How to save on Christmas shopping

With thousands of deals and discounts at our fingertips, no one should be paying full price for Christmas

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Women with shopping bags

For many of us, our approach to Christmas shopping follows the same pattern every year.

We start off with the best of intentions to chip away at our gift list, then hold off until Christmas is a week away.

It's at this point that we begin our mad dash to the local shops, elbowing people out of the way as we scramble desperately at the bottom of the bargain bin before clawing our way to the front of the queue.

The end result is a trolley full of mismatched gifts and a maxed-out credit card. Sherry anyone?

With the silly season still 10 weeks away, most Aussies are yet to give a thought to their Christmas shopping. But holding out until the eleventh hour to tick off your gift list can result in some serious budget blow-out.

In 2018, Aussies forked out a collective $25 billion over Christmas, with the average person spending $1,325 on gifts, alcohol, food and other assorted items.

Some Aussies also ended up with a post-Christmas debt hangover. Those who paid for Christmas on credit ended up with $1,863 each in holiday debt on average, while 1 in 4 (27%) took 12 months to pay it off.

So how can Aussie shoppers combat overspending during the silly season? Aside from sticking to a budget, the trick is to shop during sales season.

Women with shopping bags

In years gone by, it was the Boxing Day sales that were the ones to hold out for. But now, there are five major sales unfolding in the lead-up to December.

For the savvy shopper, this presents a golden opportunity to stock up on Christmas gifts and items at a fraction of the regular price. Discounts of up to 70% are being offered across fashion, homewares, electronics, gadgets, travel and more.

To help you navigate through the wild terrain of global sales events, here's a list of all the sales worth shopping in the lead-up to Christmas and how to get the best deal.

Pencil in the below dates to avoid missing out:

Vogue Online Shopping Night
Tuesday 22 October to Friday 25 October
Christmas comes early for fashion lovers during this 60-hour sale event. Here, you'll find leading fashion brands like THE ICONIC, Showpo, Nasty Gal and Tony Bianco discounted by up to 60%. Treat your sister, your friends and maybe even yourself.

Singles' Day
Monday 11 November
With its roots stemming from China, this sales event has morphed into the biggest shopping day of the year, both in Australia and across the globe. Prices are slashed across clothing, cosmetics, electronics and travel deals.

Click Frenzy
12 November
This online mega-sale runs for just 24 hours and gives shoppers access to thousands of deals across major retail brands.

Black Friday
Friday 29 November
Happening both in-store and online, Black Friday offers hundreds of deals across fashion, electronics and homewares.

Cyber Monday
Monday 2 December
If heading in-store isn't your thing (and you've left your sales shopping to the last minute), be sure to check out the deals on offer on Cyber Monday. Prices are slashed across gadgets, electronics, fashion, gifts and more.

Finder's tips for getting the best deal:

Make a list and check it twice
Sales can be synonymous with overspending. Being faced with hundreds of deals for a limited time can also be overwhelming if you don't know what you need. To avoid this, write up a list of everyone you need to buy for in the lead-up to the sales.

The super organised can even pick out the items they want to buy before the sale starts to save time on the day.

Compare prices
Smaller brands are often stocked by larger retailers at a cheaper price. Before purchasing a discounted item online, make sure it isn't being stocked elsewhere for less. Remember to factor in postage or shipping costs when comparing. These have a sneaky tendency to ambush you at the checkout and can make or break a purchase.

Online can be cheaper for first-time customers
Many retailers offer a 10–20% discount for first-time customers who sign up online with an email address. This is an easy way to get a further discount and you can always unsubscribe at a later date after making your purchase.

Price match
Some of Australia's major retailers have a price-match policy, meaning if you find the same item stocked elsewhere at a cheaper price they'll match it. Retailers who price-match include Bunnings, David Jones, JB Hi Fi and Flight Centre, to name a few.

In the meantime, you can check out our daily deals page for the latest coupons and discounts.

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