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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Are You a Last Minute Christmas Shopper?

You are not alone! But what to do now? You only have a few days left to finish your Christmas shopping. Is that enough time? And can you still get a great deal?

Kohl's

Yes! But you may want to act fast if you plan to shop online. Most free shipping offers for a Christmas delivery are ending either today and tomorrow.

Check out these last minute deals you can take advantage of today to complete your Holiday shopping list:

Toys-R-Us

Toys-R-Us: Toys are one of the most highly sought after items at Christmas and today and tomorrow only, Toys-R-Us is running their 50% off sale. For online shoppers there is free shipping for orders greater than $49. Most orders will need to be placed by tomorrow, though, to be in time for Christmas. And starting today through Christmas Eve, Toys-R-Us brick and mortar stores are open 24 hours a day, making it that much easier to get the toys on your list.

Kohl’s: Kohl’s slogan is “expect great things” and they deliver today with up to 30% off nearly everything! Shopping online? Order by 11:00pm tonight to cash in on their Wrap It Up sale and free shipping with delivery for Christmas. Just request “Standard Shipping” and if your order is more than $50, it will ship for free. Better yet: you get $10 Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent. Not sure what to get? Check out their handy gift guide: Kohl’s Last Minute Gift Guide.

GAPBrands: Need great holiday outfits for the family photo? GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta each have last minute Holiday sales: Gap and Athleta both have up to 60% of select items; Banana Republic has up to 50%; Old Navy has an extra 20% off online orders. Piperlime is running its twice-yearly Lime Tag sale of up to 40% off. If your order is $50 or more, shipping is free, and if placed by today, it should arrive by December 23rd.

AnnTaylor: Wow! Just announced this morning is another 50% off everything at Ann Taylor with coupon code WINTER50, good for both in store and online shopping. If shopping online, order by Dec. 23rd and your order will arrive in time for Christmas. Better yet: If that order is more than $150, it ships free. AnnTaylor also has a convenient gift guide to help find that perfect gift: AT Gift Guide

Dick’s Sporting Goods: Looking for something sporty? Also just announced this morning is a one-day only online special at Dick’s Sporting Goods: $20 off orders over $100 and if ordered by midnight tonight, free shipping for many items in time for a Christmas delivery.

Dick's Sporting Goods

Sierra Trading Post: There is always a great deal at Sierra, and today, there is an even better one! Check out their 25% off Anniversary sale, as well as free 2-Day air upgrade shipping for guaranteed Christmas Delivery.

Newegg.com: Electronics on your shopping list? Newegg has an extensive list of last minute deals categorized by price-point that might just be your answer. Many items qualify for free 3-day shipping, but today is the last day to place your order and have it here by the weekend.

Retail Me Not: Shopping online but not sure what retailer might have the best deal? Let Retail Me Not be your guide. Their Christmas Coupons page lists their “Top 10” Christmas deals and coupons in nine different categories. That’s a total of 90 store specials all in one convenient location. Not only might you find the perfect gift item, you might also score a great deal with a Retail Me Not coupon! Link to Retail Me Not blog post

Groupon.com:: In a pinch for time? Looking for a gift for someone out of town? Then check out Groupon and Grouponicus deals and give a Groupon gift certificate! Link to Groupon blog post

Do you have last minute shopping to finish? Have you found a last minute bargain you would like to share? Let me know in the Comments section below!

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