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Consumers revenge-shop as businesses reopen

Pandemic-era stay-at-home orders and business restrictions are lifting. Consumers are making up for shutdowns by shopping, shopping and shopping some more.

SAN ANTONIO — After being deprived during the pandemic, people aren't just buying these days—they're purchasing lavish and luxury items.

“They’re going to spend more on the places that they go and the things that they buy because, effectively, they’ve been forced to be very austere for a year and all of a sudden they have money to spend on things and things to do,” said Kristen Gall, president of Rakuten Rewards. “So, you can think about things like apparel and shoes, but not just apparel and shoes—impractical apparel and impractical shoes, high heels, sparkles, glitter, things that are a little bit more interesting than the joggers that we’ve all been wearing for the last year.”

Stores are offering deep discounts to lure customers back.

“They’re doing this because they really do want to spur people back into the spending mindset. They want them to get comfortable with spending again,” Gall said. “So, I do anticipate over the next few months you will see a lot of deals and you’ll see a lot of amazing sales.”

The temptation is to snap up the savings, but resist impulse-purchasing.

“Just hit pause, take a moment, take a breath, really think about what you’re buying and then make an educated shopping decision,” said Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert of TrueTrae.com. “Folks should perhaps set an allowance for themselves for a little fun shopping. Look at your budget and see if there’s a little wiggle room, and if there is set that aside.”

First, be sure you can afford your purchase.

“If you look at your budget and don’t have wiggle room right now, just try to stop shopping,” Bodge said. “Wait a little while until you do have some wiggle room and then it will feel like a real treat. You can’t spend and spend and spend if you don’t have the money to pay for it. It’s so irresponsible for us to carry balances from month to month and then pay those finances charges on our credit cards.”

Next, do some price comparison. It can be as easy as Googling the item you want.

“Google has a shopping arm which is Google shopping and they give extensive information on pricing across the internet,” said Bodge. “That, to me, is a really good place to start if you are looking to buy something that’s sold in numerous places.”

Install a free browser extension to get better deals.

“Coupon Cabin has an excellent one where once you install it you’ll be alerted to available cashback opportunities and coupons you can use,” Bodge said.

Plus, set deal alerts at Slick Deals.

“You simply just enter the name of the item in the deal alert bar and they you’ll be alerted when that items goes on sale,” Bodge added. 

Timing is everything. Do not expect the great deals to last long.

“Those deals will eventually sort of transition to not great deals as people really do start to emerge,” Gall said.

As the world reopens, so are the sales. Take advantage of the deals, just be sure not to bust your budget.

If you have a question for Eyewitness Wants To Know, email us at EWTK@KENS5.com or call us as 210-377-8647.