Remember the days when we waited with baited breath for our favourite stores to start their end of season sale?
I don’t know about you but I would make sure I was in town early to secure a parking space without queuing and then I would speed walk to the stores to start browsing in hope of getting my hands on the best bargains!
Do you remember the feelings of excitement about what you might find?
How about the satisfaction gained from finding an absolute bargain of a garment which will fit beautifully into the wardrobe?
Ooh, the memories! Seems that I loved shopping even back then!
But, do you know, I have realised that ‘shopping the sales’ doesn’t mean what it used to.
The high street no longer hosts just two end of season sales (one for Autumn/Winter and another for Spring/Summer). We knew where we were then! Now, more and more, as shops fight for our hard earned pennies, we see constant discounts and sales. Just yesterday, I counted a dozen emails in my inbox from my supposed “favourite” stores offering me discount codes of varying amounts. These were not necessarily my favourite stores, just brands I have ordered from sometime in the past.
The bombardment of discount codes and offers has made shopping the sales much more complicated. For example, there is one store in particular in which I buy for our kids, however, they run continuous discount incentives and therefore, I would never pay full price in there.
The turnover of stock in large stores is faster these days. We can purchase something one week only to find the same item discounted the following week as space is required for new stock. In my opinion, the impact of this has meant that when a ‘real’ end of season sale comes along, often it is old stock being hauled out of the stock room.
That said, it is not all bad for us shoppers. We have become savvy shoppers. As I mentioned, some stores offer year round discounts and we learn to take advantage of these.
Loyalty schemes are common place now whereas years ago, only the prestigious stores would offer such benefits.
Online shopping increases year on year and we can often receive exclusive online offers. However, whether we are taking advantage of year round discount, an end of season sale or an online offer, we do still need to consider what we are purchasing.
My advice is to avoid being swaying purely by price.
One of the most common statements I hear from Wardrobe Declutter clients is “I bought that because it was in the sale. I’ve never worn it”.
That is a high cost per wear. (cost of an item divided by number of times worn)
So, what can you do to ensure you make only well considered purchases? Here are my top tips:
- Targeted Approach – Before you head to the stores or go online, take a detailed look in your wardrobe to spot what you need. Set your budget. Make a list if it helps you to avoid impulse spending.
- Investment Vs Fashion – Use the sales to track down quality investment pieces. Avoid fashion pieces which you will wear for a short time. Brands that may normally be out of your budget may become affordable during a sale. Independent retailers can be great for investment pieces.
- Fitting Room Ease – If fitting rooms are available, use them! Occasionally, large stores close them in which case you must be strict with yourself; try on as soon as you are home and ensure you return items not required. Ensure you are dressed for the fitting rooms. Clothes which are easy to remove – maybe trousers instead of tights/skirt. If purchasing shoes, ensure the right socks/tights are with you.
- Go It Alone – This might sound a little harsh. But honestly, from experience, you need to focus so as to avoid rash purchases. So, leave little ones with a loved one and leave teenagers wherever teenagers hang out! Your trip will be quicker and more productive this way.
So, yes, do shop the sales but, as I say above, sales are so frequent these days it’s a good idea to adhere to these tips on every shopping trip.
Have your wits about you and don’t be tempted by the price tag alone.
Most importantly of course, do not buy anything you do not need and love.