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Navigating sales season is an underrated art form. The sheer number of deals available on days like Black Friday is enough to make even the most ardent shopaholic overwhelmed. The key to success is patience, and planning.

As something of a digital bargain hunter myself, I’ve spent the last few years fine-tuning my skillset—so when it comes to days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day, I’m golden. Here, I share with you five indispensable tips and tricks that will transform the way you navigate sales season. Happy shopping.

Be prepared

I truly cannot stress this enough. Your favourite digital retailers—Net-a-Porter, MATCHESFASHION.COM, Farfetch, MyTheresa, Revolve—they’re all going on sale at the same time. Mindlessly scrolling through the offerings as soon as you wake up is likely to cause A) burnout and B) highly questionable purchases. The best thing to do is to curate wishlists, in your size, on all of your respective apps. That way when sale day comes, you’ll only be looking at the pieces you already wanted before they went on sale, and they’ll all be in one convenient location.

Set a budget

Sexy? No. But there’s no joy in being whipped up into a shopping frenzy, only to later realise that you’ve bankrupted yourself for six pairs of largely interchangeable sandals. We’re in frightening economic times right now, and no piece of clothing is worth your mental peace of mind. Figure out what you can afford (be honest) and stick to the budget you set yourself.

Check the returns policy

I’ve been caught off-guard by this more than once. Sale season is the one time of year where retailers can take liberties with the ‘returns’ rules, and often, heavily discounted items are only such a low price because they are non-refundable. My rule is to never purchase anything that doesn’t have a 30-day returns policy. The one exception being if you’ve already tried the shoe/handbag/dress in question on in-person.

Don’t buy weird stuff

Who among us hasn’t fallen victim to an unsightly leopard print kitten heel (guilty) during a particularly vicious bout of sales mania? The phrase ‘70% off’ tends to do strange things to the brains of fashion-conscious women, convincing us that maybe we are the kind of person who wears patent leather thigh-high boots or bejewelled denim jackets. I promise you, it’s the discount talking: stick to variations on what you already own.

Stick to your size

I understand the temptation to mess around with sizes—sizing is the final boss that must be conquered if you want to be a true sales master. Yes, I get it. You’ve found your absolute dream boots that you’ve wanted for literally a year, and they’re half-price. But if they’re not your size, baby, take those bad boys out of of that cart. I’ve bought shoes that were too big and too small—jeans that were two sizes down, dresses that were two sizes up… and it always, always ends in tears. As the old maxim goes: Grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change. And move on.

Oh, and you are absolutely banned from buying anything on the condition that you will lose weight to fit into it. You’ve been through enough this year.