Finance Consumer Boxing Day sales 2020: How to make sure you’re buying a bargain

Boxing Day sales 2020: How to make sure you’re buying a bargain

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It’s the final sale of the season and the most traditional, as far as retail-created milestones go: The Boxing Day sales.

This has been a marathon of a year, and our hip pockets have definitely been given a workout as we spend, spend, spend to keep ourselves amused and entertained at home.

Analysts are predicting a bumper Boxing Day, with retailers keen to offload their stock surplus and consumers keen to spend their surplus coin.

But before we dive into what’s on offer (and there’s a lot), we spoke to Jana Bowden, retail marketing expert with Macquarie University, about how to make sure you’re not being dudded these sales.

Sale season is all bright lights and in-your-face advertising, but Dr Bowden said all advertised sales weren’t necessarily bargains.

She cited a study that tracked a huge 98 per cent of discounted items – and found they were actually cheaper six months after big sales events.

Retailers try to overwrite our buying prowess by telling us something is a bargain – don’t worry about your research! Trust us! This is cheap!

Dr Bowden shared her five top tips to make sure you’re spending but still saving, this Boxing Day.

  • ‘Check the anchor price’

It’s all in the wording. A RRP, or recommended retail price, is usually much higher than what a consumer would normally pay for an item.

Instead of ’40 per cent off the RRP’ look for wording like ’40 per cent off the lowest ticketed price’.

  • Don’t fall for incentives – if there are attached ‘bonus items’, it’s probably not a great deal
  • ‘Beware the 99 cent effect’

Mad Men character Roger Sterling put it best when he said, “Brilliance in advertising is ’99 cents’.”

Although the sales technique has been around for decades, consumers still fall for it.

“It works as a sales tactic because we read from left to right, and so the first digit of the price that we see resonates with us the most, meaning consumers perceive a product priced at $9.99 to be much cheaper than the identical product sold for $10.00 – as irrational as that seems,” Dr Bowden explained.

He might be a work of fiction, but Mad Men‘s Roger Sterling knows a thing or two about advertising. Photo: AMC
  • Avoid FOMO – that ‘fear’ you’re feeling is manufactured to make you buy, buy, buy
  • ‘On sale’ doesn’t equal value’

As Dr Bowden mentioned earlier, a research project tracked the price points from when they went ‘on sale’ during big sale events, to the months following.

The data shows us that just because something says ‘on sale’, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the cheapest it’s going to be.

So if you can stand to wait (and sure, possibly miss out) maybe it’s in the interest of a bargain.

Now, to the sales

Just about every big-name retailer is jumping in on the Boxing Day sales.

Wherever you looked, there’s bound to be slashed prices.

Now that we’ve armed you with what not to buy (see above), here’s a round up of our favourite deals this year.


All the big brands are on sale this year – MAC, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Clinique – seriously, all of them.

Our pick is the hub itself, Oz Hair and Beauty, at up to 65 per cent off.

Skincare and beauty have been the big sale winners during the pandemic. Photo: Getty


Amazon is, as usual, bringing some seriously rock-bottom prices on tech goods.

It is able to do this thanks to the massive warehouses it has that are just brimming with stock.

Bing Lee is also a must-visit site for tech lovers on Boxing Day.

If you’re in the market for a new phone, Amazon has a host of Samsung Galaxy models on sale – with savings between $130 and $300.


This is one area where Aussies love to snag a bargain. And boy howdy, it’s a good year for it.

Home-grown Bonds is slinging up to 30 per cent off, The Iconic has discounts of between 30 and 60 per cent, Surfstitch offers up to 50 per cent off and Adidas has up to 40 per cent off.

Need to update your wardrobe? Do it in style, but on the cheap. Photo: AAP


All the data says we Aussies have been loving ‘nesting’ this year – creating a comfortable lockdown space for our families. That habit is set to continue into the new year.

The holy grail of home appliance brands, Dyson, is offering a bunch of deals, including $250 off the V10 Absolute+ cord-free vacuum cleaner.

Bored of your couch? Amart has a sale of up to 50 per cent, as does Zanui and IKEA.


We’re back on the road, baby. To encourage Aussies out and about, Wotif has a 20 per cent discount for selected Australian hotels.

It’s highly likely we’ll see some good deals from the airlines as well, who are keen to rebuild confidence in the flying public.