Inflation turned 1 in 3 Americans into expert bargain hunters this year

NEW YORK — Inflation may eventually calm down, but bargain hunters are here to stay, with a third of Americans claiming they’re the best bargain hunter they know (34%). A recent survey of 2,000 Americans found that a whopping 91 percent said that the prices of common items where they live have increased over the past year. The same percentage said they’ve had to adjust how they shop because of how expensive things are, and that they’re now more aware of how they spend their money (90%).

When shopping, 85 percent of respondents agree that they find themselves searching for deals today more than ever before because of inflation. This is way up from the 67 percent who said the same thing in 2022.

Conducted by OnePoll for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, the survey found that eight in 10 believe that finding items on sale is important in today’s economy (83%). These habits will also live on — 36 percent will always look for a deal even when their finances are doing well. In fact, 87 percent of these respondents said they’ll carry money-saving habits with them forever.

They named a few of their favorite money-saving hacks like “looking for items off-season that are on clearance and saving them until I need them,” “checking multiple stores to find the most ‘bang for my buck’ on items,” and putting “$1.00 in a jar for each hour you watch TV.”

Bargain hunting

Others said that they’ve committed to “eliminating subscriptions” and “avoiding impulse shopping and doing lots of research first.” Sixty-six percent are confident they can find a deal on any item, up from 60 percent last year.

Americans are staying away from retail prices, as 45 percent shared they’re less likely to purchase an item if it’s full price, which is way up from just 25 percent last year. Over the past year, respondents have cut down spending on eating out (60%), general shopping (47%), and leisure activities (45%).

“In times of economic uncertainty, we see consumers becoming more cautious about spending their hard-earned money,” says president and chief executive officer at Ollie’s, John Swygert, in a statement. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to provide customers with deep discounts on brand name products to help stretch their dollar even further.”

As far as what’s too pricey right now, respondents pointed out gas (56%), fast food (45%), meat/fish (43%), eggs (43%), and clothing (41%). Finding bargains can also affect our emotional health, as 85 percent of those surveyed said finding a good deal on something makes their day.

What makes a “good deal?” On average, Americans estimate an item needs to be at least 36 percent off in order to consider it a bargain. However, one in five are not budging, saying they need the item to be 50 percent or more for it to be worthwhile.

More than half of respondents said that even if they needed an item urgently, they would hold off on purchasing it to see if they could find it discounted first (56%). Three in four are willing to wait up to one month to see if there’s a discount available (76%).

“Today’s shopper is more knowledgeable than ever before. They know a good deal when they see one and won’t settle for full retail price,” adds Swygert. “Contrary to what many may believe, deals do exist on brand name items! It’s important for consumers to explore all of the options available to them to get the most savings on the products they love.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Ollie’s between July 21 and July 25, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

YouTube video

Follow on Google News

About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer