With the VAT rise being the talk of the country, how will that extra 2.5% hit you over the course of this year – and how are retailers coaxing shoppers in with this increase in prices?
If, like me, shopping is a pleasure for you rather than a pain, then this week will be very significant. No, I’m not talking about the potential further reductions in the sales but three little letters that mean shops are falling over themselves to be as competitive as they can. That’s right – V.A.T.
So the rise of VAT to 20% has actually happened – what does this mean for us? Clearly quite a lot of things will cost more, but how will we as individuals be affected? I know I’ll have to look more closely at my pay cheque and maybe make a few wiser decisions on my spending.
How are shops dealing with the VAT hike?
Shops are responding to the hike in various ways, meaning that when we say ‘shop around’ we really do mean it. Some, like Comet, have increased their prices from today, but others are delaying the push.
John Lewis told Which? before Christmas that its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy – which checks and matches the online and shop prices of high street competitors – means that it will be the last of these big chains to increase its prices due to VAT.
And of course there’s the much publicised promise of Superdrug to swallow the rise on its own-brand products, while those of you wanting to cash in before the rise can do so at Tesco until 25 January.
To VAT or not to VAT?
While I’d never advocate the ‘just buy it now’ idea (unless it happens to be a killer pair of shoes at half price), it’s certainly worth considering if shops are giving you the chance to buy what you actually want without the price rise. But be aware before you hit the tills if you spot any pre-VAT rise ‘bargains’ – price tickets don’t have to be changed until 1 February, so what you see in print might not be what you pay.
And let’s not forget that there are plenty of January sales around for us to cash in on some bargains – take a look at the Which? January sales guide to get up-to-the-minute news of where you can find the latest deals.
What do you think of the VAT hike – are you worried about the effect on your hard earned pennies – or do you think that there’s much ado about nothing?