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Americans Spend 83 Hours a Year Hunting Online for Sales

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The thrill of a deal is very much alive among U.S. consumers. A survey from social shopping platform Slickdeals found that Americans spend 83 hours a year online looking for the best sales. In turn, these consumers save nearly $10,000 a year. Here’s what else Slickdeals researchers found.

American consumers love the thrill of the hunt

The thrill is real, as 68% of consumers told Slickdeals they love to hunt for sales just for fun.

Others are more strategic, with 44% having set up alerts to not miss a sale. Of this group, 89% say it helps them spot online sales significantly easier.

And after finding these sales, consumers love to boast about them. In fact, more than half — 56% — brag to friends and family about snagging a deal. More than two-thirds of consumers — 69% — express wanting to share these deals so others can enjoy the great bargains, too.

Interestingly, 58% feel inclined to let strangers know how much they saved after being complimented on an outfit they bought through a sale.

Online surveys, email newsletters — whatever it takes for a deal

As shown, those scouring the internet for deals are doing it more than just for fun. The Slickdeals data reveals that 3 in 4 consumers hunt for bargains online because they want to save.

And nearly half (45%) will only buy products if they’re on sale, saying paying full price is a no-go.

So how are Americans willing to scoop up sweet deals? They do so by:

  • Taking an online survey (63%)
  • Signing up for an email newsletter (59%)
  • Signing up for a rewards program (51%)
  • Signing up for text updates (50%)
  • Applying for a retail card (28%)

Separately, 75% express caring more about finding the best value than buying something just because it’s cheap.

Whatever it takes includes holding out while looking for a deal

Consumers will keep an eye on a deal for an average of nine days before surrendering the hunt. The kinds of deals they prioritize are clothes (44%), shoes (33%) and groceries (31%).

While they’re spending a good amount of time bargain-hunting, some products provide challenges. Here are the hardest items to find online right now, per Slickdeals respondents:

  • Video game consoles (21%)
  • Computer parts (17%)
  • Home appliances (15%)

Tactics to avoid going over your budget

The biggest discounts, respondents say, have come on jewelry, exercise equipment and designer clothing. But consumers don’t pounce after stumbling across a good find. Fifty-two percent say they need to hit pause and reflect on the deal, though that “pause” isn’t necessarily that long, at up to 30 minutes.

If you’re reaching for the plastic to make online purchases, beware of “spaving,” which is spending with the intention of saving but then spending more than you expected. The absence of physical cash can make consumers prone to overspending, but there are ways to be mindful when using a credit card.

For instance, use one card for online purchases. That way, you can easily keep a tally of how much you’re putting on your card. Meanwhile, to keep your credit score in good shape, always make the minimum monthly payments and pay on time. Your credit usage and payment history make up a large chunk of your credit score, so doing so is very important.

Methodology: Slickdeals commissioned OnePoll to survey more than 2,000 Americans, conducted in June 2021.


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