The annual January sales are in full swing, with huge discounts available on a number of must-have gadgets, kitchenware, Sky TV, clothing, household goods, long-haul flights, and more.
While the best Black Friday deals are only available for a very limited time, the January sales offer shoppers a little more time to snag a bargain. The January sales are usually kickstarted with the Boxing Day sales, which used to begin when high street stores opened on December 26th, but now debut on Christmas Day (December 25) and earlier exclusively online.
If you received some extra money under the Christmas tree or need some new products to help out with your New Year resolutions, the January sales are a great opportunity to secure some bargains.
Short on time? We’ve rounded up our top picks for the best deals in the January sales that you cannot afford to miss below. These include some of the lowest prices we’ve seen for top-rated products, as well as items that have scored highly in our reviews.
Scroll down for more information to help you become a bargain maestro, including timings for the sales, tips from bargain-hunting experts, advice from money-saving expert Martin Lewis, and more. Find our complete guide to the January sales below, or use the links to jump to a relevant section. Happy shopping!
Top Picks in the January 2022 sales you can’t afford to miss
The vast number of discounts launched during the January sales can be a little overwhelming. And honestly, not every deal will be worth your time.
To make things easier, we’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff.
Below, you’ll find the lowest prices and promotions on some of the most sought-after products as well as essentials like home broadband, flights and package holidays, pay monthly phones, Sky TV bundles, and much more. We’ll keep this guide updated as more January sales are launched, so keep checking back.
When do January sales start?
Of course, the obvious answer is that retailers kickstart the January sales on the first of the month. However, in reality, these sales often begin as part of the Boxing Day sales. For a number of online stores, there is no break between the Boxing Day sales and the January discounts.
And these sales are beginning earlier and earlier each year. Before online shopping became the most popular way to browse the sales, the Boxing Day sales were restricted to the small hours of December 26th. After all, high street shops were shuttered all-day on December 25th, so there was no way to access the discounts and deals until the following morning.
To compensate for this, many retailers would bring forward their opening times – often allowing the first bargain-hunters through the door at around 5am. Long queues would force hours before the doors opened, so shoppers could snag the best discounts and get the biggest choice of available stock.
These “doorbuster” sales share a lot in common with Black Friday sales in the United States, where retailers would slash prices to record lows to increase footfall in their stores and supercharge profits. To maximise their chances to secure the best deals, shoppers would queue outside of the shops for hours.
With the ubiquity of online shopping, retailers are no longer restricted to kickstarting their sales at 5am on Boxing Day itself. As such, most online stores launch their Boxing Day savings on Christmas Day – with splashy advertising campaigns in the commercial breaks on December 25th to show-off the best deals.
For those who don’t want to play another game of Monopoly (or speak to their loved ones), shopping from the sofa on a phone, iPad or laptop is a stress-free way to browse the best deals. It also means you don’t need to queue outside for hours with other sleep-deprived bargain-hunters.
This year, some online retailers have kickstarted their Boxing Day sales before Christmas Day – dramatically extending the lifespan of their biggest deals. It’s worth noting these deals are restricted to online shops. For example, Boots launched its annual Boxing Day sales online on Christmas Eve …but confirmed that no prices in-store would drop until opening time on December 26th.
What is the history of the January sales?
The January sales, sometimes known as the “Winter Sales” or “Post-Christmas Sales”, are a tradition in many countries worldwide, including the UK. This sales event sees retailers offer discounted prices on a wide range of products during the first few weeks of the year as a way to clear out inventory and make room for new merchandise.
The origins of the January sales can be traced back to the 19th Century in France, where retailers would hold a “white sale” in January to promote linens and other household goods.
The sale was called a “white sale” because many of the products that were discounted were white in colour. The tradition quickly spread to other countries, and today the January sales are a global phenomenon.
The origins of the January sale can be traced back to the ‘White Sale’ in 19th Century France
In the United States, the January sales are known as the “after-Christmas sales.” They are a busy time for retailers, as many people take advantage of the discounts to purchase gifts for themselves or others. The sales are also popular with tourists, who flock to cities like New York and Los Angeles to take advantage of the discounts.
In recent years, the January sales have also become increasingly popular online. Many retailers offer discounted prices on their websites and through online marketplaces, making it easy for consumers to shop from the comfort of their own homes.
The January sales are a great opportunity for consumers to save money on a wide range of products, from clothing and accessories to home goods and electronics. They are also an important time for retailers, as the sales can help boost their revenue and kick off the new year on a good footing.
For those who want to save some money over the coming year, the January sales can be a great opportunity to cut costs. For example, many broadband, mobile networks, and paid-TV providers take part in the sales – allowing you to switch from your current deal to unlock some impressive savings.
What does Martin Lewis say about January sales?
Martin Lewis – who regularly tops surveys as the most trusted man in Britain – has some very memorable advice for anyone shopping in the sales.
Lewis, who launched the MoneySavingExpert blog back in 2003 to help Britons discover the best savings accounts, credit card perks, mortgage deals and more, is taking time off until early January so hasn’t specifically addressed the Boxing Day sales.
However, the ITV pundit issued some brilliant advice around Black Friday just a few weeks ago that still applies perfectly to the January sales as well. The 50-year-old campaigner says: “If you were going to buy it anyway and it’s half price, you’ve saved 50%. If you weren’t going to buy it, but do because it’s half price you’ve wasted 100%.”
In other words: if you know exactly what you need to buy in the January sales – you can enjoy some incredible savings, but if you don’t need anything, it might be worth passing on the bargains no matter the discount.
We’d recommend looking at cutting costs on some of your existing services – like broadband, mobile phone bills, or satellite telly – rather than adding new items to your shopping basket, as this is a surefire way to save money with the January sales. Of course, if you’re looking to kit yourself out with some new gear, the discounts can be a great way to save some money, but don’t buy anything you didn’t already want.
In the last few months, Martin Lewis has been in serious demand, hosting a number of special editions of The Martin Lewis Show on ITV to help Britons save money on bills during the current cost-of-living crisis. Lewis also hosts a radio show, which is repackaged as a podcast, on BBC Five Live.
Using both of these platforms, Martin Lewis has explained the impact of Rishi Sunak’s budget to stabilise the UK’s finances following the short-lived, but disastrous, premiership of Liz Truss.
January 2022 sales – shopping tips, tricks, and advice
Whether you’re looking for a particular product, or simply want to make sure you can spot the record-breaking deals from the duds, we’ve rounded up the best tips and tricks to help you master the January sales.
1. Write a list before you start shopping
The easiest way to guarantee that you get everything you wanted in the Boxing Day sales is to know exactly what you’re looking for. Sounds obvious, right?
But as that credit card starts to burn a hole in your pocket as you see the thousands of discounted items calling to you… it can be difficult to stick strictly to your list.
First, January sales shoppers need to figure out exactly what they’re looking for. Have you just moved house and need garden furniture, kitchen gadgets, and homeware? Or do you want to upgrade to a brand-new 4K TV for those winter movie nights or to see the difference with your brand-new PS5 or Xbox Series X?
Whatever it is, start by writing out a list of some must-have items and then figure out what budget you would like to spend.
This helps to prevent you from buying products you don’t actually want or need.
If you’re unsure of what product you want but know the type of item i.e an air fryer, it’s a good idea to do research ahead of the day on the top reviewed models out there.
That way you can look out for discounts on the items and you won’t blindly spend on an air fryer that’s subpar in performance. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with a number of in-depth reviews and guides to help you find the perfect product for you. Check out some of our guides below…
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2. Get Amazon Prime (or sign up for free)
If you want to get the best deals available in Amazon’s January sale, you’ll need to be a Prime member.
For those who don’t know, Amazon Prime is a membership scheme that unlocks a slew of benefits for those who shop on Amazon UK. Prime members enjoy exclusive 30-minute early access to all Lightning Deals (time-limited discounts that roll-out throughout the Black Friday deals) so you can get ahead of the crowds and secure these deals before stock runs out.
Not only that, but Prime members enjoy next-day delivery at no extra cost (and same-day delivery in some parts of the country) so you’ll get your hands on your new item before anyone else too! If you’re thinking of shopping in the sales, you really need to be a Prime member.
Prime membership costs £8.99 per month, although Amazon offers a free 30-day trial that unlocks all of the benefits listed above. Even if you’ve taken advantage of a Prime trial in the past, it’s worth checking whether your account is eligible for the free trial again as Amazon allows customers to test its Prime service roughly once-a-year or so.
You can check whether you’re eligible for a free trial of Prime membership by clicking here.
Prime isn’t just about speedy delivery and early access to deals, there’s a dizzying number of other perks, including free PC games, exclusive TV shows and movies via Prime Video, ad-free podcasts, unlimited photo backup, an upgrade for your Deliveroo account, and much, much more. You can find the full list of Prime benefits here.
Get Amazon Prime for FREE
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Get Amazon Prime for 30-days for free. This free trial unlocks all perks of Prime membership, including early access to deals, next-day delivery at no cost, unlimited photo backup, access to all TV shows and movies on Prime Video, and more. Cancel anytime during the 30-day trial and you won’t pay a penny!
3. Head to Amazon Warehouse for an extra discount
Amazon Warehouse is a little-known section of the online store where Amazon sells returned items for a discount. It also offers products that have seen their packaging damaged in shipping – these items are still new but most look as if they’ve been sat on in transit.
Of course, all of the same money-back guarantees and hardware warranties are brand-new items apply to Amazon Warehouse purchase, so if anything is actually broken you’ll be able to get a full refund. And since these items are all fulfilled by Amazon, Prime members can expect to receive their package the following day at no extra cost – just like buying new!
So why would you want to buy an item with torn packaging? Or an unwanted gift that someone has returned?
The simple answer is that Amazon Warehouse items are much cheaper than their brand-new counterparts. For a limited time, the already-discounted items will be slashed by an extra 20% for record-low price tags! Even items that have been heavily discounted in the January sales can be beaten by Warehouse promotions!
Get an extra 20% off discounted items from Amazon Warehouse for record-low prices!
Amazon Warehouse sells unwanted items that have been returned or goods with cosmetic damage to the packaging at discounted rates. And for a limited time, you can get an extra 20% off. If you’ve seen a new item at a discount, chances are, you’ll find it at an even better price in Warehouse!
Which is better – Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, or January sales?
At one time, there was no competition between these two sales – with the Boxing Day sales, which then fold into the January sales, seeing blockbuster discounts on must-have gadgets, kitchenware, furniture, clothing, and more that you wouldn’t find at any other point in the year. However, times have changed.
In recent years, Black Friday has slowly become a worldwide phenomenon – spreading from the United States, where the sales event started, to be embraced in the UK, mainland Europe, and Australia, to name just a few places.
Black Friday, which is traditionally held on the first Friday after the Thanksgiving holidays in the USA, takes place a few weeks before Christmas – making it a great chance to snag some presents at a discount. As such, the blockbuster sales event has become one of the biggest events in the calendar for bargain-hunters.
Boxing Day sales are still a big deal, and often see retailers replicate the same discounts and promotions unleashed during Black Friday. That makes it a brilliant second-chance to secure some of the discounts and deals you might’ve missed first time around. And for those who received cash from relatives underneath the tree, it can be a great chance to get much more for your money.
How to stay safe when shopping online
When shopping online, it’s always important to be cautious and protect yourself from scams. Express.co.uk has rounded up some key tips to help you avoid being scammed –
1. Use a secure payment method: If you’re not familiar with the website, check that it offers secure payment options, such as credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay. Apple and Google Pay keep your card details hidden from the retailer, with a unique token for the transaction generated instead. Even if the website has poor security practices, your debit or credit card details can not be stored by the retailer, which is a relief
2. Have you heard of the website before?: It’s easy to get caught-up in the excitement of bargain-hunting, but if you’ve never heard of the online retailer you’ve stumbled across …that could be a cause for concern. An easy rule of thumb is – would you recommend a close family member shop on this website? If there’s anything about the website that gives you pause, then it might be worth thinking twice about putting your own card details into the site – even if it has a significantly cheaper price tag!
3. Research the seller: Look for reviews and ratings from other customers, and be wary of sellers with a low rating or no history. If the seller is offering a product at a significantly lower price than other retailers, that could be a red flag
4. Check the website’s security: Make sure the website you’re shopping on has a secure connection by looking for “https” in the URL and a lock icon in the address bar
5. Use a credit card: If you do end up being scammed, using a credit card gives you more protection than using a debit card. Credit card companies are more likely to help you get your money back in the event of a scam.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from scams and have a safer online shopping experience.
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