UK consumers have spent £220 on average already on January sale items, accruing savings of what they believe to be worth £180 thanks to the seasonal discounts and price cuts, according to research by affiliate network affilinet.

Over two-thirds of the 2,821 adult consumers who had purchased at least one item in the sales before January 12 admitted that they are guilty of buying items they wouldn’t ordinarily have bought at full price.

Purchases weren’t planned either; 81% admitted that the discounts on offer had mostly been impulse buys. Asked if they had regretted their order, over a third (34%) revealed they were planning on, or already had, returned at least one item to the retailer.

“Online temptations surrounding the January sales can be almost too much for customers to resist, with pop-up ads on social media everywhere you look as soon as Christmas is over,” said Rick Leake, client services director at affilinet.

‘Add to basket’

Breaking down the most popular purchase items in the sales, the most common answer among consumers was furniture (28%), followed closely by clothing (26%) and tech/electronic goods (21%).

Unsurprisingly, holiday deposits/tickets made the list, cited as a top choice by 13% of respondents, while homeware featured with 9%.

“The chance to bag a new sofa or a two-week holiday to the Caribbean at half the normal price is too good an opportunity to miss out on in the moment, but Britons should be wary of committing to such an expense before parting with any cash, as often sale items are non-refundable,” Leake added.

However, the temptation of new-year buying sprees has spread beyond just cut-price goods according to the research; 64% of consumers stated they had been persuaded to purchase items online at full price since Christmas, with £115 revealed as the average spend.

With pre-Christmas spending seeing questionable success at the end of 2017, the results of the study might lead some retailers to hold fire on their discounts when sales season next roles around.