Top Ten Tips: Be smart and follow these tips when you go to the sales

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JUST as Christmas advertising now seems to begin in March the traditional January sales are striding backwards across the calendar.

As a way to beat the retail slump many department stores begin January sales in December and others run special short sales as early as November.

As we edge into sales season Susan Reid, Sales Director (North) for Debenhams offers ten tips for getting the best bargains – and for making sure you end up with you really want – rather than a bargain for the sake of it.

1 Spend some time in your wardrobe

It may sound simple but when was the last time you really looked through your wardrobe? Think about what you need and what you don’t need. and again? If it’s a great black blazer look for an updated version with a better cut. And finally, what still has tags on? Avoid impulse buys.

2 Do your research:

Speak to staff in store and make sure you know when sales start or if pre-sale previews are happening.

3 Beat the rush:

Use multi-channel offerings to your advantage. It’s worthwhile signing up to e-newsletters that will alert you with sale information and special online deals. Facebook and Twitter are also a great way of keeping up-to-date with news and offers.

4 Think ahead

Investment is key when it comes to sales. It is the perfect time to update your wardrobe with investment buys. Great coats, cashmere, evening dresses, handbags and seasonal items in classic styles are key pieces with a heavy markdown in sales.

5 Financial planning

Plan ahead and set yourself a limit. This will help you to buy wisely and hopefully not return with lots of items you don’t need, but simply bought as they were reduced.

6 Use in store services

Personal shoppers aren’t just for the rich and famous. If you are planning a big spree make use of services such as in store personal shoppers. You can liaise with them in advance, get them to pre-select items based on your wish list and try them on in the personal shopping suite. Experts will be on hand to advise you on flattering cuts, shapes and colours.

7 Stick to basics

Invest in timeless staples and you will never regret a sale purchase. You will not only update your wardrobe with wearable pieces but also ensure you can wear them again and again.

8 Feel the love

Only buy something if you love it. Don’t be swayed to pay just because it has a big discount sticker on it. The thing to ask is – would I buy this at full price? If the answer is no just walk away.

9 Dress for comfort

To make the most of your shopping experience start early and dress comfy. If you are walking around shops all day the last thing you need is sore feet. .

10 Don’t be a slave to trends

Don’t let price push you into buying a heavily trend-driven piece that won’t suit or be fashionable in a few months. Focus on pieces that enhance your existing wardrobe.