The £53 ‘sale fail’

Planning on splashing the cash in the January sales? Well, watch out. Buying discounted goods on an impulse can often turn out to be a total waste of money.


Dan Plant, consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “It’s all too easy to be blinded by the perceived bargains when shopping in a sea of red sale signs.”

But the truth is, ‘sale fails’ (or botched purchases) cost British shoppers a collective £865 million over the last 12 months, according to our new research.

Here are some interesting facts we found:

  • 72% of us have taken advantage of sale prices over the last 12 months
  • The average sale spend over that period was £197 each, which is a collective £7billion
  • BUT more than a quarter (27%) of people who shopped in sales over the last year regret at least one cut-price purchase
  • The typical amount wasted on ill-considered sale items is £53 each – or £865 million in total.

Why we splurge in sales

We’ve all done it. Been so attracted by a huge discount that we splash out on a particular item that we would never have bought it at full price.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the sales – and men are just as susceptible as women.

MoneySuperMarket’s research shows that men spent an average £212 in sales over the last 12 months, while the typical female shopper restrained herself to £185.

But many of the impulse buys made in sales end up stuck in a cupboard never being used.

“Brits need to try and keep some perspective about which deals are crackers, and which ones are duds,” said Dan Plant.

How to avoid ‘sale fails’

When it comes to making snap purchases we regret, shopping experience is definitely a factor. After all, four-in-10 (41%) of 18 to 34-year-olds admit buying a useless sale item over the last 12 months.

But whatever your age, hitting the sales with a list of items you need – and sticking to it – is one way of avoiding botched buys.

And resist the temptation to buy anything on impulse just because it’s reduced. After all, an item’s only good value if it’s something you can use and enjoy in the longer term.

The good news is, MoneySuperMarket has great deals on its shelves all year round. And we've rounded them all up in our new January 2015 campaign aplty entitled, This is Not a Sale.

Dan Plant said: “It’s easy to minimise the pain from any seasonal splurge with MoneySuperMarket. Check your bank statement to see where your hard-earned cash is going each month. Then switch your credit cardssavings accounts and more to give your finances a New Year’s boost.”

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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