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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.

Ivebeentohellanditscalledikea · 28/12/2019 08:36

Much not mum

BacktoMA · 28/12/2019 08:40

I go to the Lush sale, everything is half price. It's the only sale they do all year and don't do online anymore. I don't get there early, about 9am, queue for about 30 minutes, get a year's worth of Lush stuff I love for half the cost, back home for 11am. Makes diddly squat difference to my day, have cold meats and pickled rustled up for 12.

I'd go on the 27th but the stock would be gone then, I have 2 weeks off so it makes no odds to me when shops reopen, I'd support them opening on the 27th but in the meantime I will go when I will get the items.

switswoo81 · 28/12/2019 08:44

I have been to the Next Summer sale early to get babygros ( I love the patterns and think they are good quality) but found they were people picking up armfuls not checking for size. A staff member told me they are sold on eBay. Obviously not Next's fault but after that I couldn't be bothered.

WeshMaGueule · 28/12/2019 08:48

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

Because there are easier ways of saving even more money that don't involve getting up at the crack of dawn and queueing in the cold and dark.

Beautiful3 · 28/12/2019 08:49

I only ever did this once for the next sale. It was a load of tat. The male shop assistant laughed, and said they only put out all the stuff they cant sell (for normal price) in the sale. Never again.

BellaNutella88 · 28/12/2019 08:49

If it makes people happy, why does it matter ? I used to go with my mum to the sales (although not as early as 5am). It wasn’t specifically for Next and I wasn’t a ‘savage’ as sale shoppers were described above. It was just a nice tradition that my mum and I would try to get some good bargains and spend some time together. I don’t spend a lot of money on myself throughout the year so it was fun using any Christmas money.

I haven’t been the last few years due to being pregnant and now having a young baby. But I probably should have gone to next to get cheaper baby clothes - they go through them like water !

I used to work in retail and worked many a Christmas Eve/ Boxing Day/ New Years. Unfortunately boycotting the sales won’t stop shops opening on these days. And it’s the nature of retail to work on these occasions.

If it’s not for you, don’t go !

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER · 28/12/2019 08:53

Personally I can’t understand anyone actually wanting to go shopping on Boxing Day, unless they really have to, or there’s something they need that they couldn’t afford otherwise.

Maybe they’re just addicted to finding so-called bargains, like someone I used to know, who couldn’t resist anything if it was really cheap. She would have piles and piles of clothes in the house, many unworn for a couple of years - or until her dh got fed up and took whole piles of them to the tip - not even the charity shop. That would make so so mad!

hopelessatthinkingupusernames · 28/12/2019 08:54

Some of the staff definitely aren’t happy to be there. I worked in Next during their summer sale once. I wasn’t contracted to work on the Saturday and didn’t want to because it was the day of my 18th birthday party but management wouldn’t leave me alone until I agreed to a shift. I wouldn’t have told a customer that though!

Chemenger · 28/12/2019 08:55

DD works in Next. 200 people queuing at 6am (giving the staff abuse as they walked past the queue to open the store. Luckily DD was wearing her Next Sale t-shirt so didn’t get yelled at for queue jumping). Grabbing armfuls of children’s clothes then sitting in the furniture section sorting through it and chucking what they didn’t want on the floor. It all died down later and they restocked the store from about 10am. So going at 10 gave the same bargains in a nicer atmosphere.

BacktoMA · 28/12/2019 08:56

@Beautiful3 that simply isn't true, I don't queue for the Next sale as I get VIP online slots, but the sale online and in store is literally 50% off most of the previous season, so the Boxing Day sale is what they sold July-Dec (the mid season sales tend to be the rubbish ones that they put less into, Dec and Jul sales are the best) That's why they're so popular. I got £1000 worth of Fat Face clothes for £400 last Dec in the Next online sale, Fat Face doesn't reduce their stuff that much directly. And the great thing about Fat Face is they sell similar clothes throughout the year so it doesn't even look massively out of season.

That's why so many people go, I did queue when my children were younger and we had less money, the savings aren't worth the pain for me now and the VIP slots get most of what I like.

CalamityJune · 28/12/2019 08:56

I don't think it's like it used to be. I used to like going and spending the gift vouchers I'd got and have had some nice finds including coats and handbags for half price. I never got up early though.

The last few times I went though, I really struggled. The main stock was still full price and they'd wheeled out loads of unsellable shit.

It's a snobby attitude to wonder why people go. They want Next clothes but can't afford Next prices. Or possibly think Next is overpriced most of the time...

RingtheBells · 28/12/2019 08:57

Boxing Day is a bit of a nothing day anyway and getting up early wouldn't bother me if I did want to go to the sales but I prefer to sit on my arse and have stuff delivered to me, I am another who receives daily parcels so my postman/courier is probably sickened by it but if no-one bought anything the post people perhaps wouldn't have a job

Chemenger · 28/12/2019 09:00

I assume Next opens at 6 so that the queue isn’t 500 people long rather than 200.

SuperLoudPoppingAction · 28/12/2019 09:04

With Lush, years ago, you got a free Christmas gift set (even the one that cost £100) with a purchase of anything that had been made before a certain date - maybe you had to spend £10 on something you actually needed and then you got a box of bath bombs and soap thrown in.

It makes sense as their products don't last forever.

When they used to do that and I used to like the smells of their products and body shop was included in the list of products to boycott in relation to nestle, I went to the sale and did queue up early.

At that time, it was worth it for me.

These days I don't go out at all on boxing day.
I did enjoy a few chocolate bargains in Tesco yesterday though.

PineappleDanish · 28/12/2019 09:09

I don't get it either. I remember seeing people queuing outside electricals shops or furniture shops as a child as they'd be doing something like "first 10 people through the door get a telly for £10".

But Next is very average stuff, nothing special and definitely not worth queuing for. Even at 50% off. Their marketing department has created a buzz around the sale with their VIP invitations and massive window posters and people fall for it.

We used to have a permanent clearance store near here, about 10 years ago it was great get some kids things and homeware, over the years it became far more jumble sale like and now it's 10% clearance stock and 90% regular stock. Really not worth making the effort to go in.

I also would never, ever dress myself or my kids head to toe in one brand of clothing.

FairytaleofButlins · 28/12/2019 09:14

Sadly, 98% of people are not "saving money" at all.
There are a few dedicated shoppers - a few even blog about it - with a LIST of what they need/want who will only buy something that fits the list.
The rest think they are buying a bargain because it's in the sales, it's a bit sad. They just spend money for the sake of it.

There are a few posters who buy next year Christmas presents! As if you do know 1 year in advance what people will want/have/need. It's just tat.

xJodiex · 28/12/2019 09:14

There was a time when I used to receive daily parcels but to be fair, it was mostly second hand dvds and books off of ebay, each around £2. Some of it was healthcare stuff, it's cheaper online. Sorry if that sickens you, Postie.

DisgruntledGuineaPig · 28/12/2019 09:16

Have met a few people who do this. When pushed, it seems the excitement of going early and queuing up is fun, it makes it all feel more special and they are doing something different.

Then they always buy something , which isnt always what they want/need, but it doesn't matter, it's about the experience.

If they opened at 10, it wouldnt be special. They would just be buying clothes in the sales. So no bigger deal than wandering into any other shop.

I dont understand the woman up thread wanting clothes for the dc, it's all online. You can collect in store the next few days. It has to be about feeling you've done something special, rather than what you end up with.

BacktoMA · 28/12/2019 09:16

created a buzz around the sale with their VIP invitations

They have but it's not an empty buzz, it's one of the best online sales you can get, if you get one of the first slots you get great stuff at very good prices. I don't tend to buy Next stuff but the other branded clothes they do like Fat Face as they reduce more than the brands do directly, they even reduce things like Ray Ban glasses by 50%

I hate paying full price for things as they're not worth that much when you know they're priced to sell cheaply in sales, so where it doesn't take much effort like the VIP sales, I will try to buy in them. But my days for queuing outside Next are long gone, not worth the effort!

notsohippychick · 28/12/2019 09:20

I genuinely can’t see the appeal of Next clothes. Overpriced and so boring! If it was a Hush or Toast sale I’d be there like a rat up a drain pipe. Next is all a bit...... meh.

RingtheBells · 28/12/2019 09:23

Agree BacktoMA, luckily I have always managed to get a good VIP slot and head straight for Seasalt and Fat Face as the stuff is good quality and cheaper in Next sale than the actual stores sales, I also bought my Berghaus waterproof from Next for a very good price.

DisgruntledGuineaPig · 28/12/2019 09:27

Its also worth noting that for some people, shopping and thinking about what to buy for people is basically their hobby. This sounds sneery, but it's not ment to be, it is what lots of people do for fun.

You could ask why do people go sea swimming first thing on boxing day, they can go later, they could go to a warm swimming pool, but as a group they go and the excitement of doing something a bit different appeals.

For those for whom shopping is their hobby, I can see the buzz of doing the big sale early would appeal. They can go as a group as everyone has the day off. They are surrounded by people who feel the same.

If you shop to get stuff you need/want, rather than enjoy shopping as a leisure activity, then shopping online at a normal time would seem better.

RingtheBells · 28/12/2019 09:33

I would far rather queue for the Next sale than go swimming in the sea first thing Boxing morning but DH would probably prefer the swim. Grin

Iamthewombat · 28/12/2019 09:35

The last few times I went though, I really struggled. The main stock was still full price and they'd wheeled out loads of unsellable shit.

It's a snobby attitude to wonder why people go. They want Next clothes but can't afford Next prices. Or possibly think Next is overpriced most of the time...

Both of these from the same poster, in the same post.

So the stuff is ‘unsellable shit’ but it is OK for ‘people who want Next clothes’ to buy the clothes you have labelled ‘unsellable shit’? Poor saps who are not as enlightened as you, presumably. But anybody wondering why somebody might queue up outside Next at 5.30 am is ‘snobby’.

Thanks for backing up my argument, although it is the opposite of what you intended.

OP posts:
Dowser · 28/12/2019 09:38

There are only three reasons why I’d be up at 5am

  1. there was a family crisis and I was needed
  2. there was a plane leaving to somewhere hot andI needed to be on it
  3. I’d lost my marbles.

    Queuing for stuff I don’t need would not be in the first 100 on my list..but fair play to those of you who got your kids kitted out for the year for ££ rather than ££££

    I do think it’s very unfair of Next hauling their staff in at silly o clock
    That definitely needs to be stopped.
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