Back to School... Shop Resale for A+ Savings
St. Clair Shores, MI — The back-to-school shopping season is the 2nd largest consumer spending time of the year. Total back-to-school spending for Kindergarten through 12th grade this year is estimated to reach $21.35 billion according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2010 Back to School Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. According to the survey, families with school-aged children plan to spend an average of $606.40 on back-to-school purchases of clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics, compared to $548.72 last year.
Clothing and accessories remains the largest spending category. Average back-to-school spending by category per family is estimated to be:
• Clothing and Accessories: $225.47
• Electronics/Computers: $181.60
• Shoes: $102.93
• School Supplies: $96.39
While spending for school-age children in grades K-12 is expected to increase this year, per person sales on back to college merchandise is expected to remain similiar to last year. The survey showed that the average student will spend $616.13 on new apparel, furniture for dorms or apartments, school supplies and electronics—compard to $618.12 spent last year. Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach $33.77 billion. 2010 back-to-college and back-to-school spending combined will total $55.12 billion.
Back-to-school shopping is big business for merchants, but it does NOT have to break the bank account. From Kindergarten to College... students can be outfitted at resale, consignment and thrift stores for a fraction of the original price. Parents who understand value do not let back-to-school shopping sabotage their budget. Resale shops are a great source for clothing. They stock good quality, current style apparel at great prices—especially appreciated since children outgrow their clothes so quickly.
The appeal of resale continues to grow as the economy struggles to recover. Parents who remain cautious in how and where they spend their back-to-school dollars this year are recognizing resale as the solution to their budget concerns. NARTS President, Kitty Boyce, owner of Remarkable Resale in Rochester, IL says, "Outfitting your children for the first day of school doesn’t have to break the bank this year. Resale, consignment and thrift shops offer a wealth of reasonably priced, trendy clothes. The affordability of resale shopping helps parents send their children back to school in style."
NARTS knows resale has been an important back-to-school shopping choice for decades, but the industry was not included in the National Retail Federation survey until last year. "We have arrived!" said Gail Siegel, NARTS Director of Membership Services. "Inclusion in the NRF survey proves how notable the resale industry has become in retailing." According to the survey, 18.9% of people will shop in resale and thrift stores this back-to-school shopping season. The figure rises to 24.3% when surveying women, who do the majority of back-to-school shopping.
Send your kids back to school in style by shopping smart... which means shopping resale! Here are a few tips on how to shop sensibly:
• Make a list before you go shopping. It will keep you on track and save you from impulse buying.
• Do an inventory of what you have so you can build on it by looking for coordinating pieces. This is also a good time to recycle the clothing your child has outgrown.
• Involve your children in the back-to-school budget and teach them to comparison shop. Help them identify their "wants and needs" then ask which items they consider "essential."
• Get started early and visit your favorite resale shops often as new things come in every day.
• Shop during the state sales tax holiday—if your state has one. In some state's, the tax holiday coincides with back to school shopping time.
• You do not have to buy everything at once. A few new outfits will get your children started and gives them time to access the trends. You can add during the year as you discover great new bargains at your favorite resale shop.
• Shop at resale, thrift and consignment stores for clothes and accessories. Remember... always look for the NARTS decal. It is Your Assurance of Resale Professionalism.
“It is not unusual to see price tags of $100 or more on an outfit at a department store. Why spend $100 when you can spend $25 or less for the same or higher quality goods?,” asks Adele Meyer, Executive Director of NARTS. “Resale offers a practical way to outfit your children while watching those savings add up.”
Clothes are only the beginning of the back-to-school shopping list. Other things you can save money on by shopping resale include computers, musical instruments, dance wear and sports equipment for extra curricular activities.
Trendy teens have discovered resale shopping in a big way! Whether they are looking for name brands in good condition or the popular vintage accessories, there is a resale, consignment or thrift shop to meet their taste. Teens are savvy shoppers who realize the importance of value and quality. A lot of young people these days want to take something old and make it theirs, so resale and thrift shops can really cater to them.
Teenagers plan to spend an average of $31.74 of their own money for apparel, accessories and supplies this year, while preteens plan to spend $18.27. Since many pre-teens and teens will be pulling out their own wallets for back-to-school shopping this year, they have also become suppliers to the industry, selling their clothes to local resale shops for cash. And even if they're not spending most of their own money, they have quite a say in what is bought. According to the survey 61..1% of adults say their children influence at least at least fifty percent of back-to-school purchases.
Dorm decorating has taken on a new life as college students become very ingenious at making use of their dorm room space. They have an eye for getting the most out of their limited space, while creating a place to call home. The basic and necessary items for dorm rooms include stackable crates, boxes and baskets, which provide storage that is visually appealing.
Equipping a college student does not have to be a wallet-draining ordeal. Resale stores specializing in furniture, small appliances, bedding and accessories are brimming with treasures to furnish dorm rooms on an affordable budget. Here are a few tips to make dorm decorating personal:
Look around and shop early. Keep an eye out for deals the summer before heading to school.
• Use floor to ceiling storage—make all the space usable.
• Don't be afraid to try something different than everyone else is doing.
• Make your room comfortable—it's where you will be living for nine months.
• Distinguish a study area from the living space by using a bed or curtains as a visual divider.
• Make sure nothing is permanent. Then, you can rearrange as the spirit moves you.
• Shop at resale, thrift and consignment stores for furniture and accessories. Paint or refurbish your bargains with fabric if necessary.