The after Christmas and January sales are one of my favourite times of year for shopping! Over the years I have become quite good at getting the deals I want for a good price by thinking smart and budgeting well. I was given a challenge by VoucherCodes.co.uk to navigate the high street sales with £80 and to document my experience, while sharing my sale shopping tips and tricks with you!
I think sale shopping is a really good way to stock up on trends for the coming season. Usually the items that hit the sales are from the previous season, so this year there were a lot of Spring/Summer pieces at discounted prices, so I got a few of them for Spring next year, as pastels are always on trend during the warmer months.
Sometimes you can get a great deal on current trends as well, so getting discounted pieces that you want to wear right away is always a bonus. I think sale time is great for both current and coming seasons, I wouldn’t limit it to just one! I tend to find that classic items don’t go in the sale that often, it’s usually fast fashion or trendy pieces that do, so these are what you end up buying (I don’t really count it as a time to shop for classics). I’m ok spending more money on investment classic pieces anyway as I know they will last me, so it creates a good balance; trendy fast fashion pieces for a fraction of the price and classic investment pieces for more money.
One of the main things I do before Christmas is go online to my favourite stores, like Topshop, Zara, ASOS etc and check out some of the items I love, but wouldn’t want to pay full price for. I then make note of these items and hope that they stay in stock for when the sales start! The best thing about this method is that when the sale does start, you just type in the item code or name and it will take you straight to it so you don’t need to waste time searching (or keep the page open in a tab for a few days and refresh it). Most companies will send you notification of when their sales will start (Zara does this and it’s midnight of Christmas day), while others will just email you when their sales have already begun.
To ensure I get what I want before it’s sold out, I usually wait up until midnight and go on the websites, as I find the sales usually start just after 12am online. I did this with Zara and managed to scoop up my black faux leather top for £19.99 instead of £24.99, which I love! I hadn’t wanted to pay full price for it, so I am glad I got it when I did as it sold out soon after. I did the same with the Topshop sale, I got online as soon as the sale happened and snapped up this lovely burgundy body warmer/gilet for only £25 and its retail price was £55! You can make some amazing savings by being quick and you get the good stuff as well!
I did a bit of both online shopping and high street shopping, to compare which would be better. I didn’t fancy going out when the sales had just started though as I generally find the shops to be cramped and packed out with people, the clothes end up all over the floor and it’s just not a very nice environment to be around, it’s exhausting. I waited about a week or so for the buzz to relax and I managed to snap up some amazing deals!
Generally, the best stuff will be gone, but you can find some great quirky pieces that you wouldn’t want to pay full price for. I managed to get this lilac blazer and the purple blazer for only £7 each instead of £29.99! That’s an incredible deal as I’m definitely going to wear these in the Spring and Summer as I love pastels! I also got this gorgeous orange and tan flat envelope bag for only £7 instead of £12.99 and I love it! Another thing I bought was a turquoise blazer, also from H&M, for only £10 instead of £29.99. I essentially got 3 gorgeous blazers for £24 instead of almost £90, how amazing is that? The last thing I bought was a beautiful purple crystal necklace with feathers from River Island for only £5 instead of £12, so I made some incredible savings during my sale shopping!
My experiences with sale shopping are usually full of excitement at the deals I am getting, but I always remember to keep a level head. I think to myself, just because things are cheap and in the sale, it doesn’t mean that I have to buy them. What I used to do a long time ago was just spend loads of money because the items were cheap and a great deal, but I never ended up wearing the pieces, so essentially it wasn’t a great deal at all and just a waste of money. Money that I could have saved up and put towards something I really loved. So I always make sure that I really like the item and know that I would definitely wear or use it. If I wont wear it then I usually put it back and don’t buy it. This method saves me a lot of time and money actually! I call it rational thinking!
If I were to compare both the online shopping and high street shopping during the January sales, I have pros and cons for both. Online is much easier because you never have to leave your home and lug heavy bags around town with you, you can just click the mouse for your exercise, but you do have to wait a few days for the items to be delivered and you also run the risk of the clothes not fitting you or not being as you expected them to be in person. This is why shopping on the high street is easier as you can see the clothes in person and try them on to make sure they are what you wanted. You also get the added bonus of coming across something you love which you might not have seen online. The downfall though is the busy shops and general mess the layout of the store can be in if it’s not very well organised. So both options have good and bad sides to them.
I also find that if you wait about a week or so after the sales have started, the clothes start dropping in price again. So something that may have originally had 30% off, will get knocked down to 50% off and then after more time possibly 75% off etc. These are usually the pieces which nobody is buying or the unpopular items which aren’t the majority of everyone’s style. If there is something you love and want I wouldn’t recommend waiting as it will probably sell out before dropping in price again! You have to be smart! But you can definitely get some extra discounted pieces which are nice too!
On a side note and slightly over budget, I also got this floral blazer from Topshop for £30 instead of £55! I have been in love with it online for many many months but never thought it justified its retail price, so I was excited to see it go in the sale! I plan on wearing it a lot during the Spring and Summer months as florals are also a trend that never go out of fashion during the warm weather! So how do you navigate the sales?