Monica Malhotra

Monica Malhotra

9 Tips On How To Shop Dubai Summer Surprises Sales

Don’t be totally clueless when it comes to sales shopping



Don’t you just love it when you go shopping and find that your favorite stores are having huge sales? We do. The Gaggler editorial team is notorious for always setting a budget before going shopping, but when it’s sales times it’s like Christmas all over again and we love the extra value built-in – it’s one of the best perks of Dubai summer living.  With Dubai Summer Surprises on until August 8, 2020 you are going to get more bang for your buck on any shopping trip you plan in the coming days. However, there are some tips and tricks to sale shopping to enhance your experience and get yourself sorted with the clothing and accessories you want at the best prices.  The feeling of snagging a huge score while shopping doesn’t have to be completely random. 

High street or fast fashion stores, as they are also known, keep their shelves and racks filled with clothing and accessories but they get new merchandise frequently. If you are interested in what’s the latest in stores, do check out last month’s shop-up videos and articles of what’s new at Zara, H&M and Mango. Chances are that merchandise is on sale! Did you know each store has its cycle? Eventually, items that aren’t selling are put on clearance in order to move it out the door to make way for – you got it – new items coming in! This is when it’s your turn to score big!

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In Dubai, we have the added bonus of pre-defined sales seasons. Some of the mega sales include Dubai Summer Surprises which runs typically from June to August each year. The specific dates in 2020 are June 5, 2020, to August 8, 2020. The next pre-defined mega sales season is Back To School from August 9, 2020, to September 5, 2020. There are smaller sales periods that occur from now until the next mega sales season of Dubai Shopping Festival which runs from December to February each year. During the last three days of the Dubai Shopping Festival, you will see some of the biggest offers of the year. And of course, who can forget the Ramadan in Dubai sales season during the month-long period of Ramadan.

By understanding stores sales cycles and the timing of Dubai’s mega sales seasons, you can time when an item will be on sale and decide whether you want to wait to buy it on sale, or you think it’s worth the extra money to buy it now. Having the option to choose gives you the chance to be one savvy shopper! Below are the top tips of shopping the sales from the Gaggler editorial team taking into account stores’ sales cycle and personal lessons learned to better equip you for your next sales shopping spree. And, our very own Kimberley Denise visits some of our favourite stores on sale and offers valuable tips to help you shop the sales like never before.

Watch The Video: Dubai Summer Sales Shopping Tips


Stores Sales Cycles: 5 Tips To Know

Stores want you to pay the full retail price for any item on their shelves or hanging on their racks.  That’s why you will always find the new collections and higher-priced items right at the front of the store. And, of course the sales and clearance items are stashed all the way in the back of the store. But just because clothing and accessories are 25% off doesn’t mean it isn’t fashionable or can’t be incorporated into a fashionable OOTD, right?

Between the pre-defined sales season and the store’s regular sale cycle, there is no reason you need to pay full price for any clothing and accessories. The only exception is if the item in question is a hot-seller and sells out before you get a chance to make your move. With the Gaggler fashion team’s tips below, you can save money, look like a fashionista and dress in the clothing and accessories you want.

Tip 1: Wait Six to Eight Weeks

The typical high-street retail store puts out a new item for six to eight weeks before it’s marked down. With fast fashion, the stock in retail stores is ever-changing, so stores can’t keep older items on the racks and taking up space, with newer items right round the corner. 

Also, after six to eight weeks, there may only be a few pieces left of a particular clothing or accessory item – not enough to fill out a stores’ main display. And so, the older items are moved to the sale or clearance section, usually at the very back of the store. There, it can be lumped with other sale items to be snapped up by savvy shoppers.

Tip 2: Wednesdays and Thursdays Are Best

If you want to be the first to grab those pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, your best bet is to try shopping on a Wednesday or a Thursday. Most people go to the mall or the shop on the weekend (it’s an outing for the whole family), so stores begin preparations on Wednesday or Thursday to mark down old merchandise and setup the new merchandise in the store.

By shopping on Friday and Saturday, you might score a great deal, but you might also have a limited selection to choose from. That’s not great if you have your eye on something specific. By shopping on a Wednesday or a Thursday, you can have the best selection paired with the best prices to snag the item that you desire.

Tip 3: Ask Around

If you find a dress on sale that you love but the store doesn’t have your size, don’t give-up. Ask one of the sales associates if they can check in their system – many brands have their inventory systems linked across stores, so if the store you are in don’t have your size, you might get lucky at another store located in another mall.  If the brand’s inventory system is not linked, you could ask the sales associate to call and check around to see if any of the other store locations had the same dress in stock. If you are lucky, the other store could hold it for you, but you may have to head straight there as many stores don’t like placing overnight holds on sale items. But you may be able to get a 1 or 2 hour hold on the dress you love. Alternatively, you can use your smartphone to see if the dress is available in stock online.

Tip 4: Know the Return Policy

Always ask (or if you are shopping online, read) about the return policy on sale items. The return policy can be different for sale items. In most cases we have seen in Dubai and even around the world, sale item purchases are ‘Final Sale’. Some stores may offer store credit instead of a refund for full priced items.  Stores do not want to see out of season merchandise back in the store since the whole purpose is to clear the store to make way for new clothing and accessories. That’s why stores are pretty restrictive on their return policy for sales and clearance items.

Tip 5: Shop End of Season

One of the best times to get the most bang for your buck is to shop around the end of a season. High street stores are always a couple of months “ahead of the weather”. For example, you could pick up amazing winter clothing during the Dubai Summer Surprises sale for that ski trip you have planned for in December.

Personal Sales Triggers: 4 Tips To Know

Sales seasons are very exciting times and living in Dubai many of us have become accustomed to timing our purchases around the seasonal sales cycles.  But do you find that you always pick up a ton of cheap clothing and accessories that you don’t need and invariably these items end up in your charity pile when it’s time to declutter your closet? How about when you are at the mall taking in all that sales shopping energy and as the day progresses you   Gaggler fashion team shares their top tips on how to shape your sales shopping preparation so that you only come back with outfit add-ons that are gems. 

Tip 6: Know what you want

We have all been impacted by Marie Kondo’s magic in one way or another. To make sure you focus on buying the things you need, go ahead and do a KonMari-inspired declutter session in your closet before your planning your sales shopping trip – this way, you will know exactly what you need and what you don’t need. You will also be informed of on exactly how many impulse purchases remain unworn. Feeling guilty? Don’t worry we all need to start somewhere, and this sales season is your chance to start right!

Now that your closet is a little lighter, you can actually take stock of what’s missing. Make a list of these missing items – Do you have a great white shirt? A dress that will see you through several weddings, birthdays and other special occasions coming up later in the year? Take a look at your basics – tees, tank tops, lingerie, comfy leggings you wear all the time. Sales season is a great time to replenish your basics which tend to have a more ‘tired’ look than your other clothing and accessories; and could do wonders with a refresh. When you stick to your list, you will have better chance of staying focused when deciding on a purchase and save as a result.  You can do it!

Tip 7: Right Size It

We have all been there – you find the perfect dress in a cut that typically suits your body shape to the heavens and back and it’s in your favourite colour! But oh dear, it’s three sizes too small. What do you do? Do you buy it? (drum rolls)

No you don’t. What you do is put it back on the rack and hope the fashion fairy finds it the perfect owner.  Take it as a sign from the stars above – if your size is not in stock, it’s a sign it isn’t meant to be. You are better off saving your money for an outfit that fits right – this way you will actually wear it out. So always, shop for your current dress size, not your ‘goal’ size.

Tip 8: Pay Cash

This does work. Before you set out for your sales shopping spree, decide your budget and set aside that amount in cash. This cash is what you will draw down as you go from store to store looking for those key items from your shopping list. You would have noticed, just like we have over the years, that when you use a credit card during shopping, its so much easier to spend a lot of money really quickly.  

When you pay with credit card it’s a fairly painless process – you hand over the card to the sales associate and the sales associate swipes your card and you get your card back. Very simple. Right now, your brain is not registering anything has been taken away. But, when you use cash, you hand over the cash but you don’t get it back! Instead you receive a receipt and your shopping bag. This registers with you brain as ‘a loss’. So paying with cash is another great tip to save.

Tip 9: Shop On Price

This is a big no-no for us. No matter however much savings the label on that shirt promises, it’s just not going to be worth it if it’s just going to hang in your closet, unworn. When faced with this dilemma, ask yourself if you would pay full price for the item? If the answer is no, then chances are you are probably not going to wear it even if it’s being sold at a 90% discount in the sales.