Philadelphia-area consumers to spend nearly $800 per student on school supplies: Survey

Area shoppers are spending an average of $799 per student, according to a new survey. Laptops are among the hot ticket items.
WILLOW GROVE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia region is projected to spend 30% more than the national average on school supplies, mostly due to the cost of electronics, according to a new survey by Deloitte, a company that keeps track of the market.

Laptops are among the hot ticket items this year and are peaking a lot of interest.

"What I will ask them is what kind of smartphone they use to tie it into whether they want to go with a MacBook, Windows computer or even a Chromebook," said Stephen Mauro, a Best Buy specialty sales manager in Willow Grove.

Mauro said Macs are good for getting a lot of work done with long battery life on products that last a long time.

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"If you're familiar with the iPhone, then it's very similar to that. All the icons look similar," Mauro said.

Then, there are Windows products that help users work on the go.

"This one is the Surface Book 3. The coolest thing with this one is that the actual keyboard disconnects from the screen itself. From here you have basically a tablet," Mauro said.

Google Chromebooks offer similar versatility.

"It has this mode where you could actually allow you to prop it up. You could have it set to watch video or movie," Mauro said.

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The Deloitte survey shows that electronics are driving up the cost for families in the Philadelphia region.

"Greater Philadelphia shoppers are actually spending 59% more than last year and that's an average spending of $799 per student, which is a lot for parents," said Deloitte retail specialist, Jenna Pogorzelski.

A couple of cheaper options when looking to buy electronics include, buying models from the previous year or considering refurbished products that have been returned and repaired to be resold.

Those options often allow for reduced prices of hundreds of dollars on some products.
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