Making the most of the post-Christmas sales

The hunt is on for big bargains come Boxing Day. See what’s on offer from your favourite retailers and save big.

For some, Boxing Day sales are more exciting than Christmas itself. Both festivities are joyful and happen once a year, yet post-Christmas sales bring the promise of a fresh start to the new year ahead with a new outfit or addition to your home décor.

Luckily, with online shopping, you no longer need to risk life and limb joining stampedes of shoppers at retail outlets; you can simply shop from the comfort of your couch (or bed!).

Getting prepared for the 26 December sale time is key. Fashion, footwear, homewares and electronics tend to be the most heavily discounted products to keep in mind in the lead up. Here’s how to be prepared before the sales are in full swing:

Best Boxing Day sales tips

Create a want list in advance

Been eyeing off a new barbeque, hair straightener, or games console? For items you’re set on snapping up at discounted prices, list them in a spreadsheet a week before the sales start. For easy price comparisons, include links in your spreadsheet to websites that sell the products you want.

For a speedier checkout on popular items that might sell out fast, add them to your wish list in readiness when logged into these websites. When the countdown is on, you can simply shift them to your cart to speed up the process. Most websites hold items in your cart for an hour or so before anyone else can snap them up.

Make a budget and stick to it

With so many bargains on offer, it’s easy to ‘shop until you drop’ but buying things you don’t need just because they’re cheap actually isn’t the best use of your pay packet.

Resist the urge to splurge by sticking to the items or themes in your spreadsheet. Retailers are looking to shift stock and will make anything look appealing. Just because an item is reduced from $199 to $29.95, it doesn’t mean you need it.

We all tend to be a little short on cash after Christmas, so set a limit on what you can safely spend on Boxing Day without getting into debt. Don’t buy the first thing you see; you may get what you want cheaper on another website.

Know when the sales start and finish

The timing of online sales can sometimes differ from in-store sales. Sometimes online sales start a little earlier and have different ‘online only’ offers, too.

Surf your favourite websites - or ones you know stock what you want - to see when they’ll be starting their sales. If it’s not obvious, sign up their mailing lists, where you often get the heads up.

Retailers rely on a sense of urgency to boost consumer spending. However, you may actually have at least 6 days to shop during the holiday discount period. Some Boxing Day sales run from the 26 Dec until 31 Dec, some even until the end of Jan.

How quickly you snap up items depends on what you’re buying. A saved wish list is especially important for fashion and footwear, where there might only be a small amount of stock in the size you need. For larger purchases, like a BBQ or dining setting, you can probably shop around a bit more.

Look to aggregated sites to see what’s on offer

Sites like Finder will list all the Boxing Day offers for you in one handy place. You can filter the information by category and brand and compare percentage discounts more easily, making it quick to decide where to shop for the best bargains suited to you.

Reduce your shipping costs

If you’re shopping from an international website, ShopMate is a parcel-forwarding service that lets you shop like you live in the USA and combine packages so you pay less for your ShopMate shipping costs.

Trending items you might want

Boxing Day sales are the time to score some of the hottest items of 2018, at a much lower price. Some of the most sought-after items this year include: