January Sales guide 2019
We've got a whole load of savvy shopping tips as well as a rundown of the best sales out there this January! Get scrollin' to bag the best bargains.
Christmas is well and truly behind us (sad times) but the festive spirit is still in full swing (yaaaas). Everyone is looking forward to getting back to seeing their mates at uni and pretending to forget about exams and finding a new house – sorry!
The shopping ninjas among you will have saved up for the January sales or may have been given some dosh by your nan to spend on "something nice for yourself".
Sales are a great time to revamp your wardrobe or get your hands on some much-needed household items. Just make sure you still have enough to eat for the next month once you're done!
We've come up with some tips and tricks to help you make the most of the sales this January. If you reckon you're already a savvy enough shopper, you might want to head straight down to our list of this year's best January sales!
Top tips to nail the sales
Make a good old shopping list
You need to know what you want to buy before you shop.
Make a mental note of what you got for Christmas and then decide whether you need anything else. If your pressies were pretty spot on this year, you might want to hold off on the sales and save your money.
But, if your presents were a bit naff, you might fancy a little treat or two!
The sales are also a great time to buy birthday presents for your nearest and dearest. If you were planning on buying your mum a new purse for her birthday, why not have a gander at the ones in the sale?
Set yourself a budget
We can sense your eyeroll from behind our screens. But this tip is probably the most important!
If you want to save money when shopping in the sales, make sure you set yourself a budget. And, of course, do actually try to stick to it.
A good way of sticking to spending a set amount is giving yourself an incentive. Maybe you're saving up for a holiday or a nicer place to live? Keep that in mind when you're about to break your budget by £20...
Don’t 'trade up'
This is a rookie sales item error!
Imagine there's a pair of speakers you want that would be perfect for all those house parties you're planning on throwing when you get back to uni, but alas, they’re not on offer. The newer and slightly snazzier model is, but it's still more expensive than the original.
Don't fall for it! Go for the cheaper version even if it's not on offer, unless you truly think the traded up model is the best thing since sliced bread (spoiler: it probably isn't!).
Beware of window-shopping
If your eyes are often bigger than your stomach (or wallet), you might want to sit the sales out this time around!
You might tell yourself that you fancy “window shopping”, but trust us – the bargains are very hard to avoid once you're in the thick of it and already have three Family Guy boxsets in your hands.
It might be worth steering clear of the shops if you think you can’t avoid splashing the cash. The summer sales will be here before you know it!
Avoid impulse buys
Saying something along the lines of “oh wow, that fluorescent orange pair of chinos that I absolutely do not need is 90% off!” is probably a good sign that it's time to step away from the sales…
Stick to your list — don't be tempted by prices alone or buy things for the sake of it. You'll only end up cluttering your student digs anyway!
Double check the price
Even if something is a whopping 90% off, that doesn't mean it's reasonably priced.
Don't give into sales mania: come back to your senses and work out how much you're actually saving!
The luxury pair of socks you're looking at may still be £100. That's almost as much as the average student pays for rent per week!
Use your student discount
It’s always worth whipping out the plastic and asking. What’s the worst that can happen?
Shop around and compare prices
We're probably teaching you to suck eggs here, but there's no harm in a gentle reminder!
Go to at least one or two other shops that sell the same thing to compare prices, especially if you're buying gadgets.
And don't forget to use your phone to check the price online as well! Price comparison websites like Idealo are super handy for checking which retailers (both high street and online) offer the best deals.
Disclaimer: not every store is included on Idealo but it is a useful tool for uncovering deals on lesser-known websites, and for giving an indication of how low prices can be.
Which brings us to our next point...
It's easier to shop around and compare prices online than it is to physically go to the shops.
Not only that, but you can save yourself time (and hassle) by avoiding the huge sales queues. Plus, you'll save money on transport!
Check out our handy list of online sales at the bottom of this page to get started!
Take your sweet time
You have time on your side. Most sales last until the end of January, and some items on sale may not even go back up in price!
If your bank account is feeling a little bruised after the Christmas crunch, give it a few weeks until prices have been further reduced.
In fact, the longer you wait, the greater your chances will be of bagging a bargain! Shops generally slash prices towards the end of the sales to boost their chance of getting rid of unsold items.
Shop out of season
If you consider yourself a bit of a fashion guru, you might already know what the next trend is. Also, think of the summer!
The January sales are a great time to gear up for the hotter months of the year, so if you do see something that takes your fancy that's slightly out of season, don't let that put you off. Bikinis go for so much less in January!
Know when to go home
It's the end of the day and you still haven't found anything. Our advice: just head home empty-handed. Your bank account will be grateful for the rest, we promise.
Don’t just pick up something for the sake of it. You’ll regret it when you get home!
Can you get a refund?
Double-check whether the shop where you made your purchase offers refunds for items bought on sale that aren't faulty.
By law, shops have to offer refunds for items that are faulty, not fit for purpose or incorrectly advertised all year round, whether bought during the sales or not.
Most shops also offer refunds for items that you no longer want up to a month after purchase as a gesture of goodwill, but they do not always extend this policy to items bought during the sales.
If you're unsure whether you actually want something or you haven't got time to try it on, make sure the retailer offers refunds for sales items before you buy it. And if your heart's only half in it, you could probably do without it!
Give our consumer rights guide a read if you're unsure whether you would qualify for a refund.
Be a happy shopper
This should go without saying but always make sure you are polite to other shoppers and staff.
We know it can be frustrating when the shops are rammed and clothes are strewn all over the place. But no pair of trainers is worth elbowing someone in the face for!
50+ Top January Sales
|House of Fraser||50%|
|Pretty Little Thing||60%|
|& Other Stories||40%|
You can also look through all of the sales and our current deals on offer in the student deals section of the site.
Didn't have time to try on those jeans and, whoops, they don't fit? If it's too late to return them, check out the best places to sell your clothes online!