Boxing Day shopping: how to get the best deals
The Boxing Day sales have become a tradition. Getting up at the crack of dawn, either sitting in traffic or bleary-eyed behind your computer, to get some of the best deals of the year. Most stores have some sort of sale and you can find some truly great bargains. However, since Black Friday and Prime Day have now become synonymous with saving money on big ticket purchases, where does that leave Boxing Day in the UK?
What is Boxing Day?
There are quite a few different theories about Boxing Day and what it means. But it isn’t anything to do with taking unwanted boxed presents back to the store (though I’m sure some people do that), and it isn’t about getting rid of all the boxes your countless presents came in.
Boxing Day was traditionally a day of charitable acts and is St. Stephen’s Feast day, the patron saint of charity, but it was also a day off for servants at grand houses. After the big parties on Christmas Day, their employers would give them a box of treats, money and presents, which they could take home to their families.
Nowadays, charity is normally given before Christmas but the name has stuck, and it is now one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Boxing Day Sales UK
The Boxing Day sales in the UK have become an almost essential part of the Christmas festivities. Stock is reduced in stores to make room for the new merchandise, with people using money received at Christmas to buy discounted goods.
It is usually a mad rush around the shops, to find something before somebody else snaffles it up! For example, Boxing Day 2019 saw more than half a million people visit central London’s stores who could be seen touting bags full of discounted items.
Bookending the sales calendar, Boxing Day is both the end and start of the retail year, as it begins the January sales. Boxing Day sales normally start on the 26 December, but some stores do start earlier in the run up to Christmas. The January sales promote much of the same products, so can be seen as an extension of the best Boxing Day deals.
Boxing Day electronics deals
Since Black Friday became a yearly shopping fixture in the UK, Boxing Day might have lost some of its importance as a big sales day. Yet there are still deals to be found over a large range of products.
Electronics are still high on the agenda, and you’ll always find Boxing Day television offers, which has become something of a tradition itself. Last generation TVs are often sold off at discounted prices at the end of the year, getting ready for the newest high spec versions to release in the new year.
You should find some decent prices on 4K TVs at Currys, Box, John Lewis, Richer Sounds, and of course, Amazon.
What are the best deals on Boxing Day?
You’ll find that some of the best deals will be on food, clothes and, annoyingly, toys. Shops want to remove old stock ready for the new year’s new trends, and will heavily discount the stuff they want to get rid of.
Places like Sports Direct and Asos often have huge sales on clothing, Nike normally has a Boxing Day sale, and look out for white goods like washing machines and dishwashers at AO and others.
Personal electronics like headphones and smartwatches are something to look out for. Especially now that Apple and Samsung release their newest updated versions in late autumn.
How to get the best deals this Boxing Day
Set a budget
It can be easy to get carried away and overspend if you don’t have a limit. Work out what you can afford, or are willing to spend on certain items beforehand and then stick to it.
Know the store opening times
If you get to the store and it has been open for a couple of hours, then you have more than likely missed out on that bargain you were hoping for. Boxing Day sales are cut throat, and it is first come first served, literally. The majority of stores will open at normal times, but some like Next and Selfridges, will open obscenely early.
Find out if they’ll have long queues too, as you don’t want to be stuck outside in the midwinter cold for too long. This could be especially annoying if they have to allow for social distancing inside.
Sign up to newsletters
Stores offer discounts and exclusive offers ahead of Boxing Day, so it’s a good idea to sign up to newsletters in advance to potentially find the best deals before anyone else, track when the sales start and get any codes you might use.
Follow all the stores and brands you like the look of on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to hear about discounts and special offers.
And much like subscribing to newsletters, downloading the apps of retailers — Currys, Amazon, etc. — can also come in handy for regular updates and exclusives.
Make sure all your online accounts are logged in
It is a good idea to ensure all your online accounts are signed in, and you have the correct card details set up. You don’t want to miss out on an item because your card gets declined.
Amazon and others can go out of stock very quickly, so getting it in your basket and paid for without any hiccups is paramount.
Know the Recommended Retail Price (RRP)
If you know the actual RRP of the product, you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal or not. When you can see the RRP it should be obvious if the price is much lower.
To find the original price of a product, use websites like PriceSpy, CamelCamelCamel (only for Amazon), or Seeka. If offline, then either look on the tag or ask the staff.
Be prepared to shop around to know that you’re getting the best possible price. Everyone sells the same products now, normally with very slight differences in price, so check multiple places before buying.
Doing a simple search on Google (the ‘shopping’ search works well) or by using price comparison websites such as PriceRunner or PriceSpy will help you to see prices across different retailers.
Do you know the refund policy?
If you are disappointed with your purchase, then it is good to know how long you have to send it back. Also good to know if it needs to be pristine and its box. You don’t want to buy something in the rush on Boxing Day only to find out you can’t send it back.
Many retailers have different return policies so it is important to check each company’s guidelines before you buy.
Boxing Day sales FAQs
When do Boxing Day sales start?
Normally on the 26th December, but can start on the week running up to Christmas.
How long do Boxing Day sales last?
They normally last the week up to January and then most of the deals are available as January sales in the new year. Some might have dropped the discount a bit, but shoul;d still be available for less than normal.
Are Boxing Day sales good?
It depends what you are looking for. But yes, the Boxing Day sales often save people a lot of money on clothing, white goods, televisions and homewares.
Are Boxing Day sales online?
Yes, like any sale these days, Boxing Day sales can be found online.
Some stores’ sales can only be found in stores, like Next, which is like basically getting rid of old stock ready for the new year.
Are Boxing Day sales better than Black Friday?
Black Friday sales are normally for bigger ticket purchases, like games consoles, TVs and other larger items.
Boxing Day is normally discounted clothing, food and toys, although you will find electronics too. Though perhaps with a smaller discount than Black Friday.