January sales: Tips for finding the perfect bargain

Anna Brech
by Anna Brech
5 January 2024

Virgin Red has loads of ways to help you hunt down a bargain or two this month, whether you’re into fashion (Harrods, River Island, MATCHESFASHION), tech (hello, Currys) or fitness gear (Lululemon here we come). Consider it your invitation to navigate the best of the January sales while topping up your Virgin Points with each online purchase.

Virgin Red has some handy tips to sidestep the sales frenzy this January and save money while shopping with a mindful approach.

Don’t let FOMO guide you

This is your new mantra: no matter the price, it’s only a good deal if you can and will use it. Bargain-hunting is a rush, no doubt about it – most of us are aware of the power of a sticker saying 80% off. This is when you have to give FOMO a firm shove out the door. Tip #1: a fiver spent on something that should have been £50 is still a fiver out of your pocket.


Make a list and stick to it

Sales shopping is often about want versus need, so if you’re trying to be more conscious about your spending, write a list of the things you definitely need. Have a clear idea of budget and – especially if hunting down something techy – what you could compromise on. 

If you think you’ll get easily distracted, it’s worth identifying your spontaneous purchase habits. Is your wardrobe full of occasion outfits that only get worn once or twice? How often do the kitchen gadgets come out of their boxes? Naming your personal weakness might help you avoid your usual patterns.

Think about shelf life

Just because prices are reduced doesn’t mean you have to leave your eco-values at the door. If you’re treating the kids, for example, it makes more sense to consider something like a LEGO set– reusable, durable, easily passed on through generations – than something disposable that can’t be repurposed. 

Likewise, you can choose companies with eco initiatives in place, or use recycling schemes as you shop. Stores such as John Lewis & Partners, Kiehl’s and TK Maxx have various set-ups for your old fashion, homeware, empties and electricals (and some even offer voucher incentives).


Snap up unwanted gifts

While there are good deals to be had in the shops, bear in mind there’ll also be plenty on resale sites – and much of it brand new. 

In the post-Christmas period, loads of people will not only be clearing out, but also getting rid of the presents they doubled up on or didn’t fancy keeping. Bargains galore, with the bonus of preventing something going to waste. And while you’re at it, you could recoup the cost by passing on something you no longer use, too.

Beware the “maybe, sometime” trap

Keep a beady eye on the twin browsing blunders of “that could come in useful” and “that’ll be a nice present for someone”. If you cannot name this mysterious someone, then Do Not Buy It. 

However, some future-proofing makes sense – kids’ feet will always grow, therefore discount footwear is always a winner, for example; as is stocking up on something that you definitely do use regularly, such as toiletries. The things you buy in the hope they’ll be perfect for something or someone at some point? That stuff, you can leave. Your home will be happier for it.

No matter how you shop this January, do it with Virgin Red and earn Virgin Points.