I woke up this morning and saw a Facebook post from someone who had shopped the Edgars Red Hanger sale and got a pair of sneakers with 2 different sizes. I was horrified. Especially since I had shopped the sale and bought the same shoe. Fun fact- I had checked ALL my purchases except for that sneaker because I trusted the brand. Rookie mistake. Instantly I dove out of bed and started looking for my sneakers. Thankfully they matched. But this got me thinking about the sale itself. The environment was equal parts exciting and chaotic. There were people everywhere, the lines were long and I had an incident where I came home with jeans in the wrong size due to a mix-up on the cashier’s part.

The key to shopping sales is to put aside your emotions and think logically. Do NOT let anything or anyone sway you from a position of peace.

Here are a few tips for shopping a sale:

1. Ensure You’re Comfortable

This means your bladder is empty, you’re well-rested and you have already had a meal. I spent so long at the Red Hanger sale that I started to feel dizzy (and honestly I feel like that is why I never picked up on the jeans issue). Carry a snack if you need to but remember you want to ensure you are in optimal shape.

2. Do NOT Let Anyone Rush You

Whether it is a salesperson or a cranky child, do not let anyone rush you through this process. At the end of the day even if it is a sale, you’re still going to be paying money and you want to ensure that you’re getting the most value for your cash. If you have time to go through the store or the rack for a second time, do it. Few things upset me more than going home after a shopping trip bummed about missing something.

3. Make a List Beforehand

I keep a list on my phone of all items I intend to buy. That way when I go in-store and there’s a sale, I already have an idea of what I really want. This is a great way to prioritise your spending to ensure you don’t buy something that you don’t really need or may not actually want. Another great tip is to make a list of upcoming birthdays or Christmas presents that you need. That way you can get your gifts at a lower price.

4. Question Your Purchase

Will you use this? Where? How often? Asking these questions for each purchase helps to ensure that you’re actually buying things that you will use and preferably often. Sometimes we see the word “SALE” and get carried away. We buy things we wouldn’t usually. No judgement here. I am very guilty of this.

5. Come Up with a Strategy

Go really early or really late to avoid crowds. This means less people in the store and less of a hassle for parking. I say go really early or really late but honestly the best bet is that you get in early. The shelves would be neater, the shops will be emptier and you will be able to shop in a calmer manner. As an added bonus, if you take a friend with you, both of you can keep an eye out for good deals.

6. Set a Budget

I didn’t do this. God, I wish I had done this. Sales are great but credit card debt? Not so much. Set a budget beforehand so that you don’t run up a bill you can’t pay. Or a bill that you will be paying for months to come.

7. Check All Your Items

To avoid mix-ups like me and my jeans, check all of your items before you pay (and make sure you love all of them). Also check your items immediately after paying. If you can do this while still at the store or the mall, it’s better for you. It sucks to come home with all your great purchases only to find a flaw and than you need to trek back to the store. Worse if you shopped somewhere where sales items could not be returned.

Sales are exciting. By keeping a level head and following these tips, you can ensure that you get the best bargains without any stress. Do you have any secrets to shopping sales? Let me know below

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