Shoppers hunt for deals but inflation makes bargains elusive | AP News

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  2 days ago  •  18 comments

By:   AP NEWS

Shoppers hunt for deals but inflation makes bargains elusive | AP News
NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers holding out for big deals — and some much-needed relief from soaring costs on just about everything — may be disappointed as they head into the busiest shopping season of the year.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers holding out for big deals — and some much-needed relief from soaring costs on just about everything — may be disappointed as they head into the busiest shopping season of the year.

While retailers are advertising sales of 30%, 50% and 70% off everything from TVs to gadgets, many items will still cost more than they did last year because of inflation and finding a true bargain may prove to be a challenge.

From September through October, shoppers paid roughly 18% more for furniture and appliances than they did a year ago, according to a recent major data analysis by analytics company DataWeave, which tracks prices for hundreds of thousands of items across roughly three dozen retailers including Amazon and Target. For toys, they paid roughly 2% more.

Things looked a bit better for consumers shopping for clothing — they paid nearly 5% less compared with last fall, according to DataWeave. Meanwhile, prices held steady for footwear.

"It's just a weird time for everybody to figure out what is the right price, and what is the real price," said Nikki Baird, vice president of strategy of Aptos, a retail technology firm. "Consumers are really bad at discount math, and retailers are fully aware of it and do everything they can to take advantage of it."

William Wang, 24, who teaches high school math, says he's more likely to notice price increases on everyday items — like his quesadilla that now costs $8 at his local deli — than for gifts he's going to spend money on once a year.

"I do feel like everything's more expensive," said the Brooklyn, New York, resident. "But I mainly keep track of it with small items, like food."

The latest government retail sales report shows retail sales rose last month even when adjusting for inflation. That underscores some resiliency among shoppers heading into the Black Friday weekend, the kickoff to the season.

But cracks are forming.

Third-quarter earnings results from major retailers show shoppers aren't willing to pay full price and waiting for deals. Kohl's, Target and Macy's all noted Americans have also slowed their spending in the past few weeks.

It's a dramatic change from last year's holiday period when shoppers began their holiday items as early as October for fear they wouldn't get what they needed amid pandemic-infused clogs in the supply chain. They were also flush with cash from government stimulus money. Retailers were struggling to bring in items so they didn't need to discount as much.

Michael Liersch, head of advice and planning at Wells Fargo, said this holiday shopping season, it's more likely that things will "appear discounted or feel discounted, or it will seem like there are big offers" but that between inflation and "shrinkflation" — when manufacturers quietly shrink package sizes without lowering the price — it's often not the case.

That trend played out in a recent spot check by DataWeave of different items. For example, a Cuisinart two-speed blender, listed at $59.99 but discounted at 25%, was available for $44.99 at grocery chain Fred Meyer. But it was still more expensive than last year's blender, available for $39.99, after a 20% discount off a lower list price of $49.99.

At Kohl's, shoppers paid more for Nunn Bush Baker Street men's dressy shoes this past fall than last year when discounts were actually bigger, and the list price was lower. The shoes were available for $79.99 after a nearly 16% price cut from the $95 suggested price; last year, the shoes were available for $59.99 after a 29% discount on a lower list price of $85.

Kevin Brasler, executive editor of Consumers' Checkbook, a nonprofit consumer organization, noted its researchers spent 33 weeks starting Feb. 9 tracking sale prices at 25 major retailers. They found most stores' sale prices — even those that promote big savings — are bogus discounts, with retailers offering the same "sale price" more than half the time. In fact, at many retailers, the "regular price" or "list" price listed is seldom, if ever, what shoppers pay, Brasler said.

Still, inflation-battered shoppers like Yoki Hanley are willing to take their chances and hold out for a bargain. So far, she doesn't feel like she's getting good deals for her eight grandchildren and plans to delay her buying until the last week before Christmas.

"Everything went up so my little nest egg disappeared a whole lot quicker than I expected," said the St. Croix resident. "I will wait until the last minute. They'll get it, but it's coming late."

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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  Buzz of the Orient    2 days ago

Well, stuff could have been cheaper, but tariffs.....

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Junior Expert
1.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    yesterday
but tariffs....

Biden should eliminate the (illegal) Trump tariffs.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.1  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  al Jizzerror @1.1    yesterday

he has had almost 2 years to do so , why hasnt he?

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Junior Expert
1.1.2  al Jizzerror  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.1.1    yesterday

I don't have crystal balls.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.1.1    yesterday

Even though it would have been beneficial for both Americans and the Chinese, he couldn't because the Republicans would use it as ammunition to call him the "kiss of death" expression, "soft on China".  LOL.   "Lord, what fools these mortals be." (A Midsummer's Night's Dream - William Shakespeare)

I would not be surprised if Biden doesn't revoke them, because he may be running in 2024. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.4  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  al Jizzerror @1.1.2    22 hours ago

nope.... nope way too easy .... not gonna do it ....

Ok maybe one ....

you know this because they dont clink when you walk right?

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.5  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.3    22 hours ago

that and those tarriffs ? bring money into the government that wouldnt have to be got from the taxpayers , add in the fact that with any capitalist system , any added expense is passed on to the consumer , so china simply raises prices to cover the tariffs , that people everywhere in the country pay at the register .

 win /win to keep them in place , government gets rich , china gets rich ,  all the bluff and bulious is just smoke and mirrors , they are smiling walking to the bank.

 what they DIDNT count on was both the cost of fuel , or the supply chain issues , the inflation they thought the could manage with voodoo book keeping .....reminds me of a young kevin bacon in Animal house in uniform telling people not to panic ...

256

bologna made with elk , fresh from the oven 3 pound tubes , that would be a kilo and a half or there bouts  to you i belive .

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.1.5    21 hours ago

DAMN!!!  I would LOVE to be able to try that bologna.  Pork is the meat of choice in China.  Lamb seems to be eaten only during winter for some reason, except in Muslim restaurants where lamb is king year round.  Beef is rarely eaten and there's no way to get venison or elk meat.  

By the way, I'm fully congnizant of both metric and imperial systems.  Canada went from imperial to metric when I was 38 years old so I lived through both. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.7  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.6    21 hours ago

was a bit labor intensive , had to cube up the elk and grind it while it was almost frozen , grinder works better that way , weigh the fat and cube and grind that and mix it in the elk  i go for an 80% elk, 20% fat beef and or pork , then get all the seasonings and cure mixed in , let it almost freeze again and run it through again with the stuffer attatchment , then came the oven time , 180 degrees until it reached 165 internal temp , then a cold water bath for 15 mins and then into the fridge .and there is sits over night before i can taste test .

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Ender  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.1.7    20 hours ago

Holy crap. Now I want some.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.9  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.6    20 hours ago

i wonder if you could order and import? might be worth checking into on your end . but food stuffs are a tricky thing internationally.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1.10  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.1.9    20 hours ago

I'm not so sure of perishables.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.11  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.10    20 hours ago

fruits and veggies i can see , sausages and stuff that is cured is what i dont know about , if its cured , its ment to last longer .

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
1.1.12  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @1.1.7    an hour ago

taste test complete.

 oscar mayer doesnt have to worry , i would say it ended up between a bologna and a very mild salami., just about right to serve with crackers and cheese .

 
 
 
squiggy
Junior Quiet
1.2  squiggy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    yesterday

... and lockdowns ...

 
 
 
Snuffy
Masters Guide
1.3  Snuffy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    yesterday

Yeah,  I don't think so.  The tariffs were set up in 2018, inflation wasn't that bad and prices really didn't start to go up that drastically until later.  Inflation now is the main culprit.  Black Friday pricing wasn't this high last year.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
1.3.1  Ender  replied to  Snuffy @1.3    yesterday

I was on a, let's just say a popular hardware store brand's website. I hate to admit it yet I was looking for certain crystal knobs that went out of stock in my nearby store.

They were like 6.02 a piece. I always hesitate before I order something for some reason and usually end up regretting it.

I refreshed the page like a day or so later and the same crystal knobs were now like 12.05 a piece...

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
Junior Expert
2  al Jizzerror    yesterday

That underscores some resiliency among shoppers heading into the Black Friday weekend, the kickoff to the season.

I usually wait for the end of year sales.  Stuff gets a big mark down because retailers want to avoid the inventory tax.

 
 

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