5 top shopping tips this festive season.

You know those people with a miraculous habit of always picking out the perfect gift? Who never get caught up in the frenzy of last-minute panic buys? Who seem to breeze through the festive season on a cloud of tinsel and goodwill to all? Well, as an early present to our customers, we decided to spill the sprouts and share their secret shopping tips with you. And just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well…

Step 1

Team up

Why have one pair of eyes on the shop floors when you can have many? Go shopping as a group and you’ll cover more ground, spot more hidden gems and get a second opinion on that slightly risky present for the in-laws. It’s also a great excuse to get together with your friends or family. Gingerbread latte, anyone?

Step 2

Make a plan

Rather than browsing and buying on impulse, jot down a plan before you head to the shops. If there’s a gift you know someone will like, do a little online research beforehand. Compare prices and products to really pinpoint that ideal present. You could also look at online marketplaces for something unique. Just remember to check the last postal dates, especially if an item’s coming from abroad. Another small help is our handy budget calculator, so you know where you stand from the off too.

Step 3

Ask for help

At this time of year there are so many decisions and so little time. But don’t forget the shop assistants are there to help you. They know their products and can help you pick out a gift that’ll be remembered for years to come. You could also look at online reviews to make sure you’re getting what you expect.

Step 4

Beat the crowds

It always pays to be the early bird, especially on sale days like Black Friday when every minute on the shop floor counts. Search online to find out key opening times and get there before the doors open. Most retailers also have specific Black Friday discount areas on their website, so you can find great deals online without leaving the comfort of your own home. This year, Black Friday falls on 24th November and Cyber Monday on the 27th November. Learn more about how to stay safe online.

Step 5

Use your credit card

Using your credit card is an easy way to keep all your seasonal spending in one place. It also offers protection on some of your purchases. This can come in handy if you discover on Boxing Day that one of your presents isn’t up to the standard you expect. Find out about purchase protection.