Are you off to the Boxing Day sales?

Store sale in a shopping mall on a Boxing Day in Toronto, Canada.
Store sale in a shopping mall on a Boxing Day in Toronto, Canada.

November's Black Friday sales were a bit of damp squib compared to the predicted feeding frenzy, with experts speculating that shoppers were hanging on for the Boxing Day sales.

If they're right, we'll be heading for the high street today in our millions. A recent survey from revealed that two-thirds of us expect to spend four hours shopping today.

But will you come home with an armful of bargains, or just a handful of expensive mistakes? We help you with your Boxing Day strategy.
Make a list
The January sales are generally chock-full of party dresses that failed to sell before Christmas. But while it's easy to be seduced, it's important to be practical. When will you next get the chance to wear anything like that? And by the time you do, will you be bored with it?

Know your requirements
We've all walked into a living room where the sofa takes up all the space. If you're shopping for furniture, including TVs, make sure you've measured the space and have the information with you. Similarly, when buying gadgets, make sure you know any technical specifications that might apply.

Check online first
While many of us enjoy the hustle and bustle of the high street, you can often get bargains that are just as good or better online. But don't assume that this will always be the case, as traditional retailers are working hard to compete with online vendors. By browsing online and then checking out the high street, you'll be able to find the best price.

Don't feel pressured
Today isn't your only chance to get a bargain - indeed, many stores will be making even greater reductions in January. There are also many more sales throughout the year than there once were. And bear in mind that many tech products are gradually falling in price all the time: that thousand-pound television could be half the price this time next year.

Check your purchases
By the time that top's hit the sale rack, it's likely to have been round the block - so check for missing buttons and lipstick stains before you buy. If something does turn out to be damaged or faulty when you get home (and wasn't marked as such), though, you will be entitled to a refund.

Be suspicious
Many retailers, from supermarkets to furniture retailers, are still engaging in so-called 'yo-yo' pricing. An item is highlighted as being half-price - but that's half of a price that was hugely over-inflated in the first place. Make sure you know the going rate before you set out.

Braving the Boxing Day Sales
Braving the Boxing Day Sales