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£229 per person set to be spent by Brits in post-Christmas sales

British shoppers plan to spend just 4% less per person compared to last year, despite rising cost pressures, as the lure of festive bargains means retailers have forecast a busy end to 2022.

  • Shoppers plan to spend £18 less per person compared to 2021, as purse strings tighten in light of the rising cost-of-living and the weak pound
  • Three in 10 Brits are turning to reselling platforms to offload unwanted Christmas presents, while two in five will be browsing these sites for bargains
  • Eco-conscious shopping is front-of-mind with half aiming to buy fewer plastic-based goods over the festive sales period
  • One in two is also making an effort to support local and smaller businesses, up from 22% in 2021

Research from Barclaycard Payments, which processes £1 in every £3 spent on credit and debit cards in the UK, shows that the average shopper intends to buy £229 worth of items in the post-Christmas sales period, a reduction of £18 compared to 2021’s figures.

Boxing Day remains the most popular day to start post-Christmas sales shopping, with half (47%) of Brits planning to make purchases either online or in-store today. Meanwhile, 46& intended to begin on Christmas Eve and 38% said they would start yesterday, on Christmas Day itself.

Technology, food and drink top shopping lists

Personal technology items are most sought after among sales shoppers (42%), with more than double the number of bargain hunters looking for deals in this sector compared to 2021 (18%). Food and drink (41%) and household technology items (32% are also popular. Meanwhile, demand for homewares (19%) and beauty items (15%) has declined year-on-year among sales shoppers.


Post-Christmas sales shopping list 2022 (%)

Post-Christmas sales shopping list 2021 (%)

2022 vs 2021 change

Personal technology




Food and drink




Household technology




Kitchen electronics
















Reselling sites take centre stage

With additional cost pressures, this year shoppers intend to turn to reselling sites to offload unwanted festive gifts, as well as to snap-up bargains. Three in 10 (28% plan to put Christmas presents they receive this year on reselling sites, and of those almost two-thirds (63%) will do so as early as Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Luxury food and drink (66%) and personal technology items (41%) are the most likely to get promptly listed for re-sale.

More than eight in 10 (84%) resellers plan to capitalise on people looking for unwanted gifts and more than a third (36%) will use the listing of gifts as a way to stave off boredom over the Christmas period.

The buyer market for second-hand products is also growing, with 41% of shoppers browsing reselling platforms over the festive period in a bid to bag a bargain. The most in-demand items include luxury food and drink (69%), personal technology (49%), household technology (46%), kitchen electronics (29%) and fashion items (27%).

Eight in 10 (81%) are browsing sites to seek deals on unwanted Christmas gifts, while for 56% the rising cost-of-living means they are browsing pre-loved items more than they otherwise would.

Christmas sales become environmentally conscious

Consumers also plan to shop more mindfully in the post-Christmas sales, with half (50%) making a conscious effort to buy fewer plastic-based goods, up from 26% in 2021. One in two (52%) are also planning to reduce the number of fast fashion purchases they make compared to last year (27%), while 43% plan to shop in-person at this year’s post-Christmas sales in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of their purchases.

Two in five (40%) will buy from retailers they feel are seeking to reduce their impact on the environment, and one in two (51%) making a conscious effort to support local and smaller businesses in the post-Christmas shopping period, up from 22%t in 2021.

Free delivery and forward-planning

Brits are also more likely to shop online with retailers that offer favourable delivery and return options. Almost two-thirds (63%) will only make a purchase if they’re offered free delivery, and almost half (48%) will only buy an item if it comes with the option of a free return.

Sales shopping with upcoming events in mind is also proving popular; a quarter (24%) are on the lookout for birthday presents, one in five (18%) for anniversary gifts, and one in eight (16%) for items to use during celebrations on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. 

Post-Christmas crunch

Four in 10 (42%) respondents said rising living costs will impact their ability to shop in the post-Christmas sales and, of that group, 62% plan to spend less in the sales than they usually would. Consumers also noted they’ve held off treating themselves, family and friends over the past few months and are using the post-Christmas sales to make up for it (30%).

Of those who said rising living costs would impact their spending ability in the post-Christmas sales, 27% are using the festive period to stock up on essential items only – with clothing (10%) and necessary food and drink (8%) cited as their most likely purchases.

With this Christmas the first in three years that Brits have not been separated by Covid-19 restrictions, Boxing Day remains a day for family fun as well as shopping with half (50%) spending time at home with their loved ones. Four in 10 (43%) intend to watch Christmas television and films on Boxing Day, 34% will go for a family walk and 15% plan to visit the local pub.

Harshna Cayley, Head of Online Payments, Barclaycard Payments, said: “The rising cost-of-living and inflationary pressures have naturally had an impact on the amount being spent in the post-Christmas sales this year. Having said that, retailers can take confidence knowing that shoppers still plan to make the most of the deals and discounts on offer.

“One trend that has emerged this year is the rising popularity of reselling sites. Many consumers intend to make the most of these platforms by adopting a love-it or list-it approach to Christmas gifts they receive, while also searching them to snap up ‘second-hand,’ unloved bargains. It will be interesting to see how sales volumes to these sites are impacted as cost-conscious shoppers make use of them.”

Harry Wallop, Retail Expert and Commentator, said: “The increased use of reselling sites this festive period makes perfect sense and is proof that more Brits are thinking about the environment, as well as facing pressures on their personal finances.

“Given the tough economic backdrop, reselling unwanted items can put a bit of money back into people’s pockets and is a more conscious way to shop – reducing waste and helping other shoppers snap up bargains at a price they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”