Get a bargain from the Games

Shopkeepers are beginning to panic that no one will go shopping during the Olympics. That means there will be a long summer of sales of household goods. So how can we make the most of it?
Shopkeepers are beginning to panic that no one will go shopping during the Olympics. That means there will be a long summer of sales of household goods.

We saw it a little bit last year. Take the car industry: the Royal Wedding meant trade prices fell by four per cent – which is a fairly hefty saving when you think of a £10,000 car – and car valuation firm Glass’s admits the triple whammy of events this summer (last week’s Diamond Jubilee had an influence too) means British motorists are likely to benefit in the next few months. Glass’s says SUVs and 4X4s are best value in summer: last month alone their average prices fell by two per cent.

Bed and flooring specialist CarpetRight warned its profits will be lower this year because of slow sales, and white goods sellers like Curry’s have also been suffering.

So how can consumers make the most of summer sales?


1. Do your research: If you’re after an £800 TV, you’re unlikely to barter it down to £200, but if you’ve seen it elsewhere for £600, that may be achievable. Visit at the end of the month, when salespeople will be keener to hit their targets and pocket their bonuses. Always ask what can be done on the price. Shoppers report haggling successes even in major stores like Comet and John Lewis. Independent stores are more likely to drop a price than a chain store.

2. If you can’t get a reduction, ask for extras to be thrown in: such as cabling, batteries, etc. You’re more likely to get a price knock-down on an already-reduced item, and if you’re buying in bulk.

3. On electrical devices, pretend to fall into the sales trick of the warranty: You’ll often secure major price reductions by agreeing to sign up to one of these – but the Supply of Extended Warranties on Domestic Electrical Goods Order 2005 means you’re free to change your mind for 45 days afterwards. So get the cheap price, then cancel the policy.

4. Don’t forget about price matching: John Lewis and PC World will price match on high street shops, but others may match an online price – which is where your earlier research comes into play. Take a print out of a cheap deal and take it into a shop and ask them to match it.

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