Over half of Brits bought what they thought was a bargain - but were ripped off or the product was shoddy

A study of 2,000 adults found 55 per cent had been delighted with a product’s low price, only to realise it reflected the quality of the item bought.

And 45 per cent have rushed home with a bargain picked up in a sale – only to deem it ‘useless’ later down the line.

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Common issues include buying a cheap item of clothing only for it to become misshapen in the wash after one wear or getting damaged the first time it is worn.

An item not lasting as long as expected also leads to frustration, as does an upgrade being released just after buying a new piece of tech.

But 35 per cent have seen the same item elsewhere for even cheaper, after picking up something at what they thought was a knockdown price.

Katy Lomax, chief experience officer at Capital One UK, which commissioned the survey, said: “There’s an old adage that says, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and especially at this time of year, people can get caught out in the hunt for a deal.

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“There’s little assurance in the post-Christmas and January sales that any purchase is a true bargain, so caution is needed.

"If you are shopping in the sales, by using a credit card you could get extra protection on purchases over £100.”

Brits hunt for bargains for hours

Brits estimate they spend three hours and 20 minutes each month hunting for bargains, either online or in-store.

More than four in 10 (44 per cent) even describe searching for reductions as a ‘vital’ part of their life.

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And just under six in 10 consider being savvy when scouring price stickers for bargains as something particularly British.

A little under a fifth of those polled (16 per cent) have even camped outside a store overnight to ensure they were in pole position for a bargain.

To keep abreast of the best possible savings, 29 per cent rely on consumer websites, while 19 per cent get their info from Instagram.

The research conducted via OnePoll also found the average adult will spend £399 on sale items in any given year, with 53 per cent putting their purchases on a credit card.

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Katy Lomax, from Capital One UK added: “It’s easy to feel that, just because you are spending less money, you’re not spending money at all - an incredible saving is still money going out.

“So, this year, we encourage everyone to really think about whether they truly need to make that purchase, regardless of the big money-off sticker plastered across it.

"If it’s something you’d really find value in, then do your research first across several retailers and don’t get sucked into buying on impulse.

“And once the sales are over, perhaps consider thinking about the interest you might be paying and whether you could consolidate your borrowing onto one card."

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