The January sales can be lucrative if you’re on the hunt for a bargain. But before you pull out your credit card, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your holiday shopping.
- Compare deals. Compare prices of items on your wishlist with other stores. If you find a better price, show the salesperson, because many retailers will price match. Check independent reviews too, to make sure the product or retailer have a good reputation.
- Shopping online. A reputable online business should have a returns policy, terms of service and clear contact information. Check delivery costs and timeframes before you buy. Look for a padlock symbol and 'https': in the web address when you check out - the ‘s’ means the connection is secure.
- Gift cards can take the pressure off buying for someone - but check the terms and conditions, including the expiry date. It’s a good idea to redeem the voucher as soon as possible.
- Extended warranties. Paying extra for an extended warranty may not give you anything more than you would get under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Always ask what the ‘extra’ cover gets you that your automatic consumer guarantees do not.
- Return and refunds. You can return a sale item if it’s faulty, not fit for purpose, or doesn’t match the description - and get a refund, repair or replacement. You will need proof of your purchase, such as a receipt or bank statement. If the retailer doesn’t accept your return, write to them, outline the problem and suggest how they can fix it. Although they’re not obliged to, under the ACL, some stores will offer a refund or exchange if you simply change your mind.
Spending wisely, sticking to your budget and knowing your rights will help you enjoy the hunt for a sales bargain.