CHILDREN – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go sales shopping with children. Well, definitely not small children anyway. They will ruin it for you by: telling you they need a drink/snack/wee at 10 minute intervals (anything to gain your attention again); hiding among racks of clothes, giving you a heart attack when you can't see them; and, if you're not watching closely, accidentally stealing something and setting off the alarms.

7 – HIGHLIGHTS FOR HUSBAND – I don't mean to make sweeping statements here, but certainly among my circle of male friends, sales shopping is right up there with unblocking toilets in the popularity stakes. If the man in your life is similar, and if you really do need his input, then go to the shops very early, do your reccy, and have him come meet you for the edited highlights two hours later. This is a potential marriage saver.

 CLICK FROM HOME – If the thought of the sales makes you quake with fear, do the sensible thing and shop from home. Free delivery is also often a double plus. Yes, there is a higher risk of ending up with stuff that doesn't fit, but a potential quick trip to the post office to send returns might well be a risk worth taking if you can't stand the crowds.

– DRESS FOR SOME SERIOUS SHOPPING – If you're braving it and going in for the long haul, kit yourself out – in fact, get your military head on. Wear sensible shoes and a lightweight but warm coat you won't mind putting on and taking off, over and over again, as you go between minus freezing outside temperatures and near tropical department stores. Take snacks and a bottle of water (you don't want a cafe stop to slow you down or diminish your funds).

Ex: Take something to put the loot in. No, a rucksack might not make you very popular among the hoards, but your hands and arms will thank you for it.

10 – PREPARE TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK – Be wary of the stashers. Think you can't find that divine top in your size? Check the back of the rail, or even the floor, because it's not unknown for wily women to hide what they MIGHT want to come back for later. HA! Busted.

11 –STASH THOSE RECEIPTS – Finally, carefully stash the receipt after each purchase, don't just absent-mindedly chuck it in your handbag because you might well need it later. Some shops don't open fitting rooms during the first few days of the sales, while others might have queues going from lingerie right round to home furnishings, so you'll be tempted to risk it at try clothes on at home
Sale shopping can be lots of fun and there are bargains to be had out there, but it does require strategy, focus and some savvy tactics!

Have this in mind:

INVESTMENT PIECES & CLASSICS: Following my rules above, if you spot a classic piece such as cashmere, leather, great fit of jeans or even a timeless coat then this is where we would advise to invest your sale budget.

PICK UP TRANS-SEASONAL PIECES: Be clever when you shop the sale rails and pick up items which will work for you next season such as animal print or bold coloured pieces for the key ‘colour blocking’ trend heading our way in the Spring 2013. 

FASHIONABLE CLASSICS: Military trend have been huge trend this season and provide your wardrobe with some great classics you can work season after season.  Opt for bargains in the form of camel and beige-coloured tailored trousers and shorts; a smart military style jacket for a timeless look when the temperatures rise and bags, belts and heels in tans and browns.

Enjoy the sales!!

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