The January sales of course start in December – online they can even start as early as Christmas Day itself.  So how can you make sure that you don’t get caught up in buyer’s remorse?

The main thing is to constantly ask yourself the question “Would I normally buy this item at the current price in the sale?”  What this will do is to help you put out of your mind the “saving” that you’re making in buying this particular bargain.

Imagine a coat that is normally £350.  In the sale it’s been reduced to £115.  The question is “Do I want to buy this coat for £115?”, and not “Do I want to save £235?”.

If you frame the reduction as a monetary amount it becomes too easy to start thinking of that as a real amount of money.  That’s why people will then think of having saved £235 instead of having spent £115 if they buy the coat.  Some might even use the £235 saving to justify spending £135, as if they are seeing a return on their money.  They aren’t of course.  They’re buying a coat, not a coat and £235.

The other issue is the environment in the sales.  We may have had to make great efforts to get there and have fought through crowds just to look at things.  In that situation it’s very easy to want to reward that effort by buying something, or believe that we’re getting one of only a few left.

Don’t be unaware of how thinking that something is scarce is a huge pull for us psychologically in buying things.  That’s why websites duplicate that experience by stating how many are left of a certain item, or how many have been bought in the last few days or hours.  Don’t be driven by panic anymore than by faulty reasoning about savings.

If you found this mini Christmas blog about the January sales useful then why not check out the others here or sign up for my monthly newsletter, with more practical tips, quirky research, and case studies every month.