Already dreaming about Boxing Day sales?
Consumer group Choice has released some Christmas shopping tips to help Australians get a better deal over the festive season.
“With many of us picking up last minute gifts or eyeing up the boxing days sales, there’s a few simple things you can do to save,” said Choice spokesperson Nicky Breen.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
No matter what you are buying it’s worth asking for a discount. Some products, like mattresses and luggage, can have huge mark-ups included in the recommended retail price.
In our recent mattress review Choice negotiated discounts on 28 of the 32 models tested, in one case knocking $2,600 of the purchase price.
Consider alternatives to the big brands
When it comes to big ticket items like household appliances, it can be tempting to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on well known brand names.
However a lesser known product may perform just as well.
Check out older models
You could be forgiven for thinking there’s a new model of television, smartphone or tablet every time you walk into a department store, but if your Christmas budget doesn’t stretch to the latest version, consider buying an older model instead.
There can be very little difference in features between a new product and the model it replaces but as stores try and roll out old stock, there can be a very big difference in price.
Don’t fall for the hard sell
When you head to the shops, you may find that some salespeople try to talk you into buying products or services you don’t actually want or need.
No matter how attractive an offer may seem or how persistent a retailer is, resist the hard sell.
To avoid making impulse purchases, it’s worth walking away for a few minutes to decide whether you really want the item and whether it fits your budget.
Avoid the shopping centre trap
Deliberately disorienting shoppers and channeling movements are just a couple of tricks that shopping centres use to get you spending more money once you’ve walked through the doors.
By creating an environment that’s more conducive to shopping, retailers increase the chances of you making an unplanned purchase. To avoid the shopping centre trap, make a list of what you want to buy and stick to it:
Know your refund rights
Complaints to the regulator around refund rights surged by almost 40% in 2017, demonstrating that there are still far too many shonky products on the shelves.
If you have purchased or been given an item which doesn’t do what you expect or isn’t of acceptable quality, retailers are obliged to either repair it, replace it or give you a refund.
However it’s important to remember that stores don't have to take something back if you simply change your mind.