Five Consumer Trends for 2012

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution for 2012? According to many polls, these five resolutions top the charts this year:

  • Lose weight
  • Stay fit; Be healthier
  • Save money; Spend less money
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Spend more time with family

It’s not always easy to keep your New Years Resolutions; perhaps these following five top consumer and shopping trends for 2012 will help!

A Healthier You: Products centered around a “healthier you” are expected to be on many consumers’ shopping lists this year. From gourmet cooking products to nutritional supplements to activewear, consumers are expected to spend more on their health in 2012. Retailers like Macy’s have extensive kitchen products, and with their frequent sales and WowPass offers, finding a great deal is just around the corner. Keep an eye on sporting goods and apparel giants like Modell’s and  Dicks Sporting Goods for sales and deals on “all things sporty.”

Modell's

Recommercing: The fine art of reselling your no-longer-wanted items has changed! Yard sales and consignment shops have been the quintessential recommerce market for years. But how many of us want to put our resell items in the front yard? Or “tag-bag-drop-wait” for a consignment shop resell? Enter 2012 and the explosion of more high-tech methods to resell unwanted goodies. Almost anything can be bought and sold in today’s internet recommerce market: books, clothes, electronics, toys and more.

Think eBay, CraigsList, Amazon Marketplace, and Gazelle; all examples of internet resellers of our gently used but no longer wanted items. Check out the partnership between major powerhouse reseller eBay and upscale clothing line, Patagonia: eBay+Patagonia Common Threads Initiative. Consider selling your electronics to Gazelle and let them sell for you. As we move through 2012, recommercing one person’s no-longer wanted item can become another person’s treasure at a great price.

eBay + Patagonia

Consumer Electronics: Looking to “upsize” your TV? 2012 may be the year! Electronics prices historically drop in January and February and 2012 is no different. An added bonus for the consumer this year is that prices are expected to remain lower for items such as TVs, cameras, GPSs and other “not-so-coveted” electronics. Brick and mortar stores are in heavy competition with online retailers for your electronics purchases, helping keep those prices down.

TigerDirect.com

But, lower electronics prices do not extend into all areas of electronics; sales are expected to remain strong in the tablet, smartphone and e-reader markets. Be sure to do your research before you buy to ensure you are getting a great price!

Wine: Got wine? Wine consumption continues to be a very strong market, but the slower economy has many of us spending less per bottle. In 2011 we trimmed our purchases of those $30 or higher-priced wines. But don’t despair: in 2012 the glass is not half empty; it’s half full! Wineries have taken note of this change in consumption and plan to offer more lower priced wines in 2012.

Not willing to give up that high-end bottle of wine? Consider wine flash-sale websites dedicated to selling those high priced bottles at a more “drinkable” price. Take a look at WinesTilSoldOut, whose motto is “Fine Wine. Great Prices. One at a Time.” Sales start at midnight and end when the wine is sold out. With wines at 30%-70% off, these bottles are gone in a flash!

WinesTilSoldOut

However, buyer beware: be sure to read the reviews of a low-price wine to ensure you are getting a quality wine at a great price, and not last year’s dredges.

Travel to Europe: Europe is still expensive, but if you’ve been dreaming of a family trip to Barcelona, 2012 might be the year to do it. The European debt crisis and the relative strength of the US dollar to the Euro mean European hotels and attractions could be substantially lower than they have in the past.

If European travel (or any travel for that matter) is in your 2012 plans, consider subscribing to several free travel flash-sale websites, such as Jetsetter.com, or sign up for Groupon Getaways and receive notifications of travel deals around the world. Budget Travel’s website also keeps you in touch with the latest travel deals.

Budget Travel

So what’s your favorite consumer trend for 2012? Where do you see yourself spending your shopping dollars this year? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carolyn Nicander Mohr
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 14:49:44

    Wow, Carol. You packed a lot into this article. Loads of great sites I hadn’t heard of. I am definitely bookmarking this article for later reference.

    The wine site intrigues me. That may be a way to get a great deal on wine I might not otherwise buy. The sales that start at midnight, what time zone are they in?

    Thanks for this great article. It must have taken a lot of work!

    Reply

    • carolbiederman
      Jan 05, 2012 @ 17:30:39

      Thanks Carolyn. Stay tuned as I explore each of these top trends in greater detail! With regards to the wine flash sales: they start at midnight, eastern standard time. Not sure how many I will be awake for the start of!

      Reply

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