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We’ve all been there, battling the crowds at the crack of dawn to snag a half-price Chloé. However, the sales can also end in disappointment – we’re talking too big Louboutins or torn cashmere. With Dubai Shopping Festival kickstarting on January 2, take your discount foraging from disaster to delightful with these top expert tips.

MARK ELLWOOD AUTHOR OF BARGAIN FEVER: HOW TO SHOP IN A DISCOUNT WORLD

Keep calm. When your brain spots an offer it releases dopamine, an organic chemical that lights up like a firework in your brain, and makes you want that sale. Remaining calm and unstressed will keep your spending in control.

Be cheeky. Register on the site of your favourite brand, then go shopping, putting what you want in your virtual basket. Go through the stages of making a purchase and at the final step simply close the page. Ninety per cent of the time the brand will note that you’ve left and will send you a promotion code or deal via email soon after.

 

Don’t be fooled. A 30 per cent discount doesn’t call for a sale, and steer clear if the discount is more than 70 per cent – it means prices have been inflated.  There’s a sweet window between 30 and 50 per cent, which screams bargain!

EVE THOMAS, STYLE DIRECTOR OF THEOUTNET.COM

Number crunch. Before the big sale, work out your budget so there’s no guilt after the shop. If shopping online add items to your Wish List so you can find your favourites really quickly on the day.

Style no-nos. If it’s not fabulous then avoid it. If you don’t feel great the moment you put it on then you never will.

Style go-gos. Sales are a great time to invest in timeless classics. Everyone should have a capsule wardrobe with the essentials: leather trousers, ballet flats, a cashmere sweater and a blazer.

Stick to a sensible motto. I only buy pieces that I would consider paying full price for. If you find something you really love, don’t hesitate, discount items don’t hang around forever.

SARAH JOAN ROSS, STYLE DIRECTOR OF EMIRATES WOMAN

 
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Befriend store managers. Get friendly with them and they will let you know first when a sale is due. They tell me the exact time and date of the sale, plus the stock levels on the items I want.

Beware of sale stock. It can be great, but the fit might not be quite right, which is possibly why it’s still on the shelf. When trying things on in the changing room look at how it could work with a little nip and tuck from the tailor.

Buy one size up on budget items.  This means you’re getting a little extra fabric, which can make all difference from looking cheap or chic.

Image: Corbis