Past perfect / past simple

With expressions such as "up until now" and "never before", should I use past simple or present perfect? For example:Up until now, I had / have always thought that...Never before had / have they sold this much.Thanks in advance!  

1 answers answer to the question Past perfect / past simple

The Newt updated 22 December
With "never before" it depends on whether you are describing something from the perspective of the present or the past. I prefer "I had" after "Up until now," but others may disagree. 
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