The Real Cost of “Back-To-School Shopping” & How to Save

When I think of back to school shopping, I get a lot of fond memories of new binders and notebooks, but back to school shopping has evolved to become one of the biggest sale times for retailers, especially in North America. The issue is that, much like during the holiday season, everything comes at a premium. The issue is that fall is the upcoming season, rather than the ’current’ season, meaning you are paying a premium to buy ahead of time. In clothing-terms, this is “pre-fall” and transitional pieces like jeans, jackets, and light sweaters are all available for great prices. For me, this is how I get an updated wardrobe for the upcoming chilly months; by adding pieces to my existing wardrobe that make it cold-weather appropriate. In terms of electronics like laptops, try buying after the busy back-to-school season (end of September usually) when all the remaining stock goes on sale.

I get asked a lot when the “best” time to buy certain items is, and really, there isn’t any one defined time for any item as good deals come around all year, but there are certainly a few things that have a better defined period of time to buy them. By the time summer is coming to an end, all the summer items have usually already been put on sale and sold. The next big thing for retail is what a lot of designers call “pre-fall” clothing, meaning clothing that can be worn in summer, but also into the fall months. Some examples of pre-fall clothing are jackets, light sweaters, boots, sneakers, and dresses.

Here are some example of transitional outfits from Anthropologie.com:

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