Category Archives: Consumer Surveys

Survey: Back to School Laptop Deals Better Than Black Friday

Spending will increase for Back to School needs in 2015: The annual Back to School Shopping Survey from FatWallet asked American parents what’s #1 on their shopping lists, their kids shopping lists, how much they’ll be spending this year and where they plan to shop during Back to school sales. Parents also shared opinions on when they thought students should have their own laptopstablets and smartphones and when to find the best deals.

Back to School Laptop Deals Get A+

In a complete change from last year’s survey, parents rank back to school sales as the best time to find deals on laptops and tablets, over Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals.
BTS Survey grahic-pdfThe experts here at FatWallet would tend to agree with them–while holiday offers some tantalizing price drops on select older tech products with some laptops sinking to the $200, July and August tend to bring sales on higher quality laptops and desktops offering as much as $500 off. Parents overwhelmingly agree that laptops are the best suited computer device to help students learn and succeed.

Full Survey Results (*TNS Global):

9 in 10 parents will spend the same or more this year on back to school.

Q: How much do you plan to spend on school related supplies and products this year?

  • 27% – More than last year
  • 62% – Same as last year
  • 11% – Less than last year

8 in 10 parents will buy new apparel for their children this year for school.

Q: Which back to school shopping items are you planning to purchase this year?

  • 20% – Laptop, tablet or computer
  • 77% – School Supplies
  • 80% – Clothes and shoes
  • 15% – Smartphone/Cell Phone
  • 41% – Textbooks

Note: Last year, supplies slightly outranked clothing and shoes, while this year the need for laptops has risen 33%.

Mobile shopping on the rise for back to school, up 700% from 2014.

Q: How do you plan to shop for school related supplies and products this year?

  • 37% – Online Retailer Sites
  • 16% – Online Coupons/Cash Back Sites
  • 7% – Mobile Shopping App (only 1% in 2014)
  • 91% – In Store

Swag still rules the the school for students of these parents.

Q: Which of the following items do you think kids “want” most for starting school this year?

  • 13% – Laptop
  • 9% – Tablet
  • 16% – Smartphone
  • 13% – School Supplies
  • 41% – Clothes and Shoes

Note: According to parents, more kids want laptops than last year, up nearly 100% (7% in 2014).

Nike is front-runner for brands parents say kids ask for the most for school.

Q: Which brands do kids ask for the most for school?

  • 41% – Nike
  • 31% – Apple
  • 22% – Under Armour
  • 19% – American Eagle
  • 18% – Levi’s
  • 17% – Converse
  • 16% – Forever 21
  • 15% – Samsung
  • 12% – Adidas
  • 6% – Pacsun

Note: Parents think kids want Apple brands twice as much as they want Samsung.

7 in 10 parents say students need their own laptops and tablets for school..

Q: As a parent, what age group does it become more helpful for students to have their own laptop or tablet?

  • 5% Grade School (K-5)
  • 27% Middle School (6-8)
  • 47% High School (9-12)
  • 20% College
  • 1% Wait to buy their own

2/3 of parents say laptops are best suited to help students learn.

Q: Which product is better suited to help most students with their school work?

  • 65% – Laptop
  • 14% – Tablet
  • 12% – Desktop Computer
  • 2% – Smartphone

Back to School sales grade higher than Black Friday for laptop and tablet deals.

Q: Which sales event is most likely to have the best deals on a new Laptop or Tablet for a student?

  • 37% – Back to School Sales
  • 31% – Black Friday Sales
  • 10% – Cyber Monday Sales
  • 4% – December Holiday Sales
  • 6% – After Holiday (or New Years) Sales

Note: 13% offered that other sales have better deals than the bigger holiday sales events.


Q: As a parent, what age group does it become practical for students to have a Smartphone?

  • 3% – Elementary (9 or younger)
  • 16% – Pre Teen (10 -12)
  • 38% – Early Teen (13-15)
  • 34% – Late Teen (16-18)

Note: Only 7% said students should wait and buy their own smartphones, down form 16% in 2014.


Note: *The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of in June 2015 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older, 50/50 male/female.

Best time to buy tools? Father’s Day Sales [survey]


Tools-survey-blogFor the second year in a row, Father’s Day ranks tops with shoppers for the best time to buy tool deals in FatWallet’s annual Tools Buyer Survey*, just nudging out Black Friday which replaced Spring home sales as the second best time of year to buy tools. In fact, tools rank as third most popular Father’s Day gift of 10% surveyed , with 20% electing to get dad a card and 14% will take dad to dinner or other event. Not necessarily a huge surprise as June is known to be the best time of year to buy both power tools, and home improvement materials (see What to buy in June).

Similar to last year’s survey, 80% of American adults said that they buy new tools at least once every year, with 37% buying more than once and 17% 3-4 times a year. Of these, 23% will spend between $100 – $249 and 10% spend $250 or more on new tools annually. Almost half of those surveyed said they will buy tools from Home Depot, 40% Lowe’s and 19% from Sears, although 37%  still ranks Craftsman as the most popular tools brand well ahead of Black & Decker (25%) and DeWalt (23%).

1 in 4 said lawn and garden tools and are most popular but that’s down considerably from 2014 (38%), followed by 17% to buy Combination Power Tool Kit (cordless), 15% Hand Tools, 14% Power Drills, 14% Tool Box (storage). Savvy tool shoppers will be sure to add increased cash back from upcoming summer sales and Father’s Day offers to bolster their savings and improve their DIY projects.

[STATISTICS]:  Overall home improvement spending is expected to grow 5.8% during the summer months of 2015, with an average of marathon 4 projects per homeowner who noted they were working on projects (Home Improvement Research Institute).

Q: How often do you buy tools (for using at home) or home improvement related items?

  • 43% Once a year or less often
  • 15% 2 times a year
  • 17% 3-4 times a year
  • 5% Monthly or more often
  • 20% said “I have never purchased tools” (only 13% for males)

Note: Nearly 30% of those under age 30 have never purchased tools before.

Q: Which of these items are you most likely to purchase this year as a Father’s Day gift?

  • 20% said “just a card”
  • 14% said Dinner or an Event (shows, games, concerts, etc)
  • 10% said Tools
  • 9% said Apparel (clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.)
  • 6% Electronics or Computers
  • 5% Sporting Goods
  • 5% Media (books, magazines, movies, music)

Note: 1 in 10 will buy new tools for dad.

Q: Of these options, when is the best time to find deals on tools?

  • 30% Father’s Day
  • 28% Black Friday Sale
  • 21% Spring Sales
  • 15% December Holiday Sales
  • 6% Cyber Monday

Note: Those age 50-59 were the only group that ranked Black Friday the best time to buy tools.

Q: Approximately how much do you plan to spend on tools this year?

  • 67% Less than $100
  • 23% $100 to $249
  • 7% $250 to $499
  • 3 $500 or more

Note: Those under the age of 40 will spend 30% more on tools.

Q: When you buy tools, where do you buy most of your tools?

  • 48% Home Depot
  • 40% Lowe’s
  • 28% Sears
  • 13% Ace Hardware
  • 8% Menard’s
  • 16% Department Store (Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, etc)
  • 10% Online Store (Amazon, Ebay, Overstock, etc.)

Note: The majority of those buying tools from Menards are located in the Midwest (32%).

Q: Of these options, what is your most desired brand of tools?

  • 37% Craftsman
  • 25% Black & Decker
  • 23% DeWalt
  • 5% Milwaukee
  • 4% Makita
  • 4% Bosch
  • 2% Porter Cable

Note: Craftsman is “the” most visible tool brands during Black Friday sales, and a life-time guarantee and affordability make for a smart tool purchase.

Q: Which tools do shoppers want most this year?

  • 24% Lawn & Garden Tools
  • 17% Combination Power Tool Kit (cordless)
  • 15% Hand Tools (hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, etc)
  • 14% Power Drills
  • 14% Tool Box (storage)
  • 10% Automotive Tools
  • 8% Circular Saws or Miter Saws

Note: Demand for yard & garden tools have decreased by 50% in popularity from last year’s tool survey (36% in 2014) as demand for cordless power tools increases.

Q: Of these options, which is the most important feature for power tools?

  • 60% Quality/Durability
  • 15% Battery Life
  • 11% Power/Torque
  • 9% Weight/Size
  • 5% Length of Warranty

Note: Battery life, power and size all increased in importance supporting the rise in popularity of cordless lithium ion tools which produce more torque and last longer without a charge, all in a much smaller footprint.

Q: What would stop you from buying new tools this year?

  • 33% said “I have way too many tools at home”
  • 26% said “I have tools I’ve never use”
  • 20% said “Only if I run out of money”
  • 17% said Too busy to do home projects
  • 15% said “Hammer, screwdriver and duct tape is all I need”
  • 11% said “Spouse says it’s not in the budget”

Note: 30% of those under age 30 are just too busy to take on home projects.


*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of in March 2013 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older, 50/50 male/female.


Survey: Vacation Spending Flat for Americans in 2015

Half of all Americans share their vacations on Facebook

US vacation travel studyBasically flat from last year’s results, an April summer travel study reports that 8 in 10 Americans take vacations and more than 60% will go on at least one this year. The annual vacation spending survey from also reports 42% will spend +$1,500 on vacations this year (down slightly from 46% in 2014), and 10% will spend +$3,000 (13% in 2014). Meanwhile, 74% of vacationers say they save money via online for travel deals, and/or use miles, points, cash back rewards and timely credit card offers to make their family trips more affordable. (see official release)

INFOGRAPHIC: Travel Study Shows Vacations Are Trendy for a great visual to share with others.


Q: How often do you go on vacation?

  • 25% said More than once a year  (32% in 2014)
  • 33% said Once a year (27% in 2014)
  • 6% said Every other year (6 in 2014)
  • 17% said Every few years (18% in 2014)
  • 19% said Never (17% in 2014)

Note:  While, 6 in 10 take at least one vacation every year, 1 in 4 go more than once a year (more than 1 in 3 for those with annual income above $75k) and 1 in 5 said they never go on vacation (nearly 2 in 5 for those with annual income below $30k).

Q: How far in advance will you book your next vacation?

  • 2% said Last Minute (2% in 2014)
  • 12% said Less than 1 Month Ahead (15% in 2014)
  • 60% said 1- 6 Months Ahead (48% in 2014)
  • 14% said More 6 Months Ahead (11% in 2014)
  • 12% said I do not book ahead, I go and take what’s available

Note:  60% book vacations at 1-6 months ahead (up 25% from 2014) and 14% book vacations at least 6 months in advance (up 30% from 2014).

Q: Which resource has the most influence for finding vacation and travel information , opportunities or advice?

  • 2% said Tourist Boards (5% in 2014)
  • 5% said Travel Forums (28% in 2014)
  • 4% said Travel Magazines (7% in 2014)
  • 50% said Family and Friends (46% in 2014)
  • 3% said Vacation Rental (FRBO, AirBnB, etc.)
  • 8% said Travel Rewards/Points (8% in 2014)
  • 28% said Other

Note:  Half of those surveyed said friends and family have the most most influence on their vacations (up 8% from 2014) and 58% for those under age 40.

Q: How much do you plan to spend on your next vacation? (Select one)

  • 58% said Less than $1500 (54% in 2014)
  • 32% said $1501-$3000 (33% in 2014)
  • 10% said More than $3000 (13% in 2014)

Note:  42% will spend more than $1500 on their next vacation, 10% will spend more than $3k.

Q: Of the following hotel amenities, which are important to you?

  • 64% said Free Breakfast Buffet (67% in 2014)
  • 69% said Free WiFi (72% in 2014)
  • 65% said Free Parking (66% in 2014)
  • 46% said Pool/Spa (49% in 2014)
  • 13% said Pet Friendly (11% in 2014)
  • 19% said Fitness Center (19% in 2014)
  • 21% said Airport Shuttle (23% in 2014)

Note:  Free WiFi #1 hotel amenity for the second straight year for 7 in 10 (8 in 10 for those under age 30), while free parking was #2, swapping spots with Free Breakfast Buffet from 2014.

Q: How will you book your next vacation?

  • 22% said Travel Website (American, United, Ramada, Holiday Inn, etc.) (44% in 2014)
  • 31% said Online Travel Agent (Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia, etc.)
  • 6% said Local Travel Agent (7% in 2014)
  • 7% said Coupon/Deal Website (14% in 2014)
  • 2% said Cash Back Shopping Website (2% in 2014)
  • 32% said Other

Note:  New question revealed almost 1/3 book vacations via online travel aggregators, and the use of coupons sites like FatWallet and Ebates that offer deals with cash back has doubled from 2014.

Q: What are you most likely to use to help save on booking your next?

  • 13% said Cash Back Rewards (13% in 2014)
  • 16% said Miles or Points (18% in 2014)
  • 39% said Special Online Offers and Deals (42% in 2014)
  • 7% said Credit Card Offers (7% in 2014)

Note:  Nearly 3 in 10 use rewards to save on booking (cash back, points or miles). 4 in 10 plan to use online deals to save on their next vacation.

Q: Which of these devices will you use to book your next vacation ?

  • 74% said Computer/Laptop (83% in 2014)
  • 7% said Tablet (4% in 2014)
  • 7% said Smartphone (5% in 2014)
  • 12% said Other

Note:  14% will use a mobile device to book their next vacation (up 56% from 2014), 21% of those under age 30 use a mobile device to book vacations, and 74% book using a laptop or computer (down 12% from 2014).

Q: Which are you most likely to purchase for use on your next vacation?

  • 12% said Luggage (12% in 2014)
  • 26% said Swimwear (28% in 2014)
  • 4% said Sports Equipment (5% in 2014)
  • 55% said Clothing, shoes and accessories (58% in 2014)
  • 28% said Health and Beauty items (30% in 2014)
  • 10% said Electronics (smartphone, earbuds, camera, etc.) (8% in 2014)

Note:  Clothing, shoes, health and beauty products and swimwear top shopping list for vacation prep.

Q: Which are you most likely to shop for on a vacation?

  • 55% said Souvenirs (65% in 2014)
  • 34% said Clothes (39% in 2014)
  • 13% said Jewelry (16% in 2014)
  • 8% said Home Furnishings or Art (10% in 2014)
  • 20% said Coupons for Local Activities (24% in 2014)
  • 8% said Duty Free (12% in 2014)

Note:  Versus 2014, vacationers buying less stuff to bring home during vacations.

Q: Which way are you most likely to share your vacation with friends and family?

  • 50% share on Facebook (70% for those under age 30)
  • 42% share vacation photos via email
  • 14% said they use Instagram to share vacations (42% for those under age 30)
  • 6% use Twitter (14% for those under age 30)
  • 5% use the Cloud
  • 5% use Youtube

*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of in April 2015 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older.

Electronics Deals: 2015 Shopping Survey

50% of Americans will buy new smartphones in 2015


FatWallet’s annual Electronics Shopping Survey (*TNS) asked American adults which products they plan to buy and how much they plan to spend. This year, overall electronics purchases will be higher than 2014 with 75% planning to buy. Consumers will also use online coupon/deal sites when buying electronics 11% more often than last year, 25% for Millennials. See this year’s INFOGRAPHIC and official release.

Millennials are leading the charge into the big March Madness tech sales and beyond, especially for mobile devices, as the Apple Watch becomes available in April. Purchases for electronics deals using mobile devices will increase by 22% overall–35% for Millennials.

Wearables are trending: This year, consumers plan to buy 50% more wearables than a year ago and those surveyed under 30 are 57% more likely to buy wireless tech this year and overall, will buy 42% more wireless or bluetooth headphones and speakers.


Of the HALF of us that will buy smartphones this year (up 4% from 2014):

  • 50% will buy Androids smartphones (up 17%)
  • 40% will buy iPhones (50% for Millennials)
  • 5% will buy Windows phones (down 44%)
  • 7% will buy basic cell phones (down 36%)

Which will have the biggest influence on their new smartphone purchase?

  • 4 in 10 will upgrade existing smartphone
  • 1 in 4 to a different brand
  • 1 in 5 to a bigger screen
  • 21% will buy a new phone in order to lower costs of existing carrier, (28% for females)
  • 12% will buy a new smartphone in order to switch to no-contract


27% plan to buy a new tablet in 2015 (up 8% over 2014), 33% for those with children in the household and 36% for those age 39 or younger.

  • 42% will buy iPads (up 24%)
    • 46% under age 30 (up 15%)
    • 53% will buy iPads for those with children home (up 60%)
  • 15% will buy Windows tablets (down 25%),
    • 4% under age 30 (down 55%)
  • 32% want Android tablets (up 3%)
    • 45% under age 30 (40% above average, up 25% )
  • 10% want a Kindle tablet (down 33%)
    • 6% under age 30 (down 63% )


Of 34% who will buy a new laptop this year (up 30%),

  • 25% will buy HP (down 2%)
    • 16% under age 30 (down 38%)
  • 22% want Dell (down 4%)
    • 16% under age 30 (down 11%)
  • 19% want Apple (up 36%)
    • 29% under age 30 (up 81%)
  • 10% want Samsung (up 11%)
    • 8% under age 30 (down 33%)
  • 6% want Lenovo (up 20%),
    • 11% under age 30 (up 175%)
  • 5% want ASUS (down 17%)
    • 6% under age 30 (down 50%)

*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of in March 2015 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older.

Valentine’s Predictions Call for Smartphones and Sweets: Fun Facts

Heart made of few dollar papersWith consumer confidence on the rise as we enter February this year, the forecast for Valentine’s spending is looking to flirt with history, possibly exceeding the $20 Billion mark for the first time. Strong year over year trends for shoppers to buy non-traditional, expensive tech items as Valentine’s gifts like smartphones and tablets helps lead to this conclusion. Add a new survey from our sister company,, which reported that 38% want smartphones as a Valentine’s gift this year. Read more

When to buy a TV: January vs. Black Friday Deals

Comparing the top 10 TV Deals from Super Bowl sales and Black Friday

TV-deals-post-lrConsumers can save an average of 20% during retailers’ Super Bowl sales in January, but they may save even more during Black Friday sales events. That said, those TV doorbusters aren’t always the most full featured TV models, while the TV deals we see in January are focused on selling TVs that will provide an awesome sports viewing experience. So, depending on budgets and individual needs, the debate on which TV deal is better is going in to overtime.

It’s hard to know when to buy a TV. There are TV deals posted in FatWallet’s Hot Deals forum every day of the year, and the majority of those need be good ones, or that savvy community will call it out…quickly. FatWallet’s annual TV Buyers survey reports that 1 in 4 will buy a new TV in 2015 and of those, Black Friday is when they are most likely to buy, but Super Bowl ranked 2nd best time to buy a TV (NOTE: 2014 survey ranked Super Bowl #1). Read more

TV Buyers Survey reRanks Super Bowl Deals #2

tv-survey-CBN-image-webBlack Friday Takes Back Title for Best TV Deals

(PRNewswire) Jan. 20, 2014 —, where millions of online deal hunters go to stack coupons with cash back, announced results from its 2015 TV Buyer Survey* (TNS). The survey reports 26% said they will purchase a new TV this year (38% under age 30) and only Black Friday ranks higher than Super Bowl sales when asked when they’re most likely to make a TV purchase. The survey also reveals that their purchasing decisions are influenced most by price (45%), and 1 in 4 now stream the majority of their TV programming.

For those that said they will purchase a new TV this year, survey results include:

Read more

1 in 4 Choose to Stream TV Content vs. Cable – INFOGRAPHIC

TV-BUYER-IG-2015-blog-thumb2015 TV Buyers Survey

With one quarter of Americans stating they choose to stream their TV programming over cable, or other available options (antenna, DVD/Bluray, etc), the T-commerce revolution seems to be in full swing, especially with so many choices and options for consumers to send TV and movie content to their big screens. It would be a mistake to not have these choices to consume media on a TV set. With smart TVs and streaming media devices in high demand, and availability, many of us have several streaming options on our TVs. How many of you have a smart TV, a smart Blurry player, a Roku or Apple TV and an Xbox One all hooked into one TV?

It’s no wonder that the new infographic below, displaying results from FatWallet’s annual TV Buyers survey by TNS (see full results, and 2014 results) reveals nearly one quarter (24%) now stream the majority of their TV content (43% of those under age 30). Read more

INFOGRAPHIC: Holiday Spending Biggest for Gifts and Food This Year

Consumers expect to spend more money during December sales than on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day or any other sales event this holiday.

A new national Holiday Spending survey from found that American adults plan to spend more money during December sales than on Black Friday Deals or shopping on Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day. The infographic below reveals how consumers are planning to spend money this holiday season, what they are most likely to purchase and whether they will spend more, the same, or less on items they need for holiday activities. Results from its 2014 Holiday Spending Survey (*TNS Global) and Infographic. Compared to last year, 63% said they plan to spend (overall) the same this holiday season, while 15% said more and 22% said less. They also said they plan to spend slightly more money during December sales than on Black Friday, and 77% will spend the same or more on holiday gifts, compared to last year. “Consumers now expect to get more for less and recognize the opportunities to save money when they spend it, especially on gifts,” States Brent Shelton, FatWallet Shopping Expert. “The smart shoppers will add increased holiday cash back to these deals bring the biggest savings of the year.”

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INFOGRAPHIC: Shoppers Rank Cyber Monday Deals and Savings

A new national survey about Cyber Monday shopping behavior from (*TNS) reports that shoppers think Cyber Monday deals ranks #2 only to Black Friday deals. The survey also reveals that 54% of 2014 Cyber Monday shoppers plan to buy holiday gifts, while 1 in 4 will shop Cyber Monday sales looking for “gifts” for themselves. 26% will start looking for Cyber Monday discounts early on Sunday, and while 38% will jump to shop Monday morning, 32% expect to shop after Monday during Cyber Week (Tue-Fri). Visit to compare all the hottest holiday deals (and Black Friday deals) and make them even better by adding cash back from retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s.

*The national survey conducted online by TNS Global on behalf of in OCT 2014 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older.

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