Category Archives: Online Shopping Trends

What to Buy in JUNE – Smart Shopping Tips

June: Best savings on items for DIY HOME IMPROVEMENT Projects

JUN-trends-2015-blogIf April showers brings May flowers, then June brings summer projects, hopefully finished “pre-heat”, and the best time to upgrade tools and DIY project needs on the cheap. In fact June could be coined “guys appreciation month” as big home, yard and garden sales events kick off the first week of June and run consistently through the 4th of July. For the second year in a row, FatWallet’s Tools Shopping Survey (results) ranked Father’s Day sales the best time of year to find deals on tools, edging out Black Friday, and any other seasonal retail events. Dads like, and need, tools and the majority of us will gift ourselves by saving big on a wide selection brands’ power tools, cordless combo kits, yard & garden tools, automotive tools and tool storage boxes.

But the savings don’t stop here. The rush to beat the heat creates some of the years best savings and rebates on paint, stains, home improvement materials, yard and garden and patio products also fit the bill. Shoppers can also expect lucrative discounting on sports and outdoor gear and apparel for fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, golfing, biking and swimming with competitive pricing on top brands throughout the month. It’s a good time to look for “value” purchases in quality products vs. the “cheaper” quality products you’ll find from Black Friday deals on similar items.

Early June is also prime time to find deals on regional summer fun via online local deals ahead of vacations and staycations. Plus, if you’re schedule is flexible, last minute vacation packages can bring big savings, especially on hotel booking which feature the highest cash back available through FatWallet for a limited time..

Savings tips for what to buy in June:

Father’s Day Deals are more than just for dads:

For many of us, Father’s Day is about spending time with dad, then taking advantage of the sales for ourselves. Here’s what to expect big savings on leading up to June 21.

  • Tools & Auto: (power drills, cordless combo tool kits, yard & garden tools, automotive tools and parts, tool storage)
  • Sports & Outdoors: (golfing, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, biking, swimming)
  • Electronics: (laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras, streaming media, wireless devices)
  • Local Deals: (auto services, restaurants, golfing, movies and health/fitness services)

Tip: Taking advantage of online local deals via Groupon, Amazon Local and Living Social are a good way to save 50% or more on a fun day with dad and the family.

Home Improvement Deals heat up this month:

The rush to beat the heat on those DIY home projects create a perfect storm for homeowners looking for materials on a budget. Here are the items that can be found at the hardware store (and online) with some of the best discounts of the year.

  • Paint & Coatings: (interior and exterior for walls, ceilings, floors, fencing, decks, garage and house)
  • Materials: (hardware, faucets, light fixtures, wall board, shingles, fencing, wood, etc.)
  • Tools: (saws, power drills, combo kits, storage, ladders, mowers, trimmers and gardening tools)

Tip: Look for bigger savings of both money and time by shopping online and utilizing free in-store pickup, or better yet when available, free home delivery (and haul away of your old items as needed).

Saving money on Graduation/Wedding Gifts:

Spring clearance and special June sales (Father’s Day, Home Improvement sales, Summer Travel deals) have hidden savings when it comes to buying gifts. Often you can stretch an in-store discount to combine a few gifts with home needs in one purchase, if you shop smart.

  • Home: (dishware, cookware, bedding, small appliances)
  • Flowers, Gifts: (flowers, gift baskets, frames, photo albums, jewelry)
  • Clothing: (jackets, hoodies, pants, long sleeve shirts, rain coats, spring colors)
  • Travel: (caribbean vacation packages, hotel and car rental deals, summer event tickets

Tip: Look for items that qualify as gifts during other seasonal sales (this is actually a great money saving strategy for buying early holiday gifts, as well).

How to find last minute SUMMER VACATION deals:

If you’re flexible, finding last minute summer vacation deals is about being flexible with dates and destinations. Plus, FatWallet features added savings of cash back from +100 travel sites including Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, hotels.com, and Orbitz.

  • Airfare: Bundling airfares with hotels as a package should get you there and back at a bargain if you’re willing to come and go at off hours.
  • Hotels: Get cash back along with the best vacation packages staying in hotels like Hilton, Marriot, Westin, Ramada and more.
  • Car Rental: Look for free rental car upgrades, one-way discount codes and rental car packages.
  • Local Deals: Find 50% or more off local events, activities and getaways + cash back!

Tip: Rule of thumb for booking last minute is when you see an acceptable rate (factored in all taxes and fees), book it!

Cheap SUMMER FAMILY FUN via local deals:

FatWallet Local Deals provide daily deal shoppers a one-stop resource with all the available offers from Groupon, Living Social, Gilt City and other sites in more than 150 cities, including savings on hundreds of timely national deals. Perfect for summer events and cheap meals on the road.

  • Activities & Events: (concerts, sports, theme parks, museums, arcades, movies, bowling, etc.)
  • Beauty & Spa: (half off hair cuts and color, manicures, hair removal and spa packages)
  • Food & Drink: (coupons for pizza, burgers, drinks and a variety of full course meals)
  • Health & Fitness: (gym memberships, pilates, yoga, golfing, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.)
  • Shopping: (50% and more off select products and services year round)
  • Travel: (complete vacation packages, hotels stays)

Tip: If your traveling, look at these deals a week or two ahead to save a ton of money on vacation, or just visiting family and friends.

You can find  and tweeting about retail trends @brentsheltonnow.

What to Buy in May 2015 – Shopping Tips

MAY Shopping Trends (via FatWallet.com)

MAY-trends-2015-blog

May brings a surplus of opportunities to save money, especially on big ticket purchases and summer vacation bookings, if you know where and when to make purchases. Recently, there’s been 50% increase in Mother’s Day spending (upwards of $21.7 billion in 2013–NRF) and Memorial Day sales feature a week long of deep discounting on items like mattress sets, large appliances, furniture and high-priced outdoor living products like grills and patio sets. Add in primetime for vacation booking, and May has established itself as one of the higher spending months in the first half of the year.

May signals the “50 days to summer mark” that officially kicks off vacation booking season, when online travel retailers and online travel agents start pushing deals and savings on summer vacation packages, hotels, vacation rentals, car rental discounts and local deals and coupons for activities and events. FatWallet’s annual vacation spending survey reports that 8 in 10 Americans will go on vacation, with almost 60% taking vacations this summer – See full results and INFOGRAPHIC. (*TNS Global).

The study also reported that vacation bookings made with mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) will increase by more than 50% this year. This should spark additional savings for online and mobile shoppers as consumers move their booking behaviors to the wireless world. Smart shoppers will take advantage of rewards, especially cash back, where FatWallet members can add savings from more than 100 travel sites and take advantage of exclusive cash back increases of up to 8% from Priceline, Expedia and many more.

Here’s when to shop, and what to buy in MAY:

Mother’s Day Sales – not just for moms:

In the past few years, the trend has been that moms want a day off, stress-free time and to be able to spend time with family, hopefully outdoors. That’s where local deals from sites like Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, etc. can really make for the perfect storm of a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift that offers deep savings. Whether that be a spa day, dinner and a movie, or more adventurous activities, local deals are a smart go to.

  • Flowers & Gifts: flowers, candy, books, crafts & supplies, jewelry
  • Home & Garden: cookware/kitchenware, pots, plants, tools, feeders, outdoor decor
  • Gift Cards: restaurants, retail, craft/fabric stores, electronics
  • Local Deals: dinner and drinks, spas, events, activities and getaways
  • Tech: tablets, smartphones, laptops, cameras

Tip: Not sure what to get mom…Gift cards let moms go shopping for “free”. FatWallet features dozens of stores offering Mother’s Day discounts on e-gift cards–many with additional cash back savings, including Starbucks cards, iTunes gift cards and American Express.

Sports and Outdoors Deals – will run amuck:

  • Sports: golf, cycling, baseball, athletic apparel/shoes
  • Outdoors: fishing, cycling, running, camping, swimming, hiking

Tip: Many sports equipment items have trade-in value, especially golf clubs, bicycles and even some fishing gear which can save you up to 20% when upgrading (if you’ve taken care of your stuff).

Memorial Day Sales – shop them early to nab better stock:

This holiday has become the official kick-off of summer sales (or spring clearance – take your pick). That said, it is a premium time to grab discounts on big ticket items for the home, especially these listed below:

  • Home Furnishings: mattresses, furniture, bedroom sets, patio sets
  • Appliances: complete kitchen sets, refrigerators, freezers, washers & dryers, stoves/ranges
  • Clothing: kick-off of Summer Clothing Deals collides with Spring Fashion Clearance
  • Travel: Summer vacation bookings and hotel specials for a holiday weekend getaway

Tip: Like Black Friday, Memorial Day sales now start early with some a full week ahead–this provides those with holiday plans a chance to cash in on this big savings event.

Sales for Graduation and Wedding Gifts

Grads and newlyweds are celebrating new beginnings and need stuff. Retail sales events leading up to Memorial Day often feature savings on these items and many top stores will increase cash back to help you save more when purchasing gifts.

  • Apparel and Accessories: clothing, shoes, suits, dresses, jewelry and watches
  • Electronics: laptops, tablets, smartphones, HDTVs, wireless gadgets
  • Home and Kitchen: small and large appliances, decor, bath and bedding

Tip: Look for huge Memorial Day discounts from retailers that stock these items.

What to Buy in April 2015: Savings Tips

April Shopping Trends – “Where to dig up the deep savings”

APR-trends-2015-blogSpring sales bloom big for home owners in early April with deep discounts on a variety of items including cleaning supplies, vacuums, patio products, yard maintenance, home renewal and automotive maintenance. Boomers will lead the way in spending, the power shoppers in spring making up more than half the total CPG sales, including vacation spending.

It’s a good month to stretch tax refunds on big ticket items as sales are competitive offering savings up to 50% off. Shoppers can utilize free inshore pickup and take advantage of online pricing that stacks nicely with increased cash back throughout the month. And, expect continued sales on tech, especially tablets and wearables, and it’s a good time to upgrade mom’s smartphone (see our annual Electronics Shopping survey). Predictions for “What to Buy in April” below:

Easter Sales kick off a month of savings on these items:

  • candy, gift baskets, and TOYS (outdoor items, games, bicycles, video games)
  • spring fashion deals light up the first two weeks of April

Summer Travel savings heat up after Easter:

  • April offers the magic 50-day mark for best prices and selection on summer travel bookings
  • Luggage deals can be found 30-50% off clearance (stackable with cash back specials)

Home, Yard, Garden and Auto

  • Man Standing beside a Wagon with Bagged Mulchcleaning supplies and cleaning tools, vaccums, shopvacs
  • DIY home repair, maintenance, power washers
  • fertilizer, spring plants, garden tools, hoses (big savings on outdoor watering products)
  • patio and grilling products (great time to stock up on charcoal)
  • TIRES (up to half off this month), cleaning products, audio and accessories

Mother’s Day Deals for early-bird shoppers:

  • Late April (vs. May) is better deals on jewelry and kitchen/cookware.
  • Mom’s want to upgrade. Special targeted sales for select smartphones, tablets and laptops surface in late April.
  • Double up savings from dozens of top retailers during Mother’s Day cash back sales

What to Buy in March 2015: Savings Tips

MAR-trends-2015-blogFor consumers, March comes in like a lion with two solid weeks of savings opportunities before we “lamb” it down for two consecutive four day weekends of March Madness. So if you’re a baller, shop early, or in early April if you win the pool. Seriously, minus a true big holiday sales event apart from sporadic St. Patrick’s Day deals, early March brings a variety of category deals via the end of winter clearance as it ushers in spring with continuous weekend sales designed to help you treat cabin fever with some new stuff.

FatWallet helps you make more out of second half of the month with their annual Spring Fashion Deals followed by a March Mania Cash Back Sale, featuring more than 100 retailers increasing cash back from March 17-30. Add increased cash back to these deal categories to run the savings score up on your March purchases and stretch those tax refunds for “What to Buy in March”:

Smartphone Deals: Like CES and the other winter tech convention, the Mobile World Congress makes its call the first weekend in March, bring with it news of all the new mobile tech due out at some point this year, with some sooner than others. Expect announcements of new Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, a new HTC One M9, and a host of other smartphones from Motorola’s Moto line to Sony’s Experia and several new budget smartphones to compete in the cheap LTE segment. What does this mean for consumers following the event? Expect a fire sale of last year’s models as cell phone brands and carriers scramble to move older inventory via a captive audience during the heavily watched March Madness. Add that a new Apple Watch starts taking orders April 1st, putting more pressure on the Android market to sell units at discount.

Electronics Deals: Prices continue to drop on electronics as new 2015 models start to creep into retail inventory. This is especially enhanced this year with TV deals, as the first big crop of 4K TV deals get pushed to clearance. The price reductions have been significant following Super Bowl sales and continue to drop for both off-brand 4K TVs and bigger name brands. Recent price slides include a 50# Changhung 4K TV for under $600, a 51” Samsung Plasma under $350, and Panasonic 4K TVs 40% off. Shoppers can expect to save as much as 50% leading up to March Madness, as well as scoring some of the best deals of the year on TV accessories and cables from tech stores like Newegg, Parts Express and Monoprice, all featuring massive clearance sales for those willing to dig a little bit. These stores can save you more than half of what you’d spend for big brand name cables and accessories…the Fatwallet tech nerds know their deals when it comes to this stuff!

Winter Clothing Clearance melts into Spring Fashion Deals: The picked through top brand outerwear can be found at outlet prices 50-80% off for quality thermals, pullovers, coats, boots and high performance gloves from REI, Moosejaw, Cabela’s and others. Big box will continue their clearance sales as well (of note last year: Kohl’s offered Extra 30% off & Free Shipping for Kohl’s Card Holders + $10 Kohl’s Cash for Every $50 Spent), though the focus early March will shift to Spring Fashion deals. These early sales may not bring clearance pricing, but retailers will offer discounts to get a jump on the seasonal apparel starting around 20% savings. Plus, early spring fashion shoppers have the luxury finding the styles, colors and sizes they want and a full use of the season to wear them. Spring shoe deals feature a variety of discounts for running shoe deals from stores like FinishLine, New Balance Outlet and Nike, that featured deep clearance discounts of 50% or more and free shipping offers with qualified purchases last year on last year’s shoe styles.

Outdoor Sports and Equipment: Ski/snowboard/hockey/sakting equipment and accessories clearance heats up as the snow melts. Lat season’s Bicycles and accessories get discounted to make way for newer models for spring and summer activities making for a good time to upgrade and save a bundle, if you haven’t in a few years. Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other stores will feature sales pre-draft for NFL gear, pre-season for MLB opening day celebrations and, collegiate sportswear discounts on hoodies, hats and jerseys as bracketology takes center court.

Travel Deals: Last minute Spring Break packages and March Madness hotel deals trend early this month. Late March will bring the beginning of early summer vacation deals, hotel discounts and car rental specials. Proactive summer vacation bookers will take advantage of late March travel deals that bring better options for location, seat selection and lucrative early-bird specials/inclusions.Luggage deals are packed this month as well, stackable with the clearance add-on savings, and double cash back from FatWallet’s March Mania Cash Back sale.

Tax Software Deals will be trending again in late March as those alarms start to go off for procrastinators, the closer we get to April 15. The majority of 2015 software can be found for 50% off, and often for free (with filing charges). For insider tax tips, visit FatWallet Finance forum where experienced DIY filers share tactics on how to get the most out of deductions, tax software and refunds. Office Supplies go onside at the end of the month and into April, creating one of, if not the best time of year to stock up on school supply basics and home office supplies and equipment.

INFOGRAPHIC: Valentine’s Day Fun Facts

Valentines Infographic-thumb2015 Valentine’s Day Spending Stats

The NRF is reports Valentine’s Day spending at $19 billion with more than $142 per person as +60% of consumers say they will celebrate with purchases this year. Ebates.com announced a new Valentine’s survey that reports 39% have smartphones as a top choice for Valentine’s gifts for her, and him. With iPhone6 deals and iPad Air deals will surely creep into Valentine’s gift lists, we fully expect spending to exceed $20 billion this year. The trend to get something techie may not be as romantic as chocolates and flowers, but there are apps that can simulate a whole lot more than taste and fragrance! Traditional gifts will still be a boon for retailers though as half are expected to buy candy and 1/3 or more will once again buy flowers, with males outspending females 2 to 1. The guys may want to visit FatWallet’s Valentine’s Deals to find increased cash back and coupons to help them save some dough!

25 Valentine’s predictions and fun facts that indicate a 2015 shopping spree…of those who celebrate Valentine’s Day:

Read more

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, Ebates.com, which reported that 38% want smartphones as a Valentine’s gift this year. Read more

What to buy in February 2015: Savings Tips

FEB-trends-2015-blogSaving in the winter is about knowing what to buy in February.

Even though the horn sounds on Super Bowl sales (as more than a million TVs sell during pre-game on Sunday, Feb. 1), HDTV prices continue to drop. Retailers’ elevate clearance on their TV deals the first week or two of FEB, making room for new inventory announced at CES in JAN. Expect 20-30% savings on many 55” or larger smart TVs during the Bog Game sales events and post-game.

The move towards smart, or wifi enabled TVs isn’t a surprise, as Fatwallet’s 2015 TV Buyers Survey reports that of the 26% of us that will buy new TVs this year, more than 4 in 10 want smart TVs  (up 29% over 2014) and 1 in 4 said they choose to stream their TV programming. With consumers focused on streaming more media content, FEB presents an excellent time to buy Streaming media devices and accessories, like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV (if in stock) and HDMI and A/V cables to get them connected to your TV and the internet. Read more

What to Buy in January 2015: Savings Tips

via Newswire 01/07/15

Super Bowl Deals5 Tips for “What to Buy in January” 

Health and Well Being:  January offers a focus of price reduction on items related to new year’s resolutions and new beginnings as consumers look to make a commitment to their bodies and well being with vows to get in shape by exercising and eating better. Sales and discounts on health supplements, vitamins and diet foods, as well as winter foods (coffee, cocoa, soup, chili, etc.) are abundant the entire month. Those seeking to start excursive programs can find signup bonuses on health club memberships and a variety of January sales on exercise equipment and work out apparel.

Read more

Amazon Deals Review: Online Arbitrage by Chris Green

“The modern bible for online resellers”

Longtime FatWallet forums member Chris Green shares the “BLUEPRINT for buying products to sell online for BIG PROFITS” in his book, ONLINE ARBITRAGE. Since 1999, Chris Green has been doing Retail Arbitrage, the business of buying items at retail stores and selling them online for a profit. From humble beginnings selling wrestling action figures on eBay, he has since perfected this low-risk, high-margin business model now known as Retail Arbitrage.

This 5-star book has rave reviews on Amazon. Here’s a quick review by FatWallet’s in-house reseller guru, Jeff Stenzel:

onlinearbitrage-chrisgreenOnline Arbitrage should be considered the modern bible for online resellers.  The author, Chris Green is a successful FBA expert.  FBA for anyone unfamiliar with the term is Fulfilled by Amazon.  Chris is also founder of ScanPower, a group of online resellers that takes pride in the ability to locate the best deals online and turn them around for a profit. Read more

What to buy in December 2014

 What to buy in December? …or When!

DEC-deals-2014Online shoppers spend more money in December than any other month. FatWallet’s Holiday Spending survey confirms as consumers say they plan to spend more money during December sales than on Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals this year. They’ll spend the majority of money on gifts and food, and overall, 78% will spend the same or more than last year. (See INFOGRAPHIC for more results.) Smart shoppers will look to stack discounts to make this big spend pay off, especially during FatWallet’s holiday cash back sale with hundreds of top stores increasing cash back throughout December. Read more

Page 1 of 212