With so many parents still unsure if their children will be back in the classroom in a few weeks, back-to-school shopping has been slow this year.
But you probably need at least a few things, and possibly a laptop.
And many parents are wondering: where are the big sales?
You may have noticed a lack of TV commercials for jeans, gym shoes, and backpacks this August.
It's tough for stores to plan sales when moms like Harley Elliot of Mason, Ohio, have no idea what their kids need.
"It is tricky shopping without a list," she said "I have two sixth-graders and two eighth-graders. You have to guess what they need."
Anisha Crawford doesn't plan to buy school clothes at this point.
"It's kind of hard because they are doing the first five weeks online," she said. "So it's hard to figure out what they need."
Less clothing, fewer backpacks for sale
With this school year still up in the air, stores did not want to get stuck with a lot of merchandise they couldn't sell, according to Joanie Demer, co-founder of Krazy Coupon Lady.com.
She says with less clothing for sale in stores, and school list delays, it is unlikely you'll find giant sale racks of clearance items just yet.
"We're waiting for schools to announce what's on the supply list," Demer said. "So we think we might see sales stretch into later in August, when typically it's right now."
Demer says the hottest items this year are laptops and webcams for online Zoom learning.
But those items are starting to run low (many webcams are already sold out online), so don't expect those huge laptop markdowns you typically see in August.
"The items in the hottest demand, we are not seeing a tremendous amount of sales on," Demer said.
But Krazy Coupon Lady.com is finding great prices on the basics, which means that even if you don't have kids in school, this is a great time to buy office supplies.
"We are seeing prices on par with last year when it comes to notebooks, and binders, and erasers, and those type of items," she said.
Best of all, Demer says, major stores are offering all their sale prices online this year, for shoppers who want to stay out of stores.
Marissa Kargas of Walmart confirms that Walmart is putting all their best deals online, unlike during previous school shopping seasons.
"Whether our customers want to shop in store or online, they will get the same great products at our everyday low prices," Kargas said.
So the sales are still on, just without the fanfare.
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