The dos and don'ts of the Boxing Day and January sales: how to shop like a pro

Here’s how to bag to best Boxing Day and January sales bargains (and still keep your dignity). Yes, it's possible.

(Image credit: Wallsauce)

We’ve all seen the videos of manic shoppers fighting tooth and claw over flat screen TVs and Nespresso machines. It’s as if, come any sort of sale, all the usual shopping etiquette goes out of the window, and people lose their minds (and their money) in a crazy shopping frenzy. 

But this year is going to be different. This Boxing Day and January sales you will have a list and a guaranteed game plan, so you can really focus. To help you out with all your Boxing Day and January sales missions, here are our dos and don'ts for making the most of Boxing Day and January sales 2018.

Head over to our Boxing Day and January sales dedicated hub page for all of the very best deals.

Good luck out there...

Don’t: think Boxing Day and January sales deals just happen over two days

Boxing Day sales usually begin early (very early) on the 26th December, and it's the day known for the biggest sales of the season. The sales, however, do start earlier (we have news of some already); some start on the 23rd, others on Christmas Eve, and they'll last for about a week or so, and definitely past New Year's Day. In other words, keep your eyes peeled (or just keep popping back here) for great deals from now onwards.

See our deals page for the latest current offers.

Do: shop online for Boxing Day and January sales deals

Why face the crowds when almost all Boxing Day and January sales deals are available online? In fact, some retailers will be doing online-only deals. Plus, we've got loads of Boxing Day and January sales deals all in one place to make it super easy for you to nab a bargain.

Don’t: leave it to last minute

A wise man once said ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and while we're sure Benjamin Franklin wasn’t planning on his mantra ever being applied to the Boxing Day and January sales, we think it works. 

Make sure you prepare, people! Make a list of what you want to get in the sales now, so you don’t end up panic buying. Which leads us onto our next tip...

Do: create Boxing Day and January sales wish lists

Websites such as Amazon, Asos, Argos, B&Q and John Lewis let you set up a wish list where you can add all the things you want to buy. Rather than trawling through the entire site you can click on your list and immediately see if the prices have dropped. If you leave deals languishing in your basket, some retailers will even offer you further discounts on them in an attempt to get you to complete your purchase.

Do: set up online accounts ahead of Boxing Day and January sales

Prepare yourself by setting up online accounts with stores you know you're going to be shopping with come the big day. This will save you precious time at the checkout so you can get onto buying the next bargain. In some cases, setting up an account with a retailer may well mean an earlier, or bigger discount.  

Do: compare multiple deals

We know it’s easy to get excited about what appears to be an amazing deal, but make sure you shop around a bit first before buying. 

Don't: just take our word for it

Many products' prices yoyo frequently, so checking the price history of what you're planning to buy on or PriceSpy will tell you whether the savings are real or illusory. These clever and handy sites show you whether a price is likely to re-occur, so you can allocate your budget to something that is more rarely discounted during Boxing Day and January sales, if you prefer.

Do: check social media

Make sure you’re following all the brands you might want to shop at come the Boxing Day and January sales on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to hear about offers or further discounts.

Too much like hard work? Follow us, Real Homes, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram instead, as we will be updating all our social feeds with the top deals throughout the sale. 

Do: check Boxing Day and January sales returns policies

Just in case you end up regretting buying that leopard print velvet loveseat when you were deep in hole during the early hours of Boxing Day and New Year's Day morning, double-check what the retailers' returns policy are for Boxing Day and January sales deals before you buy. 

Do: shop safely on Boxing Day and January sales

Just as you would usually, ensure you're shopping securely. Paying by credit card should give you more protection than paying by debit card. If you pay with PayPal or another third party payment service you may not be eligible for these payment protections.

Do: have a back up plan

No one knows yet what's going to be in the  Boxing Day and January sales, so it's best to always have a back up plan. So, if that Made sofa you've had your eye on since forever doesn't make it into the sales, you can opt for a John Lewis look-alike. You'll thank yourself later, and you won't be let down. Win win!

Do: find more amazing Boxing Day and January sales deals

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.