How to grab a January bargain

Love them or loathe them, this year’s January sales are better than ever thanks to the credit crunch; stores have resorted to heavy discounting of up to 75 per cent to attract customers. So, how can you make the most of them and get your money’s worth?

Do your research

It helps if you have an idea of what you want to buy, to avoid falling into the trap of buying clothes you’ll never wear but bought because they were cheap. Cut pictures out of magazines or look on the internet and make a list. Key pieces or items you’ve long lusted after are much better options than hard-to-wear, on-season trends that will soon be out of fashion.

Go for items that are versatile, and it doesn’t matter what the fashion bloggers are saying – you know what suits you. Decide on a reasonable budget, because if you do end up overdoing it you don’t want to still be paying off the bill for clothes you hate come next Christmas.

Don’t buy before you try

You are not a hanger, so clothes won’t look the same on you as they do on the rail. Take into consideration things such as leg lengths and pay attention to fabrics. Will it catch easily and get pulled? Will it ride up or go out of shape? If it’s embellished, is the detail likely to come off?

Dry clean-only clothes are expensive in the long term, so check the care label for washing instructions. Also consider whether you have anything else in your wardrobe that will match it; if not, leave it. If you’re uncertain ask for a friend’s opinion, or that of another customer. Don’t ask a sales assistant: they’re paid to make you buy stuff, especially if they’re on commission.

How low can you go?

All damaged clothes should be clearly labelled as such. If not, you’re within your rights to ask for a goodwill discount – usually 10 per cent – which makes it non-refundable. Check seams for holes and hanging threads, and the garment itself for marks and faults. Missing buttons can be replaced: the spare button is often attached to the inside label.

Some shops offer student discount on top of sale discounts, so ask. Also bear in mind that chain stores often run additional discounts when you open a store card, so it may be worth having one to take advantage of the offer. You can then pay off the full balance before cancelling it.

These are just a few things to bear in mind - let us know if you've got any tips of your own. And remember: shopping should be fun, but nobody needs fluorescent-yellow hot pants – even if they are half price.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'