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There's no denying that you can save some big bucks by shopping on deal days like Boxing Day and Black Friday. That said, it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you're hitting stores in person rather than shopping online.
No matter how you choose to shop, we're making it easy to stay on top of your spending this holiday season with simple tips and tricks to handle deal days like a pro.
Sign up for retailer emails
First things first, if you are a loyal brand advocate to a certain store, get on their email list. Yes it can be annoying to receive regular promotional email, but that’s usually where brands will advertise upcoming deals and sales ahead of time to reward their most loyal shoppers.
If you have a lot of stores you love, to you want to avoid those pesky emails, try a site like Milled which allows you to follow your favourite retailers and see upcoming deals without the inbox clutter.
Buy costly items when they are more likely to go on sale
Timing is really everything when it comes to shopping, as certain items will be on sale at specific times of the year.
For instance, Black Friday generally offers better deals on winter gear. Summer clearance usually goes on sale in June and July and if you are shopping for new appliances or electronics, December and January are your best bet.
Make a shopping list
Once you know when to shop, tune into what you actually need by sticking with a list of must-haves, rather than impulse buying the "wants."
Sales can have the tendency to put our body into fight or flight mode, increasing our stress hormones and making us extra alert. Pair that with the feeling of urgency and the fear of missing out and it can be a perfect storm for buying 8 pounds of charcoal face masks you didn’t know you needed. Making a list so you stay focussed on what you are hoping to buy.
Compare prices to find the best deals
Once you have a list, it's time to make sure that you are actually getting the best deal possible. Using a price comparison site or app like PriceGrabber can help.
You'll want to check the fine print on your credit card too, as some offer sale price protection and will refund you the difference if a product you buy is marked down further within a certain time frame.
Speed up the checkout process
Many retailers now allow shoppers to create online accounts for speedy checkouts. Ahead of sale shopping, it may be worth creating accounts for your favourite brands and saving your credit card details on site to speed up the checkout process — which is always important for those big blowout sale days.
Join the waitlist
If you are shopping on Amazon and missed out on a Lighting Deals, you can always join the waitlist to receive a back in stock notification. The same goes for other online shopping sites when the option is available.
Loading your wish lists onto sites like CamelCamelCamel can even help you track the price of an item on Amazon and let you know if it goes on sale. This is helpful in general, but also for navigating if the item is truly marked down or not as it will show you a price history.
Put your checkout cart to work
If you fancy a specific item, leave it in your cart. Retailers sometimes have incentives to encourage shoppers to complete a purchase. This hack is great for everyday purchases, but wont necessarily work on deal days.
You can also try the opposite approach by going incognito. If you frequent a website and they know you will buy from them despite the price, you could be missing out on incentives. So clear your cookies and operate on incognito mode or through a VPN to see if there are any hidden deals you may be missing out on.
So what are you waiting for? Get on those email lists, clear your cookies and get better at deal days.