The festive season has ended and the pre- and post-Christmas sales are over. While many bricks and mortar stores are still offering “discounts”, are they really saving you money? Or have they bumped up their full prices so it just seems like you are getting a bargain?
There is no doubt that the retail industry exists to make money – and lots of it. It’s worth using a little know-how to play the same game and, hopefully, beat the big players at their own game!
How do you survive the post-Christmas sales blues, and make your hard earned money go further?
- Choose your moment – if you don’t need it right now, wait. That dress you love, which currently costs $250, will be on sale in a mere couple of months. There’s a risk that it may no longer be available, but patience can win out and if you aren’t willing to pay top dollar, you might just get lucky as long as you watch carefully for sales – some are day-only, so be astute.
- Haggle – don’t be embarrassed to ask if the displayed price is the best they can do. You’d be surprised how often there are “VIP” type discounts of up to 10% or more for certain goods – all you need to do is ask. If the answer is “no”, be prepared to walk away – sometimes the vendor is unable to comply with your request, but often they can. This writer actually worked for a “high end” fashion label – and to close a sale, we were instructed to be creative and could, at times, offer up to 30% discount. It’s worth asking.
- Shop online – not only is it convenient, you have a myriad of stores at your fingertips. You can easily do your research – find the products you really love, compare prices (but don’t forget to account for shipping costs and currency exchange rates), and explore stores and products you might not have easy access to in your local area. You will also save by not paying for fuel or parking fees! As long as you purchase from reputable dealers and pay via secure server, with some care, internet shopping is the way to go – and the way of the future.
- Loyalty programs – there are hundreds of loyalty programs from which to benefit. While most are limited to the store from which you make that purchase, not all are the same. For example; Oz web Rewards is a unique rewards portal in the Australian online shopping forum. With over seventy five participating merchant members, representing Australian small and medium online businesses, customer members can join for free and shop with any of these stores. Rewards are earned at a generous level over all stores and can be pooled to spend anywhere in the Oz web Rewards store – which showcases products from every merchant listed. Additionally, this company gives back on the customer’s behalf, donating to any participating charity or organisation at no cost to the customer. Everyone wins.
So with a little creativity and forethought, it’s not difficult to come out on top when you go shopping – even if the Christmas sales are over for another year.