Category Archives: Consumer Trends

The First 2017 Black Friday Ad Has Landed!


Earliest Leak of a 2017 Black Friday Ad EVER + exclusive SNES Classic Giveaway 

Harbor_Freight_2017_BF_600-pg_01The first Black Friday Ad of 2017 is the 8-page, 81-item Harbor Freight Black Friday ad. This ad is 10 days earlier than last year and the earliest Black Friday Ad EVER!!! Holiday creep is in full effect this year…maybe next year the first ad leak will drop in September? 
  • Harbor Freight will open their doors at 7AM on Black Friday
  • Sale prices are valid throughout Thanksgiving weekend
  • This year Harbor Freight compares their prices to the major home improvement stores (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace, etc) is launching Black Friday 2017 with a giveaway of perhaps the hottest item of the year. Folks can enter to win an SNES Classic Edition. The giveaway is open until 5PM on October 6. We’ve already heard of issues with pre-orders not shipping out in time and stores selling out so this is sure to be one of the hard to find items of the season!

Don’t Fall For Hype – Here’s What to Buy in September

What to Buy in September

Labor Day sales feature decent discounts on new fall fashions and outdoorwear, but waiting for later in September can result in the deepest discounts on jackets/hoodies, long sleeve tops, work boots and especially denim clothing with up to half price savings. “Summer clearance sales feature outdoor sports apparel, college and professional teams merchandise, and hiking and hunting apparel with discounts in the range of 20-40% off from popular online stores like REI co-op, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sierra Trading Post, Cabela’s and others.”

Back-to-school clearance gets better for clothing after labor Day sales. “Waiting until later in September will reward shoppers checking out the annual denim and jeans sales with promos featuring up to half price on new jeans for the kids and adults. Look for deep discounts and site-wide sales online from brands like Levi’s, Lucky, Guess, True Religion and Lee among other popular brands.” Cash in with additional savings shopping through cash back sites like, often increased 2x or more throughout the month.

Lawn Tools and Equipment Clearance ramps up following Labor Day weekend offering the year’s best discounts on push mowers, riding mowers and lawn tools. Expect up to $150 off regular prices on gas-powered and cordless lithium powered push mowers from brands like Kobalt, Greenworks, Black+Decker and Worx. “Shoppers will find similar discounting on 40-Volt Lithium Powered Lawn Tools (trimmers, edgers, hedgers) upwards of 50% off as stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s and Ace look to move summer inventory.”

Football watching season offers reduced prices on 4K TVs, especially for consumers looking to upgrade into entry level UHD models. Expect 4K TV Deals matching last year’s Black Friday prices with select 60-65” 4k TVs models under $700 and 50” 4K TVs under $400 and 35-50” 4K TVs under $300.  “TV prices change weekly in September so setting alerts for TV deals in deal hunting communities like FatWallet Hot Deals forum will keep you in-the-know for the super-limited stock clearance deals that usually sell out the same day they post.”

Do you know What to Buy in August?

What to Buy in August

There are big savings opportunities available during the barrage of Back to School sales in August, bringing savings not only for students, but for basically everyone. These simmer sales far transcend deals on school needs, catering to savings on upgrades for the home, home office, work and the basic family necessities. It’s a good month to buy clothing, shoes, laptops, eyewear, office supplies and to shop summer clearance deals.


A month long seasonal shopping event that can be very prosperous for a variety of home, school and work needs. Some of the best laptop and tablet deals of the year happen in August, rivaling Black Friday. Shoppers will find discounts up to 40% off new, and refurbished, budget and 2 in 1 hybrid laptops including the best pricing on high-end tablets and iPads to date in 2017.

  • Tech Products: (laptops, tablets and iPads, cell phones and iPhones, PC’s)
  • Supplies: (writing supplies, backpacks, lunch bags, art supplies)
  • Clothing: (uniforms, shirts, blouses, jeans, shoes, jackets, hoodies, shorts, hats, socks)
  • Eyewear: (exams, prescription glasses, frames, contacts, sunglasses)
  • Musical Instruments: (woodwinds, brasswinds, drums, percussion, guitars, etc.)
  • College: (luggage, furniture, lighting, rugs, small appliances, storage)

Tip: Utilize shopping rewards when possible for any of these purchases can easily create bigger savings. hosts huge back-to-school cash back promotions featuring hundreds of top retailers with increased cash back throughout the month of August.


The final two weeks of August kicks off a big round of seasonal clearance as back to school sales start to wrap up and summer clearance takes center stage, with deep discounting leading up to and through Labor Day sales.

  • Sports/Outdoors: (golf, cycling, running, baseball, camping, fishing, pools)
  • Clothing: (shirts, dresses, shorts, sandals and accessories)
  • Swimwear: (suits, shorts and swim accessories)
  • Grills/Grilling: (gas and charcoal grills and accessories)
  • Patio Furniture: (outdoor furniture, umbrellas, seat cushions, lawn chairs)
  • Travel: (Hotels weekend discounts/packages, Vegas deals, luggage)
  • MISC: (some yard/lawn tools, paint, fans, and summer beer and wines)

Tip: In order to buy from the best selection, hit summer clearance sales pre-Labor Day as the most popular styles, sizes, colors and quality brands will surely to sell out quickly, especially with summer apparel.


Early Alert: Walmart leaks kids top choice toys and new layaway details

Walmart Top Toys Ad

Better early than never? Although it’s still August, the retail giant announced Walmart Toy Week offering a sneak-peek of their annual kids top choice where they survey thousand of kids to pick the top toys of the year (vetting the stuff kid’s really want for Christmas). Walmart has an assortment of these toy deals featured (some rolled back) as a pre-holiday purchase. The promotion could be a tactic to provide the retailer data as to which hot toy items they will insert into the huge list of Walmart Black Friday doorbusters. Some of the “chosen ones” include: Walmart Top Toys Ad

  • Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move Beatbo
  • Nerf N-Strike Mega Series RotoFury Blaster
  • Marvel RC Hulk Smash
  • Fisher-Price Little People Big Animal Zoo
  • Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Talking Doll and Care Clinic
  • LEGO DUPLO Creative Play Creative Animals Building Set
  • Playskool Sesame Street My Peek-a-Boo Elmo Toy
  • Disney Frozen Elsa Castle
  • Barbie Dreamhouse
  • Girl Scouts Deluxe Cookie Oven

Coincidence? 2 weeks ahead of 2014, Walmart is launching it’s annual holiday layaway program Friday, August 28. They have lowered the price of eligible items to $10 with a $50 minimum purchase, no fee to start a layaway account with 10% down. Layaway pick up deadline is Monday, December 14 and folks will have 90 days (up from 60) to pay for it.

These will lead up to the Friday, September 4 Force Friday event which will feature a fist glimpse of exclusive Star Wars merchandise to help promote the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

You can keep tabs on all Walmart deals, news and Black Friday ad leaks at and their popular money-saving blog.

#infographic – Wearables / Smartphones Spending Up


New consumer survey from reports 50% more wearables are expected to be purchased this year (thx #Applewatch), and half of American adults say they’ll buy a new smartphone at some point in 2015. Another interesting stat shows electronics purchases made with a mobile device expected to increase 21%, and 35% for Millennials. More fun info in the IG. You can grab the embed code at The Skinny, or click on the graphic.


Mobile Devices Infographic


You a Cheap Valentine? “Smart” Lovers Buck Up


“She loves me, she loves my texts”

Valentines-spending-bsWinning over your Valentine this year may just come down to a fat wallet, in that, choosing the right Valentine’s gift for her, or him, is a strategy that needs your attention. Charm and good looks might get you the date, but a well thought out gift can get you much more. Even a smartphone, as material and non-romantic as it sounds, will get you more love than those over-priced gas station chocolates and wilting grocery store flower bouquets. (see my quote in yesterday’s Marketwatch story, 5 truly awful Valentine’s Day gifts (thanks to Quentin Fottrell!!).

A recent survey reports that almost 4 in 10 actually want a smartphone for Valentine’s…at least it’s very high on their wish list. And why not? A new smartphone (we suggest a new model, perhaps these iPhone 6 deals, via FatWallet, will help you save a buck) can provide incredible ambience during a private candlelight dinner with romantic music (of course, there is a Romantic Music app), by the fire (via Fireplace Live HD app) and memories from that special V-day selfie hug you share directly to your Instagram app so your friends can be jealous of this “thoughtful” Valentine’s gift…and how romantically useful it was on that special occasion…and hopefully, many more to come.


Get Wired This Valentine’s Day: NBC News

Courtesy of NBC News (Jay Gray) A new survey from Ebates found 39% of people have smartphones as one of their most coveted Valentine’s gifts. (see video)

“Our preferences are changing as social media becomes an every day aspect of our lives, getting something like a smartphone is a little bit sexier than it used to be,” says’s Brent Shelton. “Candy and flowers still rank as the top Valentine’s gifts.”

PR Campaign notes. Pitched survey and Valentine’s Fun Facts (see infographic). NBC producer called for interview request, but setting up a camera crew to come in to was a bit of an issue. So we put the producer on speaker phone and shot the interview in-house. Then uploaded the broadcast quality files for NBC to download. Worked like a charm!


What to Buy in August: Survey Says Laptops

laptops 4 school

August Shopping News:  Student Laptop Deals Heat Up the Summer

“Laptops vs. Tablets? Which is it for your student and their back to school requirements? Better than 5 to 1, parents say laptops are better suited to help students learn than a tablet or desktop PC, according to a new survey from 4 school The deal site reports adequate laptops can be found much cheaper than tablets, and include more operating power, standard software applications and give parents the assurance of satisfying all students’ study needs. AND…they can find dozens of models under $250, readily available this summer. Parents also said Back to School sales, next to Black Friday, lend the best opportunities to find good deals on both laptops and tablets.

Note: Although newer tablets and 2-in-1 notebooks are becoming the new trend, they come at much higher prices ($499-899) and many require additional resources to compete with the usability of laptops. Plus, they may or may not qualify for student discounts where most laptop deals do (seek out $50-150 additional savings depending on store, brand and model w/student ID#).


See FULL RESULTS of Back to School Shopping Survey  and What to Buy in August 2014.

Americans Buy A Lot Of Tools [SURVEY]

A recent Tools Shopping Survey from says 8 in 10 surveyed (81%) buy new tools at least once a year (40% 2 or more times), 1/3 of males will buy tools until they run out of money (21% of females just need a screwdriver, hammer and duct tape) and 4 in 10 say best tool deals happen during Father’s Day Sales (twice as many as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and December Holiday Sales combined). See complete survey results at FatWallet.

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