Dr Linda Papadopoulos

Money-saving items such as heated blankets, thermal underwear and subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix are high on the list of things shoppers say they’ll be targeting in the pre-Christmas sales.


As the soaring cost-of-living forces consumers to tighten their belts, a new study by Vodafone suggests 1 in 4 (24%) cash-strapped shoppers in the run-up to Christmas intend to snap up practical goods that will help them to save money and cut their household expenses, especially energy bills.


Interestingly, nearly 1 in 10 (9%) say they will be looking to buy things that can be used now and potentially resold at a later date on online marketplaces, such as eBay and Depop.


41% of those surveyed intended to spend less overall on Black Friday than they did last year with a fifth (21%) stating they wouldn’t spend anything at all.


Almost half (44%) said they would be on the lookout for items that represent good value for money while just under a quarter (23%) said they’d be sizing up things that were cheap but fun or had a feel-good factor.


So how has the economic squeeze affected the way we think about where we shop?


A third of respondents (33%) said they were more likely to buy from retailers that offer buy-now-pay-later deals or provide cheap or 0% credit. Nearly half (49%) said they were attracted to sellers that offered special discounts, and 1 in 10 (12%) were more likely to buy from an outlet that offered some form of the trade-in deal.


Certain products, however, seem to defy cautious budgeting.


Shiny new gadgets such as smart speakers or beauty-related techs such as hair dryers and straighteners tend to be off-the-cuff purchases that are largely unplanned.


Just over a third (34%) of those surveyed described themselves as the kind of shopper for whom price is the most important factor. Almost as many (28%) say plan their shopping trips and always stick to a list.


But with 1 in 10 (9%) admitting they buy things on impulse and often regret splashing out on items they don’t really want or need, how can we get the most out of the end-of-season sales this year without suffering buyer’s remorse or spending more than we can afford?


Joining us to answer these questions is leading psychologist and broadcaster, Dr Linda Papadopoulos.

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