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Still need to shop for your Christmas presents?

If you’ve got Christmas presents to get there is time, and you may feel under pressure but that doesn’t mean you need to make compromises. Here’s why.

The last Saturday before Christmas is looming. This is known as Super Saturday, as retailers doubtless refer to it, but it’s Panic Saturday to the rest of us. This is the day when the shops burst with frantic spenders, desperately seeking to plug gaps in their Christmas lists.

Some stores whip up the tension by running one-day-only sales, which only adds to the manic atmosphere. Given this year’s Panic Saturday is expected to see retailers offer 45% off specific items, on average, you can imagine just how busy the high street’s going to be come 9 am tomorrow.

With this in mind, it’s going to take a cool head to navigate the shops. And there are some things you must do to avoid any problems later on.

Stick to your budget

It’s really easy to throw caution to the wind and spend more than you intended just to get the whole horrible process of shopping on the busiest day of the year over. But, this is a bad move, especially when you tot up all your outgoings and realise how much better off you’d be if you had stopped short of blowing your budget. Shopping frustration could be eased by taking a break, before diving back in to the scrum.

 

Always get a (gift) receipt

It’s easy to just pop the receipt in your shopping bag and forget about it, but this is a bad idea, because you may not be able to tell whether something you bought is fit for purpose until you get home.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 entitles you to return faulty goods, which you may need to unpack and check out before you can tell if there are any problems.

Also, many retailers offer an extended returns deadline, often more than 30 days, to cover the Christmas period. While you don’t always need to have a receipt, as a bank statement can be taken a proof of purchase, it’s definitely the easiest way to return something you don’t want. A retailer doesn’t have to have a returns policy for non-faulty goods, but if they have one they must stick to it.

If you’re buying presents for friends and family – aside from naff secret Santa gifts – ask for a gift receipt, so that if someone really doesn’t want what you have given them, they can return them. Pop the gift receipt in an envelope and stick it to the present.

Avoid wasting cash on unwanted presents

You may feel under pressure to get someone something, anything, for Christmas, but don’t fall into the trap of wasting your money on a gift you know, deep down inside, they won’t appreciate. If you are really strapped for cash or bereft of ideas, you can always resort to a decent bottle of wine or a gift card.

Search for vouchers

Panic Saturday may see some retailers offer discounts on some lines, but you could also get money off by downloading vouchers. .

Giving begins at home

You could avoid the hassle surrounding Panic Saturday by searching through your cupboards for things you bought for yourself, or others gifted you that you’ve never used, yet someone else would like. There is no shame is passing on an unwanted gift, especially if the recipient doesn’t know it wasn’t bought specifically for them.

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