Hope you all had a very Happy and Merry Christmas! Is it time to rest, stay warm and eat the leftovers, or time to go shopping_
I remember the first time I was in the UK for Christmas. The pound was at an all time low and I had invited my friends over from France so they could enjoy the bargains. I had been living there for a while already so I knew which shops were discounting heavily, and which ones had interesting special offers.
That year, we spent the day in Guildford, Surrey. The town is small, there are only two commercial streets, but you can find many good brands, from H&M to the Gap, Boots or Ecco. We found many bargains, there were £1 items at H&M, I bought a pair of shorts and a few t-shirts at that price and couldn’t believe it. We also hit The Body Shop that put half price discounts on all its Christmas baskets, the perfect gift for family members and friends that you didn’t get a chance to see on Christmas day.
The next year, we thought we would do things big and hit Oxford Street in London. If the press was to believe, that day, around one million people had the same idea. It was not a brilliant one. The stops were packed with crazy people fighting over the last item, you had to queue for half an hour to try a clothe on, and another 20 minutes to pay at the cashier. Never. Again.
While I do not particularly enjoy shopping (I get hot in the shop, tired of walking slowly because people are slowing me down, and generally annoyed with crowds), I always enjoy a bargain. So now I try to shop online, unless there is something I really want and it is in a nearby shop.
My recommendation if you want to go shopping for clothes is to go a few weeks before, and try on what you like. The shops will not be that full and it should be way more pleasant. If the salesperson is nice, you may even ask they keep your item until the sale, although most will say no. Then on Boxing Day, you can go back to the shop and buy the item, knowing it already fits you well.
Another way to save time and avoid the crowd altogether is simply shopping online. For clothes I would suggest you still try the item on before Christmas, then write down the reference, size and price (because sometimes a £39.99 item will then be marked as a £79.99 on sale for £39.99!) and order it from home.
Remember, a bargain is only a bargain if you will use it. Buying a top you will wear once, even on sales, is not a good deal. Once you get back home, try it on again, mix and match with your clothes, and return it if need be.
So, will you be going out on Boxing Day to shop for bargains? I won’t. Instead I’ll go to Miami in January and try to take advantage of the last days of sales. The dollar is pretty weak anyway so it should be good. I am making a list with the things I want to buy, and plan on sticking to the list and avoid impulse buys. It is much harder to return an item when the store is two countries away.