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Our First Manic Boxing Day Shopping Experience in New Zealand

by Kida

Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Boxing Day sales before, we’d always been in a new country or camped somewhere prior to this Covid year. But 2020, we decided to join the madness on the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and quite honestly, I was expecting a few good buys too.

Boxing Day Parking

Never take it for granted, we live within walking distance to the biggest mall on Auckland north shore. Knowing parking would be an issue, we took the pram out and went for a walk with the kids instead. Far in the distance, the car park already seemed pretty full, cars were roaming in circles trying to find a space to park. By the time we got there, the mall opened up empty patches of grass to accommodate more and more cars flocking in by the minute.

On the other side of the roundabout, we were fascinated to see rows of cars parked in the middle of the road on pedestrian refuge islands. To my relief, it was a good call to leave our car behind.

Happy baby fascinated by all the lights at the mall
Happy baby fascinated by all the lights at the mall

Departments & Shops

I didn’t have anything specific in mind to buy, but there were a few items that were on the nice-to-have list, so we came in the ma

Big department stores like Farmers^ also had massive Boxing Day price reductions on selected styles and products. Especially homeware, manchester and toys. Shelves seemed a little emptier than usual and sizings for children’s wear were limited.

To my joy, I found the blanket that I had my eyes on for a whopping 40% off! We bought a couple of organic cotton luxury towels to please the hubby. (He was pretty close to shoving luxury hotel towels in his bag on numerous occasions, because in his words, they were so soft and made him feel good after showers… Hm okay.)

My favourite boys

Everyone in the mall seemed to have a Boxing Day shopping list in mind rushing in and out of shops. Between the aisles, we heard a woman demanding on the phone, “Don’t look at the price tag, just the product!” Then turned to her daughter and complained, “Your Dad is so stupid I can’t stand him!” I looked over my shoulders and saw a pile of bed sheets on the floor, she must’ve had a stressful time shopping.

As my toddler nagged on, we finally made our way to kids’ favourite stationery shop – Smiggle^. She wanted a rainbow unicorn watch, and it got me excited for a second to see the big “20% off on all full price products” sign. Yes, something so popular and hot in recent years (like anything with a unicorn on it) was 20% off, but hang on, wasn’t there a “school holiday sale” not long ago, or was it the “birthday sale” or some other “sale” with a different name? Anyway, we fell for it, because well… everyone else was buying.

Kyra’s new stick-on unicorn earrings and unicorn glow-in-the-dark watch

Coming out of the shop, we saw a mum passing by, her toddler was so well-behaved in the stroller, with a dummy in her mouth and a phone setup on the tray to keep her quiet, yay mummy can shop in peace now.

By this point, there were so many people in the mall that we had to ask Daddy Pau to come and look after the pram, as there was no room to push it around in most shops anymore.

Then, we came to our favourite shoe shop Skechers^, hoping to snatch up a good pair of runners for our 4yo. But to our disappoint, all the shoes that were on sale, were on sale on any other days. None of the kids’ shoes had any Boxing Day discounts, let alone the shoes that were in season.Near lunch time, we decided to skip the food court as we would had trouble finding seats anyway.

I wanted to shop for apparels before concluding our Boxing Day shopping spree. I envisioned mega Boxing Day sales across my favourite clothing shops like Forever New^, Decjuba^, Max^. But to my surprise, the same marketing tactics were used amongst the shops, “20% off on top of sale items”! So in another word, out of season stock needed to go quicker on Boxing Day! New arrivals and top quality clothings were in full price, sorry. Hm, so it made no difference as to whether I shopped on Boxing Day or any other days, unless I wanted to collect more out of season clothes that were hard to sell in the first place.

Our last stop was outdoor adventure shops as we were looking to upgrade our camping gear, last year we really liked the instant pop up tent at Torpedo 7^, we thought this year we could snap up a deal and get a new tent. The Air Series were on sale alright, but they were $150 more expensive than last year’s sale. Inflation? Apparently not, it was due to a shortage of supply from imports affected by the pandemic. We hesitated and decided to sit on the offer while our impulse curve worked its way down.

Final Thoughts

Tired and stressed, we walked out the biggest mall on the shore with only a few items that were mostly full-priced anyway. If you asked me to describe Boxing Day shopping experience in one word, I would’ve said stressful! Maybe we are newbies, but in my opinion, we didn’t actually get any bargains than a dose of placebo effect. On a hind note, didn’t we all go shopping for Christmas just days before the supposingly biggest shopping day of the year?

Did I not do this right or were Boxing Day sales the biggest gimmicks and marketing schemes in broad daylight?

All this buying frenzy reminded me, showering the kids with toys, bags and material things will never fulfill our hearts. In the scope of things, we appreciated our minimalist lifestyle approach much more and would rather live on a pair of flip flops, a set of comfy PJs and wake up on a over-the-water villa somewhere in the Maldives.

And so, this experience brings me to a new goal in 2021. We have made an announcement on our social media that our family will not be accepting material gifts in the new year. However, we will continue to collect your valuable friendships and treasure your laughs and support!

Mummy and daughter taking Christmas selfie at the mall
We loved the decors at the mall though!

Don’t Be A Stranger!

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In the meantime…

How do you guys shop on Boxing Day and what do you buy?

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