SAILING the summer rails can be a mission, and if you don’t get a good deal, you might feel like you’ve missed something.
We reveal how you can grab the best summer sale deals – and all it takes is a little planning and keeping your eyes peeled.
The cost of living crisis means prices on the high street are rising.
And for buyers, that means it’s more important than ever to make sure they’re getting the most for their money.
It’s important to remember that you only get an offer if you were already looking to buy the item.
The Sun spoke with retail expert Julian House, managing director of My Favorite Voucher Codes, about how you can get the most out of sales.
Check your calendar
Buying out of season in the sales is advice that Julian swears to buy.
He says shopping for your summer essentials over the winter or vice versa is a great way to save money.
He said: “Naturally, summer clothes and homewares are more in demand during the summer.
“Buying a barbecue on sale during the summer, when prices are highest, may not be as advantageous as buying it during the winter.
“Try to keep an eye on patterns of price changes and sales.”
And this trick is known to work.
Personal stylist Sharon Young was able to buy a summer skirt from Zara reduced from £49.99 to £9.99 during Boxing Day sales.
But it’s always important to check, as these trends may vary from store to store.
Websites like CamelCamelCamel and Pricey Spy to watch price changes throughout the year.
The Sun recently revealed the best time to buy a fan when prices are cheapest, and the exact time to get your garden essentials, such as patio sets and barbecues.
Set a budget
The feeling of getting a bargain is great – but is it really a bargain if you don’t need it or want it in the first place?
Julian warns shoppers not to be tricked into thinking it must be a bargain just because it’s on sale.
He says people should be especially wary of offers that force them to buy multiple copies of the same item at a discount.
If you don’t really need multiple copies of the article, don’t get multiple copies.
Julian added: “If you had a budget of £20 to buy one item, but found a deal by presenting two for £25, it’s incredibly easy for ‘fear of running out’ to kick in and convince you that the value of paying £12.50 on each is just too good to miss.
“But you just went over your budget by £5 and thought you got a bargain.
“That’s exactly what the stores want you to think too.”
Also, don’t forget to check refund policies – it’s important to check when they’ve run out in case you want to return anything.
Do your homework
Julian points out that the most common mistake buyers make when it comes to selling is that they are unprepared.
It may seem like a lot of work, but Julian says it’s worth it.
He added: “If you’ve identified a particular item, take the time to do your research and browse the various online stores to see what prices are available on the market right now.”
Julian likes to Google the product he wants, adding a keyword like “discount” or “offer” to see what other offers are available.
He also advises people to check prices beforehand so they know exactly how good the deal is.
Some online retailers also allow you to create wishlists or favourites, so you can check if they are participating in summer sales.
It is the right time
On the day a sale is due to begin, eager shoppers descend early to be the first through the door of their favorite store.
But timing your trip to coincide with when staff restock shelves can be just as good.
He added: “It’s no secret that popular items on sale will fly off the shelves.
“If you are unable to arrive in time, you can also try to visit the store during or after the shelves are restocked by the staff.
“Generally, stores will start restocking around two hours before closing time, although this may vary from store to store.
“This varies by store, but usually happens about two hours before closing time.”
You can find out what time your favorite store usually restocks by asking the staff the next time you visit.
Sales may vary from store to store, you may not be able to use Julian’s advice at every summer sale you visit.
The Sun also revealed how you could save money when shopping in Iceland.
Shoppers also shared their tips for shopping at Primark, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.