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Ready for the Christmas sales? It could cost £533…

Ready for the Christmas sales? It could cost £533…

Category: Money

Updated: 17/12/2015
First Published: 17/12/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Christmas may not even be here yet, but that doesn't stop people racing to get started on their sales shopping. In fact, research from American Express reveals that this week marks the start of sales shopping for many, but the cost could be eye-watering.

Bag a bargain – at a cost

The figures show that yesterday (16 December) marked the start of the sales shopping season for 44% of respondents, all of whom will be clamouring to get their hands on the biggest discounts before the big day. Heading to the high street will be the top choice for 54% of sales shoppers, but looking online comes a close second, with 51% admitting that they'll be firing up the laptop for a spot of bargain hunting – perhaps because 25% find the thought of sales shopping far too stressful.

However, just because they're shopping in the sales doesn't mean they'll be spending a measly amount, with the average shopper set to spend a whopping £533 each in the sales this year. And that's after the festivities have all been paid for! Even so, there could be method in the madness, as many (19%) are choosing to stock up on cut-price goodies for birthdays and wedding presents in the year ahead, while 16% are even getting a headstart on Christmas 2016.

Make the most of your sales shopping

The most popular items to buy in the sales are clothes (48%), followed by shoes (27%), DVDs/books/CDs (21%), beauty products (21%) and gadgets such as smartphones and tablets (18%). There are often some great deals to be found, too, so it could be a cost-effective way to get those much-have purchases, but as ever, the key is to spend wisely.

Not only do you need to try and not get carried away in the hype – just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a good deal! – and try to compare prices with other retailers before you take the plunge. This is a tactic employed by a growing number of people, with additional figures from Tiendeo showing that 52% of consumers surveyed will use their mobile devices as "consultation tools" when doing their shopping in a physical store, with many users going online to compare prices, look for coupons, and scout out other bargains.

Ideally you'll want to be using your savings or any disposable income to cover your sales expenditure (or even your Christmas money for those with generous friends and family), but there's still a way you can make that spending work harder for you – by using a cashback credit card! Putting your sales purchases on a cashback card will give you money for nothing, and as long as you make sure to pay the balance in full when the statement arrives, it's a win-win situation. So, are you ready for the sales?

What next?

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.