Scots will sneak away from Xmas Day celebrations to shop in the sales

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Christmas Day is a time for family, board games and bad cracker jokes around the dinner table and now also a time for getting a good deal on electricals, according to new research.

The study from TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback shopping site, finds 17 per cent of Scots will be online shopping on Christmas Day for an average of two hours.

But nearly a third (32 per cent) will be doing so in secret, away from family and friends.

Keen to get a good deal before the festivities start, 29 per cent of Christmas Day surfers will be shopping online in the morning or just before opening presents, 14 per cent will be sneaking off straight after dinner and nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) will be perusing in the evening, following dinner or once people have gone to bed.

TopCashback.co.uk data from 2015 shows that the majority of shoppers on Christmas Day choose to log on at 11am, three hours later than 2014. Browsing peaked at 10pm once the Christmas dinner food coma set in and the last ever Downton Abbey had been watched. Most were interested in fashion and beauty offers, shopping with M&S, Debenhams and Boots, spending more than £1million on the day.

However, it seems many Scots will be looking to cash in on discounts even earlier with 37 per cent planning to shop on Christmas Eve. Of the 26 per cent who will be working the day before Christmas, 58 per cent will be shielding their screens from their boss to shop online.

Whether it is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day, 92 per cent of Scots will be shopping during the winter sales at some point. More than a third (36 per cent) of shoppers set a budget and plan to spend, on average, £289. However, seven in 10 (70 per cent) admit to going over their budget in the past.

The vast majority (74 per cent) of consumers in Scotland wait for the winter sales to get a deal on specific items with 43 per cent waiting months, 39 per cent sitting on their hands for several weeks and even one per cent are holding off for a full year to snap up a bargain.

Consumers also use the end-of-year sales to stock up for next year with shoppers bulk-buying birthday presents (55 per cent) and gathering supplies for next Christmas including wrapping paper (31 per cent), decorations (31 per cent), stocking fillers (28 per cent) and next year’s presents (23 per cent). A frugal 13 per cent will even be buying non-perishable foods, stashing them away for 2017.

Natasha Rachel Smith, Consumer Affairs Editor for TopCashback.co.uk, said: “The end-of-year sales have traditionally started on Boxing Day; however it has become increasingly more popular for retailers to start discounting items as early as November to draw in consumers.

“From making sure items are ready and waiting in the online shopping basket to spending time looking for discounts, voucher codes and cashback offers beforehand, shoppers can pre-plan their Christmas sales shopping to maximise their savings as well as time with their family and friends.”