How to shop — and survive — the mid-year sales

It’s sale time!  But before you grab a bargain, you need to read this

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WHAT every woman loves more than anything is a great bargain.  I certainly do, but what spoils the thrill of the chase is the aggressive attitude that seems to be part and parcel of the mid-year, end-of-season and Boxing Day sales.

Unfortunately, sales time brings the worst out in many people as they put on their battle face and bare their teeth in a bid to bag a bargain. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

It’s every man – or woman – for himself! Everyone seems to forget their manners as they shop with wild abandon. They push their way to pole position at the racks of dresses and tables of tops, or snatch the last pair of size 41 Louboutins right out of your hands! They are like vultures circling to pick at the carcass of the sales table, competing in a game where only the fierce and fast survive!

Me? I like to play the long game. I wait patiently for a week or two before I make my move. The carcass might be well and truly picked over and I might be left with less, but don’t all good things come to those who wait?

OK enough of all the bad puns. But before you head into battle, ponder these words of wisdom. Take it from this seasoned professional. I’ve survived to tell the tale!

1: KNOW WHAT’S REALLY A BARGAIN

Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Remember that it’s been marked down for a reason! An item of clothing is a great price only if you wear it. So before hitting the sales, make a list of what you need to fill those gaps in your wardrobe. Think about how an item will fit in with your look now. But, more importantly, for next season.

2: DRESS FOR ACTION

Wear clothes that are comfortable and easy to get into and out of, and shoes that slip on. And don’t forget a little make-up. You might be preparing to do battle, but that’s no excuse not to look good while engaging in warfare!

3: REMEMBER THESE RULES

Sales time is a great opportunity to stock up on the more expensive essential classics such as coats, suits, heels or a leather handbag. And what every woman needs are those everyday basics such as underwear, T-shirts and jeans. Don’t be a slave to the hot new trends; know what you like and what works for you.

4: HIT YOUR PAUSE BUTTON

Before heading to the cash register, divide your would-be sales purchases in two. Don’t compromise on cut or colour. Finally, ask yourself: Do I need to have it altered? Does it look great on me? Is this a colour I feel comfortable in? Will it work back with three other things in my wardrobe? Will I wear it?

5: TIME IT RIGHT

To get the best selection you’ll need to move quickly. The mid-year sales are on now, so grab your list. Be prepared for big crowds, rude aggressive people and next to no sales service. (Well, it’s not that there’s no service; the shop assistants probably see the hordes coming and take cover!) However, if you can’t cope with the crowds and you’re prepared to wait for a few weeks, you’ll be repaid with even bigger discounts, but you will have less choice. But sometimes that’s not a bad thing.

6: UNDERSTAND THE STORE AND ONLINE E-TAILER POLICIES

If you need to take something home before deciding if you really want it, make sure you know the store’s return policy with sale items. And the same applies for buying online. Most e-tailers and online stores have great return policies. But read the fine print in regard to sales items. “On sale” often means “final sale”.

Happy hunting and I hope you bag a bargain! And a final word of warning: Don’t mess with a woman and her Louboutins!!!

How do you shop the sales? What has been you best bargain? What are the secrets to your success? Would love to hear from you? Ever stylishly yours …

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