How to make the most of this year’s sales season
Don't miss out on a bargain but don't spend too much on stuff you don't want either. Plan ahead and shop smart.
Excited for sales season? We don't blame you. From Click Frenzy and Black Friday through to Boxing Day and New Year sales, there are plenty of chances to grab a bargain.
But, it can be a bit of a manic rush when sales hit and it's all too easy to miss out on a bargain (or even worse, overspend on stuff you don't actually want).
So to give you a helping hand, we've partnered with American Express to bring you some expert tips on how to get the most out of this sales season. Read on savvy shoppers!
Add major sales events to your calendar
Forgetting about a sale at the last minute can be heartbreaking when you've got your eye on something, but it's easy enough to avoid.
Just add sales events to your calendar and set a reminder. We've even done the hard work for you by listing all the major Australian sales events in 2021 right here.
Just scroll down to the sale you're interested in and use the icon to add it to your calendar. It works across Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook. You're welcome.
Make a list of items you really want
It's all too easy to get a wandering eye when you're browsing sales, so make a list of everything you really want before sales day arrives – and be specific.
That means doing all your research before sale day. Which vacuum is the one you really want? Which TV has the best features? Is the newer camera model worth the extra cash?
You should settle on which exact products you're looking for so you don't have to spend time comparing on the actual day.
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Consider a credit card
If a sale falls out of sync with pay day, a lack of cash flow might stop you from buying something you've been after for a while. But it doesn't have to.
Using a credit card can help you get what you want before payday and if you pay the balance off before it's due, you might not get charged any interest either.
For example, the Low Rate Credit Card from American Express® has a $0 p.a. annual fee and gives members an interest-free period of up to 55 days to pay for any purchases, as long as they pay the full closing balance of their regular statement. That means you can buy items when they're on discount, then pay them off on pay day. If you can't pay the balance off during the interest-free period, the card comes with a 8.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases, which is lower than the national average of 19.94% p.a. (according to the Reserve Bank of Australia).
The Low Rate Credit Card also comes with purchase and refund protection. That means you might be able to get your money back if an item you buy is stolen or broken with 90 days of purchase, or if the store refuses to refund you for an item within 90 days of purchase. Terms and conditions do apply though - you can check them out here.
Pay off your purchase in instalments
If you've got your heart set on a higher value item, you might have to spread the cost over a longer period. After all, you could score hundreds of dollars off a high-value item if you buy it on sale, rather than waiting until you've saved up and it just happens to be back at full price.
Thankfully, there are also plenty of options to do that, including buy now pay later providers and credit card instalment plans.
For example, American Express 'Plan It' lets American Express cardholders pay off a purchase or purchases in monthly instalments, with 0% p.a. interest. There is a monthly fee for this service, although if you're looking to try it out you can take advantage of American Express' current offer of $0 fees for 3-month plans created by 28 February 2022. T&Cs will apply.
Just spend on your American Express Card as usual and when you get your next statement, choose a portion of the balance to pay off in instalments with Plan It. You can also see what your instalment payments would be with the Plan It Calculator.
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Set a sales budget
Whether you want to pay for everything up-front or you're going to put it on your credit card, it's always best to set a budget before you dive in.
The last thing you want to do is overindulge and find yourself struggling to repay bills for the next few months. Remember, although most retailers do offer refunds, they're not legally obligated to unless there's something faulty with the item.
Get a browser extension that scans for discounts
Really, this one is a year-round tip but I love spruiking it at any opportunity I get. Download a browser extension that automatically scans for discounts and you'll save money without putting in any time or effort.
I use Honey, which can also show you a price chart so you can see if this latest sale is a good one, or if there has been a bigger price drop at a different time. You don't have to do any of the leg work but you could find yourself saving money in the background, so why wouldn't you?
Shop as normal with your American Express Card then choose to pay a portion of your bill in equal monthly instalments with American Express Plan It. T&Cs apply.