Now that you’ve finished shopping for gifts for your friends and family, it’s time to treat yourself. Throughout Boxing Week, you’ll find deep discounts on a wide variety of products. You can take advantage of the sales, but it’s also easy to go a little crazy. Retailers know you’re ready to spend, and they’ll use this knowledge to trick you into spending more.
Our tips can help you find some great deals while avoiding some of the most common mistakes.
Shopping Without Purpose
If you head out to the mall with a general sense of looking for some good deals, you’re probably not going to find any. Sure, you might get a few items half off, but if those weren’t things you really needed, then you didn’t get a deal.
Instead, it’s important to plan your shopping list. Make a list of the things you need or would like to have. If you've just moved into a new home, maybe you'll focus on must-have items for first-time homeowners. Try to figure out ahead of time where you’re likely to get the best prices on these items only. When you go out shopping, don’t get distracted by other hot deals. Stick to your list.
Wasting “Gift Money”
Most people head out to the Boxing Week sales with gift cards and cash they received for Christmas. It feels like free money so you might end up spending it on things you normally wouldn’t. For instance, let’s say that you’re shopping for a new TV because you want something a bit bigger. You find a good deal at the store, but you also see that there are “better” choices – they’re bigger, have better picture quality, or connectivity features. If that better TV is only $100 more, you might purchase it because you have this gift money to use. However, if you don’t use or need those extra features, you just wasted $100.
To avoid this, always ask yourself whether or not you’d spend the money if it was money you’d earned and saved. If the answer is no, pass until you find a better deal.
Not Comparing Deals
If you have something very specific in mind, you should do some work ahead of time to see which stores are offering the best deals. You might be shopping in one store and think you’re picking up a great bargain when you see that the Keurig coffee maker is on sale for 50 percent off. If another store has it for $20 cheaper, though, you could have done better.
Browse advertisements ahead of time and decide where you’ll purchase each item. Take your smartphone with you when you shop. Before you make an impulse buy, check online to see if there are better deals out there. Taking that extra time is worth it, especially if you're saving up for something like a down payment.
Buying Clothes without Checking the Fit
A lot of clothes that go on sale during Boxing Week are ones that didn’t sell at full price. Often, there’s a reason for this. A skirt or sweater might look great on the rack, but once you actually try it on, you may realize that it’s a bit shorter than you’re comfortable with or the fabric is a bit scratchy. You don’t know this unless you try it on in the store.
Trying on clothes can be a hassle, but plan enough time to go through with it. You won’t make any purchases you regret if you do this.
Shopping with Friends
It’s fun to spend the day shopping with friends, but it’s not the best way to shop. If you have a clear list of things you want, shopping with a friend who’s just browsing can slow you down. You might not be able to get to all of the stores on your list. You may end up purchasing unnecessary items in a shop your friend chose.
Make your own plan for Boxing Week shopping. If a friend asks you to go shopping with her, take a rain check for a different time or go on a day when you’ve finished your own Boxing Week shopping.
Shopping on Boxing Day
Boxing Day certainly offers some great sales, but you’ll notice that, aside from doorbuster items, most retailers offer the same discounts throughout the week. When you shop on Boxing Day, you’ll face crowded parking lots and long lines.
Unless you see Boxing Day-only deals you want, wait until later in the week to go shopping. You’ll probably have an easier time while still getting some great deals.
Boxing Week offers you great opportunities to spend less on the things you want, but you have to be smart about the way you shop. Create a game plan for yourself, and you’ll be happier with the items you purchase.