Game on: here's your official Boxing Day sales survival guide.

As you gear your mind, body and wallet for the Boxing Day Sales that are looming behind the tinsel-covered-turkey-induced cloud that is Christmas, it’s time to talk to strategy.

What exactly are the best ways to attack the cluster and chaos of retail on December 26? And are there ways to prepare, aside from prepping your elbows and putting on your armour?

The short answer is yes.

Game. On.

Go online.

Sounds self-explanatory, but you'd be surprised by the amount of people who think they can only enjoy the sales by braving shopping centres. It's definitely not the case.

According to News Corp, Cashrewards figures revealed that in 2015, $125 million worth of stock was purchased online last year on Boxing Day in Australia. This year, it's believed that number will surpass $200 million.

Rather helpfully, Only Melbourne has promised to publish a list of retailers whose sales will be available online as they come into play. You can check out that list, as it is updated, here. 

Additionally, will point you towards some of the best sales happening right on your computer screen.

The Mamamia OutLoud team talk secret shopping and hiding it from your partner. Post continues after audio.

It's worth going on Christmas Eve.

Trust me on this one. I know Christmas Eve is usually plagued with last-minute preparation for the next day, but if you're genuinely committed to the cause, brace the shopping centres on December 24.

Why? Because everyone who has worked in retail knows most of the Boxing Day sales actually start on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. After all, who wants to come into work hours before dawn breaks on Boxing Day to set the sales up? Nobody.

That's why many retailers will actually start slashing their prices on Christmas Eve; they just won't explicitly call it a Boxing Day sale. And it'll be dead quiet, too.

Also? If some of your favourite retailers don't seem to be slashing their prices early, still go on Christmas Eve. That way you can try stuff on, make sure all your sizing is correct, and you don't have to spend most of your shopping day waiting in line for the change room. (Post continues after gallery.)


Know what you want.

This is a natural progression from the last point, but seriously — go in knowing what you want.

Boxing Day shopping and shopping aimlessly are painful enough experiences without throwing them together to create one giant shopping vortex of stress, unproductiveness and frustrated purchases.

Set a budget.

If you're anything like me, setting a budget is much less a case of making a conscious choice on how much to spend and much more a case of only having X amount of dollars in my bank account to spend.

Regardless, setting a budget and knowing what you're spending saves a lot of headaches later. It also eliminates the inevitable return to the shopping centre days later to take back all those regrettable purchases that came in well over budget.


Know the returns policies.

Knowing your returns policies can be the number one way to save time on Boxing Day. If you're looking to return something you were given for Christmas, make sure you're aware of whether you actually can return said item.

Knowing the time limit for returns is also really handy. For example, if there's no time limit on your returns, or quite a lengthy timeline, then maybe Boxing Day isn't the best day to spend half your life lining up at the cash register.