Boxing Day or realistically any other designated sale day is often a great time to add to your wardrobe. However, despite the obvious benefits that you could potentially realise, there are many reasons why you would want to avoid this time of year all together. With all the crowds who push, shove and have no regard for personal space, it makes sense why one would not want to bother.
Hence, if you are brave enough to tackle the crowds it often pays to have a battle plan. As I’ve said before, I’m not able to print money but I often try to lead a lifestyle I can’t afford. Therefore, the only way for me to do this is to use sales to my advantage. This has led me to devise a system which I use for getting what I want with minimal effort, energy and time.
My ideas are drawn from basic economic principles and this quote from the Leonardo Di Caprio starring movie (give that man an Oscar), The Wolf of Wall St.
“Supply and Demand, My Friend”
Simply put, winning during sale time is all about understanding supply and demand (i.e. The quantity of the products on sale vs. the demand of those who desire the products). Identification of the unstable equilibrium for this short term market is the fine line between success and failure.
If you’re going to follow any of these suggestions, please remember I’m more self-absorbed narcissist than adolescent angst hipster and this isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. So if you’re more about the polo than grandpa’s hand-me-downs this may just have indeed been written for you.
Let’s now start from the beginning. The first thing you should do is to understand the products in the market. I like to separate these into 5 tiers according to brand and desirability. For example my 5 tiers generally look something like this:
1: Cheap seasonal and basics (e.g. H&M and Cotton On).
2: In-between brands which you surprise yourself if you buy something from there. For me this is usually street and festival wear (e.g. Topman and General Pants).
3: Higher quality basic and general casual wear brands (e.g. Zara, Adidas Originals and Saba).
4: Key wardrobe brands (e.g. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Scotch & Soda).
5: High end fashion/Statement piece brands (e.g. Burberry, Givenchy and Balenciaga).
I think it goes without saying that your chances of getting a good deal drastically improves the earlier you go. With that in mind this is my system.
First, I target all my preferred tier 4 brands as this has the lowest supply for the amount of demand and therefore has the highest potential cost savings. Notable places to start are large department stores before heading to any standalone stores.
Next up is Tier 3. This is very similar to Tier 4 in terms of supply and demand but generally has a lower starting price. As such, I’m of the belief that if there were any desirable items, these would have been gladly purchased at full price which offsets any regret of missing out on getting them on sale. On a side note, brands that sit in this tier usually have the best returns policy and therefore any potential sale items should be purchased with minimal fuss, safe with the knowledge that you may return any regrettable purchases.
Tier 5 should then be tackled. By now these brands will often have queues to enter the stores. However, don’t let them put you off. I find that these brands have the most favourable supply to demand ratio of all the tiers. You generally aren’t going to be purchasing large quantities from these stores so don’t pass up the chance to add a luxury/statement wardrobe item.
If you’ve had any luck by now your credit card and wallet is probably starting to ache (if not feel like its been hit by a freight train). This is when I visit Tier 2. Starting price levels in this tier aren’t that high and they don’t change significantly during sales. As such, just like Tier 4, anything desirable probably would have been bought before hand and brands placed in this category should be ones where you are neutral when you find out you missed out of a sale item.
After all of the discussion above, you should be rather exhausted. Which is why you now go for the last hurrah that is Tier 1. This is where you spend the last of your budgeted spending money for surprise items or low key basics. It really should only be a final bit of fun after your wallet has been well and truly abused.
Finally a word of advice.
It’s worth understanding some basic returns policies and rights as a consumer. Australia has one of the most favourable policies in the world. You should not feel any shame using it. It saves time, money and significantly reduces your feeling of regret.
I finish writing this post feeling exhausted and expect you probably also feel the same way. As such, to quote one of my favourite time wasting activities; “here’s a potato”
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