Tips to shop smart during the Boxing Day sales

Christmas may be over, but that doesn't mean you can rest with the Boxing Day sales.

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Christmas is a holiday for spending time with family and friends, gifting or giving presents and eating plenty of food. If you've recovered from the 24-hour long food coma, you may want to think about tackling some shopping.

Navigating Boxing Day sales can be a tricky business. From huge crowds to stores ruthlessly competing to outdo one another, it's easy for the day to feel like complete chaos.

Luckily, our shopping team has been through it all so you don't have to. Here's our top tips for a satisfying and stress-free Boxing Day experience.


1. Stay up-to date

If you are after a specific item that you know will be crazy popular, you need to know the moment it goes on sale. If you're shopping online, be aware that some sales will start the second the clock strikes 12.01am - or even start the day before! You need to know when to start shopping the Boxing Day sales and you don't want to be caught unaware of the deals that are happening.

You're in luck because we have a handy Boxing Day deals page that has all the sales listed that you could possibly ask for. Thanks us later.


2. Make your list the night before

if you trick yourself into thinking you'll be fine without a list and won't go over budget, we can assure you that it won't end up that way. You'd be surprised by how quickly you can convince yourself that you 'need' something you've never even thought about before (we're looking at you, Kmart).

Our advice is to plan in advance and make a beeline for your most coveted items. This way, you won't miss out on what you really want and you can keep an eye on how much you've spent before deciding whether to keep shopping or call it a day.


3. Shop online

Boxing Day is a public holiday, and after a long Christmas Day you’re probably not too keen to get out of bed. But you’re in luck, because you can still take advantage of the Boxing Day sales online. You can shop from your mobile or laptop from the comfort of your own bed because for some reason, shopping in your pyjamas is just so much more fun. Saves you having to stress about finding parking, waiting in long queues and dealing with the overcrowded shopping centre.

Check out sites like THE ICONIC and Amazon that make it easy to shop across a range of stores in one go, saving you the hassle of individually checking out sites for all your favourite brands.


4. Plan ahead for the New Year

Some people wonder why you need to go shopping on Boxing Day considering Christmas is done by that stage, but these people don’t understand how to plan like a pro. The Boxing Day sales are a great opportunity to think of the year ahead and score discounts at times when you need them. Birthdays coming up? Valentines gifts to buy? School equipment? It’s all there, all on sale.


5. Know your measurements

It's happened to the best of us... you order something online and when you try it on at home, it just doesn't fit right. Looking at the store's size guides and doing your research is crucial when shopping online. It can make or break a purchase and can make for a very unhappy Boxing Day. Boxing Day can be a time to experience a lot of emotions, so prepare to stress the least amount possible.


6. Ask for gift vouchers for Christmas

It’s last minute, sure, but now’s your chance to request something that will really help you out. It might seem rude or impersonal to request a gift voucher for Christmas, but some people actually prefer you to tell them what you want. It saves them the hassle of trying to guess what to get you AND it helps you with your Boxing Day shopping. Everyone is happy!


7. Don't fall into sales traps

It can be disturbingly easy to max out your credit card when you're convincing yourself that everything you buy is a bargain, but try and think logically. If there's an item that you've been wanting for a while and it's on sale, now is the time to get it. However, if you wouldn't buy the item at full price, there's a good chance that you don't really want it and you're just being seduced by the sale sticker. Remember, even a huge discount doesn't necessarily mean something is worth the price. Stay strong and know when to walk away.


8. Know the returns policy

Checking the returns policy before you shop is key, as this will help you make more effective purchasing decisions. If you're not 100% sure about an item, shopping at a store with cashback returns and free postage can take the pressure off. If you change your mind, you can send it back for free!

There's nothing worse than buying something, deciding to return it and realising that you can only get store credit and the return is going to cost you $15.

You can check out a list of stores with both free delivery and free returns here. And if you're not fussy about free delivery and free returns, at least check that the store offers returns at all. Because some just don't.


Things we can expect to see on sale

Every year at Boxing Day there are a few standard items we always see on sale.

  • Beauty gift packs always make their way to the sale shelves. You know those pretty boxes of hand cream sets and lipstick packs you always see in department stores in the lead up to Christmas? These inevitably end up in the bargain bin on 26 December. If you're in need of some new beauty products, you can find great deals by looking at the discounted gift packs.
  • You can usually find game console bundles on sale on Boxing Day too. Many stores will bundle up a bunch of games with a console to entice Christmas shoppers. Once Christmas shopping is done though, these bundles hit the sale section.
  • Other pieces with slashed prices include the laptops and TVs released in 2020. These are discounted to clear the way for the new models arriving in the new year. Also, seasonal furniture also ends up on sale so stores can clear the floor and introduce the new season stock.

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