IF you’re about to set off on a Next shopping spree, hold fire for just a moment.
To help you bag the best deals, we’ve come up with a list of eight top money-saving tips – and your bank balance will thank you for checking them.
Alamy Live News There are loads of ways for shoppers to save money at Next, even when there isn’t a sale
From using scribbles on price tags as clues to future discounts to buying Next items in other retailers, we’ve got you covered.
Below is a round-up of our best tips.Buy cheap perfume dupes
Are you hooked on a high end scent but you don’t like the price tag?
Perfumes from Next are dupes for some of the biggest designer brands out there, Bronni of the Beauty Markdown blog has told Charlotte Burns, founder of Lottyearns.co.uk.
There are clues to each fragrance’s smell-a-like in the bottles and names of the Next versions, so make sure you check next time you pop by the store.
Shoppers can expect to find bargain alternatives to perfumes from Chanel, Dior, Armani, John Paul Gaultier and more, according to Bronni.
Check the price tags for scribbles or dots
Next is one of the high street retailers that usually write on price tags before sales.
So if you spot handwritten scribbles on a full-price item you want to buy, you should wait as it often means the price is about to be reduced.
Items are usually marked by staff in the days before the sale starts and this handwritten scribble is the key to spotting what the discount will be, according to consumer site MoneySavingExpert and Charlotte.
The codes are written in pencil on the price tag – such as B14, G4, OB9 and S13.
MoneySavingExpert The scribbles give you an idea of what the item’s sale price will be
Ignore the letters (which are usually a way for staff to know where an item will be moved) and you’re just left with a number – that’s generally the sale price of the item.
MoneySavingExpert staff has previously tested out the method in a Next store, and they say it worked.
An item priced at £26 marked with “S13” was down to £13 in a sale a couple of days later. And an £8 item marked “G4” became £4 in the sale.
Another way to spot if an item is going to be reduced in price, is by checking if the price tag has a red or black dot, Naomi Willis of the Skint Dad money-saving website told The Sun.
Of course, by holding off with buying the items for a few days, you risk that they sell out but it could also save you a lot of money.
Shop via a Next Outlet store
You can get up to 50 per cent off the original prices by shopping at a Next Outlet store, Naomi said.
Times Newspapers Ltd By shopping at a Next Clearance store, you can get up to 50 per cent off the original prices
Sometimes the stores also stock “Special Purchase lines” which have Next quality but come with outlet prices.
There are 12 Next Clearance stores in the UK – you can find your nearest one by using its store locator.
Check the clearance page
If you’re unable to travel to a store or you simply prefer shopping online, you should check out the Next Clearance page on its website.
It lists items from all departments, including clothing for women, men and children as well as homeware.
Just keep in mind that stock is limited, so it’s worth filtering your searches by product and size.
One mistake many shoppers make is assuming that haggling is only reserved for market stalls and car boot sales.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for a discount in a high street shop – in fact, some shops have it built into their official policies.
Consumer website MoneySavingExpert polled over 2,500 Brits to find out which shops hagglers have the most success in, and although it found that it’s easier in smaller shops, high street fashion retailers featured too.
In other words, it could be worth giving it a go when you pop by your local Next store.
How to haggleBELOW are some tips on how you can be successful when haggling.
Retail research: Don’t attempt to haggle “cold” — it pays to be prepared by knowing the prices and deals on offer from other retailers. That way, you can play rival brands off against each other. Price comparison websites such as idealo.co.uk and pricerunner.com are good for this
Timing is everything: From shopping at quieter times to finding out when a retailer’s financial year ends, your timing can have a big impact on the bargains you bag. When retailers are less busy or below their sales target, they will often offer lower prices to help drive up sales — leaving you quids in
Chat it out: You may think your best bet for saving on your online shop is a cheeky discount code, but you could also get it via web chat. Simply ask a few questions about the item you want to buy on the web store you are on, then ask if there are any discounts or better deals they can offer
Feel for freebies: If you have tried your best to lock in a lower price but the shop just won’t budge, don’t give up on them. You still might be able to secure yourself some extra freebies to sweeten the deal. This could be anything from free samples of beauty products, or accessories like a camera bag, to a voucher for your next shop. There is no harm in checking with staff to find out more
Buy Next items in other shops
There are high street and online shops who sell Next clearance items for much cheaper, said Naomi.
In fact, you could save up to 70 per cent by buying Next clothes in stores like Everything5Pounds or Choice.
Some clothing items will have labels cut out, but you can tell from buttons or zips if it’s a Next range, she added.
Avoid paying VAT
If you’re rather petite, another way to save money at Next (or any other retailer) is to buy larger children’s clothes instead of adult’s sizes, Lynn James, founder of the Mrs Mummypenny blog, told The Sun.
This way you won’t have to pay VAT, which comes in at 20 per cent.
The little-known tax quirk also means that shoppers with petite feet can buy shoes for a fraction of the adult size price.
Hit the sale mid-morning to avoid the queues
Sales are always a great way to stock up on gifts for birthday and Christmas, as well as new items for yourself.
Next will kick off its popular 50 per cent sale this weekend, and it usually means shoppers get at least 50 per cent off items including clothing and homeware.
The sale is so legendary with bargain hunters that shoppers sometimes queue through the night, just to be first in line.
Yet mid-morning is the best time to go, according to a former Next employee, who spoke to The Liverpool Echo.
Alamy The Spring sale at Next is a great way to save money
He said: “Personally I would hold off from queueing unless there is something in particular you are desperate to get or unless you need a whole new wardrobe.
“If you are looking to queue I would say from 3.30am or 4am for Liverpool.”
The home section, womenswear and kids are most in demand and tend to sell out first, he added.
“With the furniture sale I would hold off for a few days because they normally drop again in price by five per cent each week.
“So a sofa that’s been dropped from £800 to £400 that’s just not sold in two weeks time then it will be dropped again in price.”
How to make the most of Next salesTHESE tips from a Next employee can help you make sure you bag the best bargains.
Familiarise yourself with the stock – check in store and online to see what items you might fancy, that means you’ll be able to act fast once prices start dropping. Online you can even bookmark your favourites.
Check online – often the sale launches online before stores open so go digital to get the best bargains.
Consider the VIP scheme – If you have a credit account you can get access to the sale 24 hours before the rgeneral public.
Choose the right store – smaller outlets are likely to be less rammed, so you may have less competition for great deals
Shop late in the day – around two hours before closing, staff start replenishing stock for the next day, this is a great time to hit the stores.
Look at ticket codes – if you’re in a next keep an eye out for black dots on tickets, chances are that means an item is going to be discounted, so you’re better off waiting till the price drops.
Homeware and women’s clothing sells fastest – so you might want to get to stores first thing for these items
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