and interiors expert, Alison Cork has made getting the best for less
nothing short of an art form, and for Hints and Things readers,
she's offering her top tips on how to get the most for your money.
Follow these 10 pieces of advice, and you'll be well on track for
saving hundreds of pounds.
off the beaten track
high street is fine for seasonal sales but shopping off-piste will,
more often than not, yield the best of the bargains all year round.
Out of town warehouses and dealing direct with manufacturers and
wholesalers will bring you considerable savings before the mark ups
of the high street retailers.
cynical about cyber savings
internet has justifiably earned a reputation for offering good value
for money but never assume that you will be getting a good deal with
the first click of your mouse. Shop around and be wary of common
check out add-ons like delivery and VAT.
be afraid to haggle
you’re not bartering with a bar code, you should always ask for a
discount. Retailers would rather have £5 in their pocket than the
possibility of £10 later in the week; a fact that consumers should
always use to their advantage. Retailers make their money from their
margins and it’s our prerogative if not our responsibility to get
more for our money.
your ear to the ground
nothing worse than paying full whack just before a sale starts, so
keep close tabs on sale dates to avoid your wallet taking an
unnecessary hit. Some companies are secretive and sporadic, others
are like clockwork but it’s always worth finding out when and
where the sales are and co-ordinate your purchases appropriately.
clear of the herds
purchases will always carry a seasonal loading, so you will
invariably pay through the nose for fires in winter and garden
furniture in summer. But if you turn that spending pattern on its
head, you’re on the way to bagging some bargains. Retailers know
when their busiest times are, catch them during leaner times and
you’re more than likely to save some money.
things are worth investing in; others will be dated or need
replacing in a matter of months. Items which only improve
with age like good quality wooden flooring or a solid stone
fire surround are always worth splashing out on, free
standing furniture will wear and go out of fashion quickly
so bear that in mind before you part with serious money.
the next best thing
the real deal is out of your price range, reproduction or imitation
products can look and feel just like their genuine sibling. Good
quality veneered furniture, reconstituted stone, granite sheeting do
a job and will tick all the boxes for the discerning yet canny
great deals can be found abroad, and with France only a short car
journey away, we’d be fools not to take advantage. Of particular
interest may be D.I.Y products, which have been discovered to be as
much as 70% cheaper than you’d find this side of the Channel.
Better still, with day trips starting from as little as £20, your
foreign foray will pay for itself when you fill up at the petrol
a factory find
majority of top-end homeware retailers will have a factory shop
which stocks cancellations, clearance stock and discontinued lines.
Although they are often found in remote locations, savings of up to
80% more than justify the schlep.
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