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If, like many people, the Christmas season will leave a yawning hole in your bank account, you may now be wondering how to make the most of what is left in the impending New Year. Fortunately, the famous phenomenon of the January Sale offers a respite and an opportunity to find the bargain television/shoes/sofa which you now need (or had been hoping Santa would magically deliver). At the beginning of the year, many people have discovered they are well overspent from Christmas and scale back their consumer spending. The result? Many things go on sale! However, with many of us tightening our belts or woefully smashing open that ceramic piggy bank (only to find that the extremely heavy contents were just several hundred penny coins), this is not a time for grabbing the first SALE labelled item you find on the 1st of January. Here are a few tips for how to track down the best price for the items you really need, and where to go to avoid dodgy knock-off goods. With some proper advanced planning, you can get some great deals on gifts for upcoming occasions this year.
There are lots of great gifts that fall into the below categories. This is especially true if you organize a group gift and go in together with some others on a big-ticket item that is on a wedding gift registry. Paying attention now can also let you scoop up good prices on gifts specific to a couple or a friend, like Wu & Wu branded gifts. Now is the perfect time to sign up for discount newsletters from your favourite giftware vendors, such as the Lovely Little Gift Shop, so that you can pick up cute things throughout the year.
Now we would all love to save £100 on the latest tablet, camera or laptop, but it is wise to step back here, browse the market and even wait a few weeks or months if you can bear it, for the prices to drop further. That said, January and February are a great time to purchase a television, since new models are released at this time of year and the old ones are significantly reduced. As for the aforementioned items, wait until spring when new models are released. I would also advise buying from official websites and stores where items are under full warranty. This should always be checked to avoid future expenses.
If you can face the savage behaviour of a thousand women wrenching clothes of rails and jabbing you in the eyes at the Top Shop January sale, then go for it. You may find a few garments of interest. Quite often though, old stock is mixed in with the new so the prices aren’t always so great, so beware. Again if you can wait a couple of weeks, the furore will have ebbed away and further reductions added. This is when you can purchase things you really need rather than grabbing what Kate Moss wore on holiday two years ago. Online shopping is a less stressful option, but requires equal caution. Only buy from names you know and trust, unless you are unconcerned about the authenticity of a label. Clothing bargains can also become costly. Check the delivery costs and returns policy, as the risks of dissatisfaction with colour, fabric and size are all high. You can also try e-bay as you can choose the price you wish to pay, but check the seller-ratings and delivery costs.
This is another retail area where a bit of hanging on will pay dividends. January sales can see furniture prices drop throughout the month, so that by the end you may pay well under 50% the original price. Furniture bargains can be found year round. Keep an eye on the stores via their websites, and ask about ex-display items which often go for less than half the retail price. It’s also worth a good haggle, even in large stores. Other options not usually considered are auctions, charity shops and the freecycle scheme, where you may be fortunate enough to find furniture in good condition for little to no money.
Overall, it is worth spending a little extra time hunting a bargain. Check online using specific search requests if possible to save time and money, and also ensure an https:// encryption is in place for secure spending. Look out for extra charges which can boost the final price and always compare across the web. In stores, don’t be pressured by pushy salesmen to buy something you don’t need. You can walk away. Also beware the impulse buy on new items as prices will drop eventually. Finally, don’t be fooled by the big “savings” offered as the original price may never have been applied.
Do you have a plan to save on gift giving this year?