How to shop efficiently


Codes to help you save:

  • Store tags contain hidden sales information of items in stock. In preparation for sales, shop staff scribble numbers, letters or dots on price tags. If you spot these markings on a full-price item you want to buy, hold off – they often mean the item’s about to be reduced.
  • Some typical Next codes are B14, G4, P7, OB9 and S13. Ignore the letters, which seem to relate to where sale items are to be located in store, and you’re left with just a number – that’s generally the price this item’s going down to.
  • An item priced at £26 with a cryptic ‘S13’ noted in pen. A couple of days later, it was £13 in the sale (half-price). An £8 item marked ‘G4’. This became £4 in the sale.


  • Often shops sort clothes by colour or this season’s look, rather than categories such as jeans and tops – to keep you in the store and exploring further.
  • However, a few days before a sale, staff often re-sort garments by type which is a sign that you should wait before purchasing.

Online chats:

  • When a website has an online chat this means that this can be the key to unlocking discount codes. If you state that you have interest in the product but it is slightly out of your budget you could request a discount code which can be generated by the employee on the chat, to be used later in the checkout section.
  • This has been tested and has worked previously worked and has been successful. This in the eyes of the shop they would rather you spend money on a product at a discounted rate, compared to not spending anything.

Drop-out rate:

When shopping online another trick to adopt is to not purchase at the last point. This then increases the drop out of the online sales which is not a good reflection on their analytics. In most cases they will then email you (if you are registered) giving you a discount off specific items you’ve shown interest in.


Unlike buying in store, buy online and the Consumer Contracts Regulations mean you can cancel the order within 14 days of arrival for any reason. You’ve then ANOTHER 14 days to send it back. So be sure to email them before the first 14 days are up. The exception is personalised or perishable items.


Large electrical shops sometimes use price codes to secretly communicate to staff which models need to be shifted quickly to make way for new stock. Prices ending in 7, 8 or 1 meaning it’s a clearance item – meaning the model has been discontinued.

Haggling on the high street:

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a discount. In fact, it’s built into some shops’ official policies.

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