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What to buy and how to shop smart in the sales

Deals to be wary of in the sales

By Ellie Simmonds

Article 2 of 7

Stay clued up with our advice, so you don't go home with something you've overpaid for in the sales

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The Boxing Day and January sales can be a great time to pick up bargain, but deals aren't always as special as they first appear. Our guide to the products to be wary of will stop you from regretting your impulse buys.

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of sales shopping, and retailers know that you may let your guard down. Some products are frequently discounted throughout the year, so may not be on sale for their best price during peak sales times. Others have their prices inflated in advance in order to make their sale prices seem misleadingly tempting.

To make sure you don't fall into the trap of Boxing Day sales fever, our experts have put together a list of products that you should be wary of if you see them in this year's sales. We know these products are frequently discounted, so you're not necessarily getting a 'special' offer. 

Home deals to be wary of  

Coffee machines

Bosch Tassimo Vivy TAS1402G

This compact capsule coffee machine uses Tassimo discs to make a range of drinks including hot chocolate, tea, and the usual selection of coffees. Indicators let you know when the water tank needs a top up.

We often see this Bosch model available for a discounted price, which means any special offers may not be as special as they seem. At the start of November 2018, it was available online for around £40, down from its RRP of £107.

See how this coffee machine fared in the Which? test lab in our Bosch Tassimo Vivy TAS1402GB review.

Blenders

Nutribullet 600

We expect the blenders in Nutribullet's widely popular range to go on sale this winter. The Nutribullet 600's makers say that it 'literally pulverises everything' and has great 'nutrient extracting' abilities. It's powered by a 600W motor and comes with one tall 0.7-litre jug and two 0.3-litre cups.

While it's got an RRP of £79.99, it has been discounted at various times throughout the year already, and we've seen it priced as low as £40. So unless you see this one for less than that, we'd suggest holding out for a better deal.

Read our Nutribullet 600 review to find out how it stood up to our rigorous lab tests.

Stand mixers

Kenwood Kmix KMX754

This stand mixer from Kenwood is designed to rival classic KitchenAid models in the style stakes. It arrives with a glass mixing bowl and three handy attachments: a whisk, K-beater and dough hook.

If you're a keen baker, you might be keeping an eye on its price tag heading into the winter sales. But a word of warning: this stand mixer is often discounted, so don't feel like you have to jump on it on straight away. The price of this model regularly fluctuates between £300-450, so you're not getting a great deal if it doesn't fall below £300.

Find out more about how this stand mixer performs in our Kenwood Kmix KMX754 review.

Air fryers

Tefal Actifry 2 in 1 YV960140

This Tefal is the only air fryer we've seen that has a second compartment, so you can cook steak or chicken at the same time as chips.

Its price fluctuates heavily throughout the year. While its RRP is £299.99, we've seen it on sale for as low as £160, so don't be fooled by discounts in which it's pricier than that.

Is this air fryer worthy of Best Buy status? Our Tefal Actifry 2 in 1 YV960140 review has the answer.

Washing machines

Bush washing machines

If you don't want to spend big on a washing machine, you may have your eyes on Argos's own-brand Bush washing machines. But tread carefully, as our rigorous lab tests have uncovered some Don't Buy machines in the range.

Check our Bush washing machine reviews.

Hoover washing machines

Hoover tends to produce eye-catching washing machines with plenty of features, but our tests have found that some models have excessively long cycle times.

Check our Hoover washing machine reviews.

Logik washing machines

Logik washing machines are available exclusively through Currys PC World. A low price tag makes them a tempting offer, but we've uncovered a Don't Buy model that leaves detergent lurking in the fibres of your clothes, which could be a problem for some people with sensitive skin.  

Check our Logik washing machine reviews.

Tech deals to be wary of 

Laptops

Currys PC World - Geo laptops

Geo laptops sit on the shelves at Currys PC World, aimed at buyers looking for a laptop that handles basic tasks such as web browsing.

But their low price tags mean low specs and slow processors, so if you're looking for a laptop to deal effortlessly with mulitasking and picture editing, you might want to consider other big-name brands.

See how we've scored Currys PC World laptops with our Geo laptop reviews.

Amazon Fusion5 T90-series

Amazon often serves up deals to bargain hunters. This year, we expect to see it offer a discount on its own-brand Fusion5 T90-series laptop.

This budget 14-inch Windows 10 laptop is advertised with 32GB of internal storage, but after you factor in the OS, that drops to a less impressive 12GB. You might want to shop around for an alternative that offers more space for your pictures and videos.

Did Amazon's laptop score well in our lab tests? See our Amazon Fusion5 T90-series review.

Smartphones

Nokia smartphones

Nokia has marked its return with a range of Android-powered releases including the Nokia 2, Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8.

Those new arrivals are cheaper than flagship models from the likes of Apple and Samsung. However, our own smartphone tests have shown Nokia mobiles to be a mixed bag - we've seen some high-scoring mobiles from the brand, but also some disastrous Don't Buys that you should skip.

If you're considering a member of the Nokia family as your next smartphone, check our Nokia mobile reviews before you take the plunge.

Printers

Epson EcoTank ET-2650

This all-in-one colour Epson printer, which was reduced earlier in the year by Currys PC World, uses EcoTank technology. Rather than cartridges, you refill the black or colour tanks with the supplied bottles when needed. Our lab tests uncovered some flaws, however, showing that the printer has a pretty mediocre scanner and copier, and it's remarkably loud.

How much of an impact do those issues have on the overall test score? See our Epson EcoTank ET-2650 review for the verdict. 

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