On back-to-school weekend, bargains abound online
Traditional back-to-school shopping is under way, and this year the average family is expected to spend $606 on back-to-school supplies.
This could be one of the biggest shopping weekends since last December.Skip to next paragraph
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As of Thursday, families had done less than half their back-to-school shopping going into this weekend, indicates a National Retail Federation survey. Almost one-third had not yet started.
As a result, retail analysts anticipate crowds at the malls looking for bargains on laptops, new blue jeans, and maybe the latest cellphone so that families can keep in touch with their children. Many shoppers will hit the Web looking for coupons or bargains. And, generally, if they look hard enough they will find sales.
“There is about the same number of deals as last year,” says Kevin Strawbridge, CEO of Dealtaker.com, Media General’s online social shopping and coupon site. “But this year there is not as much stuff in inventory, so when a promotion is gone the consumer may end up paying full price.”
But there are plenty of retailers offering sales this weekend. For example, on Mr. Strawbridge's site, there are Barnes & Noble promotions for 40 percent off Hop Zoo tote bags, 60 percent off girls’ New Balance athletic shoes at Joe’s New Balance Outlet, and a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for clothing at Aeropostale.
Dealtaker is far from alone in offering consumers deals this weekend. At Surfmyads.com, bargain hunters will find $100 to $519 off Dell Computer back-to-school systems, $25 to $125 off some HP laptops, and 15 percent off backpacks at The Children’s Place.
Andrea Woroch of SurfMyAds advises families to be sure to shop online so they can compare prices. It’s not hard, she says, to find promotions from large retailers such as Target, Macy’s, and Overstock.com.
She says there are sites, such as PromotionalCodes.com, that have organized the promotional codes (needed to get some bargains) for more than 10,000 stores. She advises consumers to stack coupons, because some retailers allow shoppers to use more than one promotional code on the same offer, such as a 25 percent off coupon in addition to a free shipping code.