M&S, Gap, Body Shop, White Company and House of Fraser – here’s how you can take advantage of the constant sales to make sure you never pay full price.
Yes, times are tough for retailers, as we saw with BHS and Austin Reed this summer. Yet many of the flash sales, brand discount days and online coupons we’re bombarded are just attempts to make you part with money you hadn’t planned to spend.
But you can play this marketing game against certain brands who regularly repeat the same offers. It’s not always like clockwork, but the shops listed below are as close to dead cert as you can get.
How to always pay less
There are two key parts to this trick:
1. Play the waiting game
These retailers consistently will run a comparable promotion every month so hang tight until the best deal rolls around again. It might not coincide with when you planned to go shopping so you’ll need to have a bit of patience.
2. Get the offers sent to you
These offers aren’t always advertised in the shops, and sometimes they’re run by third-party websites.
Make sure you sign up to the brands’ emails or follow on social media, and keep track of voucher sites too.
Don’t forget money bloggers like me will also let you know when they spot the best deals.
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Five shops where you should never pay full price
These aren’t the only shops, but they are the ones I see discounts for more often than others. Here’s what to expect.
Marks & Spencer
What you usually save: 20% off clothes, home, beauty and furniture
There was a point earlier this year you could save 20% on most M&S items once a month. This dropped off in the summer, but in its place was a 50% off sale.
The 20% off code returned in September via the Sparks card and app, and I’m sure we’ll see it again before Christmas.
>> Sign up for a Sparks card
What you usually save: 30% off clothes, sometimes as high as 50% off
I don’t know if I should admit this, but I buy a lot of my clothes from Gap – and in part, that’s because you can always get a discount. ALWAYS.
I get emails every day with some kind of discount. You can usually save 25%, but it can go as high as 40%, even 50% on a handful of occasions.
Worryingly, the number of times Gap has a sale or offer suggests to me they really are struggling – so if you get a gift card spend don’t leave it too long before you spend it!
>> Shop at Gap
What you usually save: 30% off or £10 off a £25 spend
If you ever pay price at Body Shop you’re a fool. The real trick is getting the best saving.
It’s possible to get close to 50% off, as I did this week with a spend £50 save £25 (it’s tricky to make your basket hit the magic number with stuff you actually want).
More commonly though you can save 30% or save £10 when you spend £25, and half the time a decent deal is listed on the homepage of their online shop making it even easier to find.
>> Shop at Body Shop
House of Fraser
What you usually save: Up to 30% or 40% off clothes and home, 10% off beauty
The “Brand Event” is essentially a monthly discount on most fashion lines. It’s also usually accompanied by 10% off beauty.
The department store has also moved into flash sale territory, with 12-hour discount period coming out of nowhere – usually an inconvenient mid-afternoon on a Friday!
This happens so often it’s lost any kind of cache. And it’s obviously much better to grab one of these discounts than pay full price. The best way to stay on top is to sign up for emails.
Debenhams do the same thing, and don’t forget John Lewis always price match.
>> Shop at House of Fraser
The White Company
What you usually save: 20% off
Yet another online store which always seems to offer between 10-20% off. Sign up to their mailing list and keep an eye on voucher code sites.
Don’t trust the codes you get sent in the post – I’m usually able to find a better code by searching online.