Cariss Peadon planned an early start on Wednesday to pick up some belated Christmas gifts in the Boxing Day sales.
But in a few hours of shopping at Civic's Canberra Centre, the Forrest resident managed to purchase more items for herself.
"I'm actually about to get a plane to Queensland to see my boyfriend's family," she said.
"I thought I'd come in and get all their Christmas presents today because of the sales but I've ended up with a whole lot more for myself," she said.
The 20-year-old, who was stocking up on items to try at Sportsgirl, said clothing and accessories at less than half the price were her best buys.
"I'm going up to Noosa so I'm getting some good, lightweight summer things," she said.
"My presents are more fashion things because they are so reduced, Country Road and those sorts of brands at David Jones.
"I picked up a pair of boardshorts for $10."
Nowra resident Kellie Cable drove to Canberra with her children Will, 5, and Grace, 4, to take advantage of the sales.
"We don't have a lot of shopping in Nowra and my sister lives here so we come for the Boxing Day sales every year," she said.
"We're getting handbags, tote bags, clothes, kids stuff, Will's got some books."
At handbag and accessories store Mimco, bargain hunters were lined up outside and were allowed to enter a few shoppers at a time to keep the crowd under control.
"They're doing it at Oroton, too," Brisbane resident Rochelle O'Shea said.
"It's the first time I've lined up to come in, but it's worth it.
"I've come to get a wallet"
Yarralumla couple Maddie Cardone and Joseph Sorrentino joined the crowds looking for popular clothing lines at stores such as General Pants.
By midday they had purchased a few bags of summer clothing and shoes.
"I've bought shoes from General Pants and a T-shirt, some clothes from Roger David," Mr Sorrentino said.
Ms Cardone said she was quickly parting with money she had received for Christmas.
''I've already bought a few things and they were all pretty heavily discounted," she said.
''I want a few more things for summer - clothes and shoes.''