Getting amongst the crowds at the Boxing Day sales is almost as traditional as Christmas itself.
Boxing Day as a day-after-Christmas holiday started in the UK and its origins are debated. The most likely reason the holiday started as ‘boxing day’ was to honour servants and errand boys. Traditionally, the day after Christmas was the day they received their ‘Christmas box’ or extra money, plus had a day off to spend with family.
It’s fitting that the origins of Boxing Day are traced back to money, because modern day BD is all about the retail sales. Just when that started is also a matter of debate, but if you think about it, it makes sense that retailers would discount their wares the day after their busiest annual period. There is and was bound to be plenty of unsold stock they need to shift by way of a giant sale.
Of course, gifting at Christmas often gives us our fill of everything we could ever need, but not always. Sometimes when the Boxing Day sales roll around, we’re ready to roll out there and start boxing. Well, you get the idea.
PS – stay safe out there this year. Crowds are COVID’s friend, not yours.
How to get the most out of the Boxing Day sales
It’s good to know where the bargains are, but securing them is quite a different matter. Here are a few tips that should snag you a steal.
1. Have a list
Before you go rushing out to see what’s on sale, ask yourself, “what do I really need to buy?” Make a list and let that list be your guide. With a list in hand you will hopefully be less tempted to snap up a ‘bargain’, just because it’s there.
2. Get in early
The bargains go super-fast on Boxing Day, so wake up early. Yes, I know that can be quite a big ask after the festivities of Christmas the day before!
Know exactly what you want (see above) and be ready to line up first, or click to buy. This is especially true for big-ticket items like electronics and furniture. If you’re heading into the stores, go early to line up so you’re among the first in the door.
Take a sandwich, it feels like a very long wait so early in the morning. And, weird as it sounds, dress for a run. Once those doors open, people go completely bonkers and it’s a race to find the biggest sale items.
3. Sign up for newsletters
In advance of the Boxing Day sales, many retailers will offer special deals to existing customers via their newsletter – so be on their list! You’ll be the first to know when the sales begin, what’s on offer and maybe get an extra discount. You can always unsubscribe once you’ve finished shopping.
4. Check your impulses
It’s way too easy to overspend in the Boxing Day sales. Stick to your list.
If you absolutely can’t resist an impulse purchase, just make sure you at least pause a moment. Ideally, you’d pause for at least three days to make sure you really, truly want to buy. But that’s often not possible if you want to take advantage of what’s on sale on the day. Instead, ask yourself some key questions:
- Do I really need it?
- Do I really love it?
- Can I actually afford it?
- Would I still buy it if it was full price?
If you can answer yes to all of the above, go for it. If you can’t answer yes, it’s not a bargain.
5. Stay calm if you miss out
While the Boxing Day sales are good ones, keep in mind that sales happen all the time. If you miss out on something you really need a discount on (which, incidentally, should be all the things you buy ever), keep calm and save on. The next big sale is most likely just around the corner at the end of January.