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Are you one of those people who queues for sales at 6 am? Confess, and tell me why.

260 replies

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 00:37

I’ve seen a number of threads on the subject of ‘all shops should close on Boxing Day, blah blah’ but what I want to know is this:

If you are one of those people waiting outside shops on Boxing Day at 6 am (or earlier), why do you do it? The bargains can’t be that good.

We visited friends in Liverpool today and they showed me photos in the local paper of people queuing outside Next at 5.30 am, outside Lush at 6 am etc.


The paper had interviewed some of the queuers (is that a word?). Their reasons were as follows:

Woman outside Lush: “the gift sets are 50% off so I can get £400 worth for £200!”

Sorry love, they aren’t going to last until Christmas 2020. When I assume you will attempt to re-gift them.

Women outside Next: “It’s a tradition for us and we come every year but we are trying to buy less because we are worried about the environment” (!!!!! I wonder if Next sell self-awareness?)

Genuinely, why do you do it? Is it because you are trying to recreate the Blitz spirit? Is it so that you have something to talk about?

I’d kind of understand if it’s a young person who is label-conscious and wants to snag a particular designer brand from Flannels or Harvey Nics and can only afford it in the sale but Next and bloody Lush? Come on! Neither are a motherlode of sought after quality items at drastically reduced prices, are they?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

daisychain01 · 28/12/2019 07:57

What does your OP do to encourage anyone to be motivated disclose their Sales buying habits to you? All you want to do is lecture, wag your finger and slag people off.

lotusbell · 28/12/2019 08:00

You say you want to know why because you're interested but you've already poo-pooed the very idea so any reasons given by anyone who does this won't wash with you anyway. You've already dismissed it so why ask? Put it down to one of those things you don't get, will never get but just accept that some people do, they enjoy it, it's their life and not yours. It does not affect you or impact your life so why are you getting so worked up about it?

lazylinguist · 28/12/2019 08:00

Well I wouldn't do it. But it's not exactly a mystery why people do. Some love shopping and can't resist a bargain. Some are on a low budget, so can get stuff they need that they wouldn't normally be able to afford.

As usual on MN, "I genuinely don't understand why people do X, Y or Z" threads are thinly-veiled excuses for looking down on other people's choices.

WeshMaGueule · 28/12/2019 08:03

What I don't get is why 50% off is such a bargain. Buy an Ebay bundle for a tenner instead from the comfort of your own home.

And why should we care about what other people buy? Because the environmental cost of mindless consumerism is huge.

FlaviaAlbia · 28/12/2019 08:04

I used to work in a warehouse marking down stuff for the Next sales when I was a student. The majority of stuff was previous sale stuff we took labels off and relabelled with the current sale label.

I've bought a few things from their sales since but I always wash it first. Dirt was absolutely ingrained in my hands by the time the markup was over and a good few of us would develop a wierd skin rash from whatever the clothes are treated with, or possibly dirt again...

BoxedWine · 28/12/2019 08:05

As for the poor staff - they were, and are always in my experience, happy to be there. They get “first pick” for volunteering to work it and they do shorter shifts that day on rotation so they can have time at home. I think the lady who served me said she was doing 5am-11am. I know this because I asked her after reading lots of threads on here about how awful it is to work in retail at this time of year.

You're incredibly naïve. They do not all volunteer to do it and are hardly going to tell you if they're miserable, they've been forced to do it and they think you're selfish for being there.

tectonicplates · 28/12/2019 08:08

I understand people wanting cheaper clothes but I don't understand why Next opens at 5am instead of 10am. Why is it several hours earlier than all the other shops, and what is particular about Next when all the shops are having a sale?

Oysterbabe · 28/12/2019 08:11

I'd rather stick pins in my eyes but each to their own.

LionelRitchieStoleMyNotebook · 28/12/2019 08:13

I have a colleague who does this with her adult daughter, they do not celebrate Christmas (follow a different faith), so it's just a double bank holiday to them. She gets some lovely things to wear for work.

LouLouLoupee · 28/12/2019 08:15

I’ve done the next sale, I would go every year on Boxing Day if I could. But it’s not a priority.
My reason for doing so, to clothe my kids in something different than what I can pick up in the supermarket. Those that say Next is poor quality are clearly able to afford better quality stuff to compare it to. All I know it’s better quality than the stuff I usually buy my kids.
We are a low income family so in previous years I’ve bought Next gift cards throughout the year and asked for them for Christmas to use on Boxing Day. I’ve managed to get a years worth of clothes for my kids at supermarket prices including outerwear and underwear.
It benefits me in a number of ways. Including the fact that I am less stressed throughout the year not having to worry about where to find money for clothes. Next clothes tend to be durable enough to last both the boys (and a nephew in between). It’s good fun, if we are organised I can go with my sisters. We will typically be back home by 8.
This year has been particularly tough so haven’t made it to the sales.

PollyPelargonium52 · 28/12/2019 08:19

I would nevver queue like that not only do I value my sleep but I really don't need anything that badly!

They say people are buying a whole lot less though not only because online shopping is so much easier but it is better for the environment.

princesspeppax · 28/12/2019 08:21

As for the poor staff - they were, and are always in my experience, happy to be there. They get “first pick” for volunteering to work it and they do shorter shifts that day on rotation so they can have time at home.

I work for next and can confirm we do not volunteer to work boxing day it is compulsory, as is christmas eve. As well as this we also are in to midnight on the run up to the sale to help prep the items going into the sale.

It does put a slight dampener on Christmas evening when you know you are awake at 5am work on boxing day but hey ho I guess thats the job I took and I have to deal with it Confused

Runningonempty84 · 28/12/2019 08:22

Horses for courses, innit. I think anyone who gets up at 5.30am on Boxing Day to go to Next is batshit. But they'd probably think the same as me for getting up at that time to fit a long run in while the DC are still asleep.
I do think the frantic sale shopping is mindless consumerism, but can't get too worked up about it, compared to the "spend spend spend" at Primark etc all year round.

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 08:23

You see the same faces, find out how their xmas went and their is a bit of camaraderie.

Our local next sale has gotten busier with more people queuing than before.

Finally, the truth! FOMO and a bit of a social occasion.

Incidentally, the question wasn’t “why do you buy things in sales” or “what did you or somebody you know buy in the sales many years ago”; it was “why did you queue up upside Next or Lush at the crack of dawn on Boxing Day?”

OP posts:
mumtomaxwell · 28/12/2019 08:24

I did the early morning thing once and it was good, just haven’t had the opportunity/inclination to go again.

I always have good luck in the Next sale a few days later when they allow returns - people bring all the good stuff back. I’ve managed to get some really nice things for work, and my most favourite coat by popping in a few days later. I wore that coat for many years until it eventually fell apart...

EsmeShelby · 28/12/2019 08:24

I think a lot of people just want to get out of the house after Christmas day

RingtheBells · 28/12/2019 08:27

The Next online sale is much better than the shop one as they sell the branded stuff, I bought lots of Seasalt stuff from Next which was cheaper than the actual Seasalt shop sale, also bought Sorel and Hunter boots for DH, these are not in the Next shops.

supadupapupascupa · 28/12/2019 08:27

I did it once and kitted my kids out with winter coats for the following year. We needed to save the money and we did.

Bluewavescrashing · 28/12/2019 08:29

I know 2 people who are evangelical about Next. Never buy any other brands.

The children's clothes are quite nice (don't buy school shoes there though, they lose their shape) but everything else is just a bit meh. Overpriced to start with.

Next are now getting a bad reputation for producing cheaper, lower quality clothing just to be wheeled out for their sales. I went to one sale on the first day at 9am and everything was awful. Tesco had much nicer clothes.

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 08:30

Put it down to one of those things you don't get, will never get but just accept that some people do, they enjoy it, it's their life and not yours. It does not affect you or impact your life so why are you getting so worked up about it?

  1. There are many posters on this thread who similarly don’t get why you queue up outside a mediocre shop with mediocre bargains at 5.30 am. “Because they enjoy it” does not answer the question.

2. There are many things that don’t impact our lives directly, and yet we are allowed to be interested in them.

3. It’s you who sounds worked up. I’ll ask what I want, thanks.
OP posts:
Lellochip · 28/12/2019 08:32

I worked at Next Clearance as a student, we didn't open at the crack of dawn, but people were even less respectful of the clothes & shop because it was the cheap stuff - it was carnage 😅 Worse than the sales was the stream of returns you then had to deal with for the next month, people would just but whatever they could get their hands on, and worry about if they actually wanted it when they got home. I think we banned returns for a few days

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 08:32

I think a lot of people just want to get out of the house after Christmas day

But why do it before dawn?

OP posts:
Ivebeentohellanditscalledikea · 28/12/2019 08:33

I'm too lazy for all that plus can't usually afford the stuff even in the sales but my exes mum goes every year. She spends a fortune but is also a hoarder of clothes and shoes so the things she buys never get worn just put in with the piles of other things she owns.

CupoTeap · 28/12/2019 08:34

Why is isn't saving money a good enough answer?

You seem to be sneering about people who queue for the sales rather than genuinely wanting to find out why.

Ivebeentohellanditscalledikea · 28/12/2019 08:35

Forgot to say she is very mum a "things make me happy" kind of person who will spend £100s on stuff then complain they can't afford the boiler to be fixed. Its very odd

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