I am a woman of few talents. No, no – don’t all rush to disagree! ‘Tis true! I can burp the alphabet (‘H’ is notoriously tricky). I can pin a man down using only my thighs (I won’t tell you how I discovered this). And, dear reader, I am fucking brilliant at sniffing out a bargain. Honestly, I’m dynamite. My bulging wardrobe will attest to this truth. I’m the Tim Wonnacott of the online shopping world, if you will (a little Bargain Hunt reference never hurt nobody). With that in mind, and because sharing is caring, I thought I’d bestow upon you the best practices of bagging bargain swag. It’s Christmas, after all, and the sales are rife. Ready, steady, BARGAIN HUNT!
1. Compile a list
Obvious? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. The online stores are endless. The promotional emails are endless. The voucher codes are endless. Your bank balance? Not so endless. (Unless it is, of course, in which case CONGRATS ON YOUR WEALTH!) Even if your list is as basic as ‘shearling aviator, mom jeans, mesh top’ (cool outfit, btw), it is absolutely crucial that you compile it. It’s all too easy to contract Sale Fever and find yourself, days later, neck deep in deliveries, questioning the impulse that drove you to buy a half price ski suit. You’ve never skied in your life! Is that even how you spell ‘skied’?! You wouldn’t know! YOU DON’T SKI. Bag the bits you really want and then tackle the miscellaneous.
2. Think long-term
We’re in the depths of winter, this much is true, but sunshine and short shorts are in our not-too-distant future. Think ahead, people! Are you going off on your jollies in a few months? How about snagging some swimwear! Spotted some shoes in the sale that you know your ma would love? Mother’s Day present, sorted! You’re only going to end up buying this stuff full price a couple of months down the line, so consider it when compiling that list of yours. (You’ve forgotten about the list already, haven’t you? HAVEN’T YOU?!)
3. Use these specialist search engines
Ditch Boxing Day shopping on Oxford Street (nightmarish) for shopping from your bed with your new bezzies: ShopStyle, Lyst and Polyvore. Consider these sites the Google of the shopping world. Simply enter the item you’re searching for (that shearling aviator, perhaps) and these nifty domains throw up hundreds of results from different online stores. Heavenly.
4. Check that it isn’t cheaper elsewhere
Fallen head over heels for a Reiss skirt? Ugh, same. Just about to enter your check-out deets? HOLD UP! Did you know that Reiss is stocked on ASOS, Selfridges, Very Exclusive and John Lewis? No? Oh. And did you know that brands usually offer an additional 10-20% off sale prices between Christmas and New Year’s? You didn’t? Well I’m bet you’re glad you got this far down the page, aren’t you! Before you hit Buy on that stellar shearling of yours, make sure it hasn’t been better discounted elsewhere. And don’t forget to give Voucher Codes a visit; promotional codes are as omnipresent as mince pies at this time of year.
5. Ditch postage costs
We’ve all been there: You’re about to drop £££££’s on an order and then you discover that the guzzle guts want to charge you £5 for delivery. You’re furious. The cheek! You close the tab before begrudgingly revisiting it hours later because you can’t stop thinking about that sodding shearling aviator. Well begrudge no more, my festive fiends, because you can bypass delivery.
Most sites have a minimum order amount that entails you to free Standard Delivery and that amount is usually between £50 and £100. If you’re dropping £90 on an order – and you’re being charged £5 for delivery – why not add something worth £10 to your basket, bag yourself free delivery (saving yourself a fiver) and then return the £10 item free of charge. Sound longwinded? It really isn’t. Pretty much every online outlet offers free returns via post or in-store. And sure, a fiver isn’t the end of the world, but you know what you can buy with a fiver? An entire yard of Jaffa Cakes! A YARD! Not to be scoffed at, my friend.
Fa la la la la, la la KER-CHING.