This is a detailed list of all the current major high street and online retailers' sales. Often there are massive discounts, but it’s all about the timing.
Before you get seduced by the sales, follow this checklist first.
1. Check for vouchers: See the Shopping Vouchers guide.
2. Benchmark prices: Use the MegaShopBot to compare prices.
3. Will you use it? If you won't, or can’t afford it, they're not worth it. See tips for safer shopping.
Whether it's a retailer or restaurateur, airline or air-conditioner seller, computer shop or car rental company, there are always two main risks. Either it's a dodgy company, or it's a legit company that has financial problems and goes bust.
The aim of these tips is to help you minimise the risks.
Quite simply, its customers are immediately transformed into creditors. This hits hardest if you've ordered goods or tickets from them, and not had delivery, as then you become one of a line of people trying to get your money back out of the company's assets, and you usually get back much less than you paid in.
Even if you've had delivery, if the company you bought from goes under and there's a problem with the goods, it can mean you've no comeback.
While MoneySavingExpert.com endeavours to check deals are valid, we don't check companies ' finances. Even huge names like MFI and Woolies have folded, so it's very important you use the right strategies to stay protected where possible.
Pay by credit card for something over £100, and Section 75 laws supercharge your consumer rights.
Unlike debit cards, cheques or cash, pay in full or part (even just £1) on a credit card and by law the lender's jointly liable with the retailer.
This means you have exactly the same rights with the card company as you do with the retailer. So if it goes bust, you can simply take your complaints there instead and get money back if there's no delivery.
Yet it's important you ALWAYS REPAY IN FULL each month, so there's no interest cost. See the full Section 75 guide.
Section 75 doesn't apply to purchases under £100, but there's still an option which can help. It isn't a legal protection, just Visa, Mastercard and Amex's rules, but it's a good back-up.
Spend on a Visa, Mastercard or Amex credit card or any debit or charge card. If the goods don't appear, you can try to ask your bank/card provider to reclaim the cash from the seller's bank, so long as you complain within 120 days of realising there’s a problem. See the Chargeback guide for full details.
Bogus websites are often set up to cash in on popular products like Ugg boots and Tiffany necklaces, so be wary if it's an unfamiliar site. And don't think that because it appears on a reputable search engine, that makes it a reputable site - always check.
Most folk know to look for a security padlock on the bottom right of a website, but that doesn't mean the site's legit, just that payment's secure.
To find out who registered the site and when, search the Whois database. Reputable firms should also appear on the Companies House site, the UK Government's official companies register. Be very wary of businesses with just a PO Box or email address.
Study the site's worldwide web ranking on Alexa. Anything in the top 100,000 means it's reasonably big and a good, though not foolproof indication of legitimacy. Do a quick Google search for other shoppers' experiences.
Crucially, ensure your security's up-to-date - free software can be downloaded to your computer in about five minutes. Full details in the Free Antivirus Software guide.
Many people are surprised to learn you've MORE rights buying online (or by telephone/catalogue) due to the Distance Selling Regulations.
These give you a legal right to send most goods back within seven days for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault. You'll usually need to pay for the return delivery. Read Consumer Rights for a full guide.
However, of course, this is balanced by the fact ordering online automatically means there's a time gap between ordering and delivering - when the company has your money. So if it goes bust during that time, the distance selling rights don't help.
Ultimately, there is always a risk that a company can go bust. If the above routes don't apply, then you have to make a decision about whether you're willing to take the risk of parting with your cash.
Don't be scared of this. Every day we all make transactions based on trust, and this is part of that, but do balance up the amount you're spending against the risk. Don't give large amounts of money to a company you're not sure about.
From Fri 18 - Mon 21 Apr, go online to Homebase* (delivery starts from £3.95 and varies depending on the size of the item) or to your nearest store and you'll automatically get 15% off most items, including those already discounted. There’s more info on exclusions below.
Important: When Homebase ran this promotion back in September, we had reports it increased prices on a number of items just before the event began, meaning the discount wasn't as good as expected. Read our Homebase news story for full details.
So, if you've got your eye on a product already, take screen grabs and keep an eye on the price both before and after the offer has gone live, to check how good the discount really is.
Can't be used on delivery charges, gift vouchers, installation, We’ll Do It For You services, replacement cover, breakdown cover, furniture cover, Hire Station tool hire, express blinds, shutters and made to measure curtain services, fitted carpets and vinyl services or with staff discount. Excludes orders by phone.
From Wed 16 - Sun 27 Apr, go online to Laura Ashley* or to your nearest store and you'll find up to 40% off all home furnishings and 50% off all wallpaper. Delivery's £4.50 or collect in-store for free.
It's worthing noting that the home sale is up to 40% off, meaning all home furnishings will be reduced but not necessarily by the full 40%. However, all wallpaper has the full 50% off.
We'll update you here with some examples of bargains once the sale has started.
Go online to John Lewis* (delivery's £3 or you can collect in-store for free) or to your nearest store by Sun 21 Apr and you'll find 20% off all own brand wallpaper. With the discount, wallpapers start from around £12 per roll.
Shop in-store at larger Sainsbury's* stores which sell its Tu clothing range and get 25% off all items until Mon 21 Apr. The sale includes men's, women's and kids' clothing (including items already reduced) plus school uniforms.
Forumites are loving it. Read the Sainsbury's Tu sale thread for more info.
Go online to Office* now (delivery's £3.50) or to your nearest store from Thu 27 Mar and you'll find up to 50% off men's, women's and kids' items while stocks last.
Although the sale is advertised as up to 50% off, some items have been reduced even further. Bargains we found on Tue 25 Mar include men's Converse trainers for £25 (were £60), women's sandals for £5 (were £15) and kids' unisex Timberland boots for £14 (were £28).
From Fri 21 Mar, go online to Topman* (delivery's £4 or collect in-store for free) and you'll find up to 50% off a selection of current and previous season items. The sale will also be in-store, but not until Mon 24 Mar.
We'll update you here with some examples of the bargains available once the sale starts.
Go online to Asos* and you'll find up to 50% off a selection of current and previous items, including some brands, while stocks last. Delivery's free.
Although the sale is advertised as up to 50% off, some items have been reduced even further. Bargains we found on Tue 25 Mar include men's jeans for £11 (were £28), women's jackets for £4 (were £14) and women's River Island jumpers for £8.50 (were £25).
Shop online at Burton* and get up to 70% off a selection of current and previous season items while stocks last. Delivery's £3.95 or collect in-store for £2/
Bargains we found on Tue 25 Mar include denim shirts for £6 (were £20), hoodies for £10 (were £25) and jackets for £20 (were £70).
Go online to M&S* or to your nearest M&S store by Tue 8 Apr and you'll find up to 70% off 1,000s of items. The sale launched last week with up to 50% off and then on Tue 18 Mar, the discount increased to up to 60%. It's now up to 70% off.
The sale includes mainly current season items from the womenswear, menswear, kidswear, lingerie, home and beauty ranges. School uniform is not included.
M&S tells us the event's as big, if not bigger than its winter sale, so we're expecting to find some great offers on a wide range of items.
Bargains we found on Tue 11 Mar include women's dresses for £9.50 (were £16), men's jumpers for £14.50 (were £29.50) and pillows for £3 (were £6).
Go online to Miss Selfridge* (delivery's £3.95 or collect in-store for free) while stocks last and you'll get up to 50% off items from the current and previous season.
Although the sale is advertised as up to 50% off, we've found some items are reduced even further. Bargains we found on Tue 25 Mar include dresses for £10 (were £49), jumpers for £10 (were £39) and brogues for £17 (were £35).
It's said that December is 'engagement month'. So you may be sporting some new bling or have a diamond-shaped dent in your wallet.
With engagements come weddings (spoiler alert: they don't come cheap) - see our 50 Cheap Wedding Tips guide. We've spotted some heavily reduced dresses suitable for bridesmaids which will hopefully help you save some cash on the big day or at least get you an extra Margarita or two on your honeymoon. These dresses would also be good if you have a fancy do to go to.
Our top pick 'bridesmaid' dresses from £20
There's a huge selection of reduced dresses* (it's best to search by size). The sale ends Sun 26 Jan, but stock's going fast and we reckon they'll be gone by then.
Below are some of the bargains before using the code:
Delivery's £3.99 or you can collect in-store for free.
To hone in on the best bargains, use the Regatta outlet tool. Tell it what you want, the price and the discount, and it'll find it for you. To see a selection of the winter coats above, use the search word 'jacket'.
Each point's worth 1p when redeemed on virtually any Boots-branded product in-store at Boots, so this is effectively a 10% discount on Boots branded items. Don't assume Boots is always cheapest though, if you can buy items 10%+ cheaper elsewhere, go there instead. See full Boost Loyalty Points guide for more Boots tips.
Our new Local eBay Deals Mapper lets you find bargains if you're prepared to pick them up. eBay sellers often specify items must be collected in person which means fewer bids. But you can't normally search 'collection only' so put your postcode in and how far you're prepared to schlep and watch the gems pop up.
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