Boxing Day sales 2021: How to shop like a pro

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 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
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For people across the UK, Boxing Day sales have become an essential part of the festive period and a landmark event in the shopping calendar that, just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, sees prices slashed on everything from toys and clothing to big-budget technology.

Typically, shoppers queue outside stores around the country before sunrise, later toting armfuls of discounted products, while hundreds and thousands of people descend on central London.

Of course this year things might be different, with many people self-isolating due to the spread of the new coronavirus variant, omicron.

But you can still make the most of retailers offering deals online.

Here are The Independent’s top tips and tricks to making sure you buy the best products for the best price.

Set a budget

With so many deals on offer, it can easy to get swept along in the sales frenzy if you don’t set a spending limit.

While a product might be heavily discounted, it could still be out of your personal budget so to prevent going “off list”, work out what you can afford to spend beforehand and stick to it.

Set up online accounts beforehand

If you’re planning on doing your Boxing Day shopping online, it is a good idea to sign up for accounts with all the shops you might want to visit the big day.

This is especially vital for big e-commerce websites like Amazon where products are likely to sell out fast.

To make shopping easier and quicker, store your address and payment details too, and if you want next day delivery, check websites for membership options such as Amazon Prime or Asos Premier Delivery.

Get to know store opening times

If you are going to venture out to the shops - make sure you know what times they are opening, and whether there will be any crowd-control in place. This might mean having to queue outside for extended period of time to allow social distancing inside.

While the majority of retailers open at normal times, some operate a reduced schedule and others are notorious for opening their doors at the crack of dawn.

Customers are advised to check the retailer’s website to find out the opening and closing hours of their local stores.

Sign up to newsletters

Some stores will offer Boxing Day discounts and exclusive offers ahead of time to registered users, so signing up to newsletters in advance might just get you access to the best deals before anyone else.

Newsletters are also a great way to keep track of when sales start and any discount codes you might need.

Start staking social media

Make sure to follow all the brands you might want to shop at come Boxing Day on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to hear about discounts.

Downloading the apps of retailers can also come in handy for regular updates and exclusive offers.

Shop around

If you have your sights set on a particular product you should be prepared to shop around to ensure that you’re getting the best possible price.

This can be achieved by either doing a simple search under Google’s “Shopping” tab or by using a price comparison website such as My Supermarket, which lets you look at prices of items across different retailers.

It’s also a good idea to know the actual RRP of the product, so you know you’re not getting scammed. To find the original price of a product, use Price Spy or Camel Camel Camel.

Check refund policies

Whether you’ve regretted a purchase you made in the heat of the moment or unbox your item to discover it is faulty, you are protected by the Consumer Rights Act.

However, while the time limit for returns is typically 28 days, many retailers have different variations in their return policies so it is important to check each company’s guidelines before you buy.

To find out more about the best discounts in the Boxing Day sales visit The Independent's IndyBest section here.

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