Connecticut Better Business Bureau says consumers can benefit from end-of-season specials coupled with the annual sales tax holiday, which began yesterday.
Clothing and footwear that cost less than $300 per item are not subject to sales tax. The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has a list of eligible apparel and exclusions on its website at www.ct.gov/drs.
This is also the time of year when retailers slash prices on last season’s merchandise, in order to make room for fall and winter items. Consumers can save a substantial amount of money by looking for seasonal specials on items covered by the tax holiday, and using coupons to squeeze even more out of every dollar.
This is especially helpful as parents and students go shopping for the coming school year. However, it is vital to have a plan, and know where to find the deals:
Make a list and stick to it – It is easy to bust your budget if you buy on impulse, rather than according to your needs. This is especially important when buying clothing for growing children, or items in bulk that you may not use.
Clip and save – Whether you are buying supplies for the school year or taking advantage of seasonal specials, check retailers’ websites and social media sites for coupons, as well as established internet coupon sites. Sign up for alerts about discounts and sales.
Research to know the real deal – While many items may be marked down, that does not mean that all showcased merchandise is necessarily a good deal. Check several retailers for common items and brand names to see whether or not you would save money on a particular purchase.
Match that price – Many large retailers vow to match or beat competitors’ prices, with some exceptions. In most cases, price matching does not apply to merchandise sold exclusively online or even through a store’s own website.
There’s an app for that – Retailers have their own smart phone applications that can steer you towards discounts, however, there are also apps that can help you compare different sellers’ prices.
Check Refund Policies - Be sure you can exchange or return items purchased during this period. Keep in mind that some items may be non-refundable or have associated restocking fees.
Avoid Social Scams – Some ads or links on social media sites offer free products or gift cards if you fill out a survey and divulge personal information. However, some links may lead to malicious sites that download malware onto your device or steal your personal information. Be sure to avoid unrealistic discounts, especially if you are required to provide anything more than your name and email address.
Think ahead – You may find better deals on clothing later in the fall, when stores have clearance sales. These discounts may give you more bang for your buck than in-season sales during the sales tax holiday.
Better Business Bureau urges consumers to check out companies, stores, websites and professionals at bbb.org before making a purchase or signing a contract.
Founded in 1928, BBB Serving Connecticut is an unbiased, non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior, and is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.