Ebates Back to School Survey: Parents Plan to Spend Less on BTS Shopping Than Last Year

Survey also reveals that parents and teens agree on what to purchase this year: clothing, accessories and haircuts

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Back to school shopping is in full swing, and both parents and teens are busy tackling long shopping lists. According to a new survey conducted on behalf of Ebates, a leader and pioneer in cash back shopping and subsidiary of the global internet services company Rakuten, many parents (42 percent) plan to spend between $100-$300—significantly less than the $250-$500 they planned to spend last year. The survey also discovered that a majority of American parents are likely to take advantage of back to school promotions (80 percent).

The national survey, conducted online by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ebates in June 2017, was fielded among 1,001 adults and 500 teens.

Back to School Cool

Parents and teens were aligned in their thoughts on back to school essentials, with both saying that clothing and shoes were at the top of their shopping lists (73 percent for parents and 60 percent for teens). This is followed by pens/pencils/notebooks (19 percent for parents and 33 percent for teens) and a backpack or school bag (7 percent for parents and 6 percent for teens).

When it comes to the “fun” back to school items, accessories win for both parents (58 percent) and teens (61 percent). This is followed by:

Which “non-essential” item is at the top of your back to school shopping list?       Percent of Americans who said this       Percent of American teens who said this
1. Headphones       36 percent       49 percent
2. Laptop       34 percent       25 percent
3. Sporting goods       30 percent       30 percent
4. Cell phone       23 percent       19 percent
5. iPad or other tablet       23 percent       12 percent

The majority of teens (66 percent) also plan to get a haircut over the summer, while college students plan to buy microwaves (24 percent), mini fridges (22 percent), futons (15 percent) and hot plates (11 percent).

More than two-thirds (36 percent) of American parents say that they typically end up purchasing all of their back to school supplies from three stores, and 30 percent will buy from just two.

‘Please don’t make me buy that’

While parents and teens generally agree on what they plan to buy this year, they differ on the items they dread purchasing. Teens don’t like shopping for pens and pencils (33 percent), while parents dread buying clothes and shoes (50 percent).

Which back to school item do you dread purchasing every year?       Percent of Americans who said this       Percent of American teens who said this
1. Clothing and shoes       50 percent       31 percent
2. Backpack       32 percent       26 percent
3. Pens/pencils       29 percent       33 percent
4. Notebooks       25 percent       32 percent
5. Tissues       18 percent       18 percent

L4L=Like for Like

Social media is everywhere—and this year it’s even going to help teens with their back to school shopping decisions. When asked which platform they use most frequently, teens say they use Instagram (68 percent) and Snapchat (67 percent) equally. Facebook was far behind, with only 39 percent of teens using it the most. College students rated Facebook much higher, however, with this age demographic selecting Instagram (71 percent), Snapchat (67 percent) and Facebook (66 percent) using each with about the same frequency.

When it comes to which social media platform is most helpful when finding back to school items to purchase, younger teens selected Instagram (45 percent), while college students chose Facebook (53 percent).

“Our Back to School survey found that budgets are smaller this year and that parents and teens are shopping for the tried-and-true back to school essentials,” said Amit Patel, CEO of Ebates. “Ebates is the one-stop shop for everything from clothing and shoes to accessories and electronics. With more than 2,000 retailers offering promotions and cash back, it’s easier than ever to stay within your budget while skipping the mall lines.”

From now until August 14, back to school shoppers can receive up to double cash back on select retailers via Ebates. For more details on specific retailers participating in the special offer, visit Ebates.com. Shoppers can also download the free Ebates.com app at Google Play and the AppStore.

About Ebates

Ebates rewards members with cash back on purchases while also providing access to thousands of coupons, discounts, promotions and special deals, including free shipping. Free membership allows consumers to shop online at over 2,000 of their favorite top-name retailers while earning a percentage of every purchase they make. To date, Ebates members have earned nearly $1 billion, paid out quarterly in the form of a “Big Fat Check” or via PayPal. Because shopping with Ebates is hassle-free—no rebate forms to fill out and no points or miles to redeem—the site supports a strong community of savvy shoppers across the country and around the world. Founded in 1998 and acquired by Rakuten, Inc. in 2014, Ebates is headquartered in San Francisco.

Ebates is a registered trademark of Ebates Performance Marketing, Inc. Rakuten is a registered trademark of Rakuten, Inc. Google Play is a registered trademark of Google Inc. App Store is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. PayPal is a registered trademark of PayPal, Inc. Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Snapchat is a registered trademark of Snap Inc. Instagram is a registered trademark of Instagram, LLC.


for Ebates
Alessandra Nagy, 714-310-4439


for Ebates
Alessandra Nagy, 714-310-4439