Sale shopping in lockdown

Sale 650 X 300Like so many parts of our lives, shopping has gone virtual. While on one hand this means we cannot physically go to shops and see or touch the products, on the other it means no queues, no crowds and no commute.

Spotting an online bargain really isn’t different from shopping in the real world. Just follow these pointers below to make sure that you get the best from the online shopping.

• Know what you need. Decide what you want and write a list, so you don’t buy on impulse. If you didn’t ever think you needed it before you saw it at a vastly reduced price, then chances are that you won’t use it. You can easily compare prices at different stores to get the best bargain.

Have a good think about all the things you’re going to need to buy in 2021; perhaps birthday presents and cards for your family and friends? Stationery? New things for your home? Clothes? Shop for those items now and use them – and save money – throughout the year.

• Know this is the cheapest price for the item you want. The beauty of shopping online is that it is very easy to compare prices from different retailers, so put something in your basket, but before you complete the purchase, shop around. Some retailers will even offer you a discount on the items in your basket that you haven’t bought, as a way to tempt you to buy from them.

• Know the delivery charge. This charge can quickly mount up. Don’t fall into the trap of increasing your spend to get free delivery though, because if you’re buying things you don’t need, it’s still a waste of your hard-earned money. Some retailers allow you to click and collect – where you can go and pick up your items from their store for free at quiet times, but this will need to be at a store local to you.

• Know your budget. Make sure you know beforehand how much you’re willing and able to spend – and stick to it. This will help you to not get swept up in the atmosphere of sales shopping online, where you literally have hundreds of shops at your fingertips. Even if you do save hundreds of pounds on the normal retail price, if you’re spending money that you can’t afford to, you are likely to regret it later.

• Know your Rights. Double check the retailer's returns policy for sale items before you buy. You can only return non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund if the retailer has a returns policy (which most shops do, but they’re not required to by law) and they may have different arrangements for sale items. If what you've bought is faulty, then you're entitled to a refund. Find out more about how to return faulty sale items here.

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