How to bag a bargain in the Christmas and Boxing Day sales


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If your bank balance has survived the pre-Christmas retail frenzy and you still have your eye on something special, the Boxing Day sales can be a great time to bag a bargain.

But with the nation's total credit card balance predicted to hit $52.4 billion this December, following a few simple rules when you hit the sales can help you avoid a New Year financial hangover.

Here are's five top sales survival tips:

christmas sales

1. Plan your purchases

With the sales hype in overdrive as retailers look to shift stock, planning your purchases carefully before you head to the shops can help you avoid the temptation to make pricey impulse decisions. So, write a list and stay focused on getting a great price for the things you really need.

2. Spend the pre-season online

Although the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are behind us, don't assume that the best deals in the post-Christmas sales will be in-store. Surfing online sites before you pound the pavement to bricks and mortar retailers will give you a sense of the prices you should be paying. It can also pay off to go in armed with a competitor's price list to take advantage of any price matching programs.

3. Avoid multi-buy clutter

Just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's a great purchase. Multi-buys can be good value depending on what you're purchasing, but getting 50% off 100 scented candles is likely to leave your cupboard cluttered for the next 12 months.

4. Avoid buy now, pay later pain

Although post-pay services such as Afterpay are fast becoming one of the most popular payment methods, they are not the solution to a sales season purchasing frenzy. Pay with a debit card or even good old fashioned cash to avoid future financial pain.

5. Don't be afraid to haggle

Don't feel bad pushing retailers for the best price possible. The sales are on to encourage you to purchase so if you're in the market for a bargain you owe it to your bottom line to haggle.

  • Never shop unprepared. Know what price you can get elsewhere and get the store to match it.
  • Bundle for bigger discounts. If you're buying more than one product ask for an additional discount or get them to throw in something extra for free.
  • Be prepared to walk away. Ask what the best price is today and walk away if it's not what you wanted. They always follow!

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Tom Godfrey is head of media and consumer advocate at