Elementary School

You're Running Out of Time for Back-to-School Shopping

NBC 7 Responds has some tips if you've been holding off until the last minute for back-to-school shopping.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Students around the county are returning to school as local stores are pushing back-to-school sales. Some people are waiting to score the best deals, but time might be running out.

"You may find the selection and inventory levels way lower of those specific items for back to school," said Miro Copic, a marketing professor at SDSU. "Or you're going to pay much more full retail."

Shopping habits changed last year while students went to school online. That means parents might have to spend more this year than they are used to.

"Last year during the pandemic, the normal shopping patterns were completely disrupted," said Copic. "They were buying routers and things so internet connections could be strong for virtual learning."

Now families are looking at the more standard back-to-school purchase.

"Really clothes, shoes, school supplies and technology are on top of the list," said Copic.

Before the pandemic, Copic says 29 percent of back-to-school shopping was done online. This year 39 percent of school shopping is expected to be online. You also don't want to wait too long to buy supplies because of the pandemic's impact on inventory.

"The deals won't be as deep as they normally are," said Copic. "The week after Labor Day would be the last week where you're going to see back to school items on sale or available."

Families are expected to spend a lot more on back-to-school shopping this year. Copic says an estimated $38 billion will be spent on school supplies, a 7 percent increase over last year.

To save the most money, be sure to look at items you might still have from the last year or two. That way you can avoid buying extra school supplies. Buying now can also save you money, but just remember to not wait too long. You might have cheaper prices, but your options will also be more limited.

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