What’s best for Back-to-School Shopping
Retailers are hoping for even bigger sales this August than during the same month last year, when Americans spent $7.7 billion at family clothing stores and $2.4 billion at book stores — the best sales month of the year for books and the third best month for clothes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Retail analysts attribute much of those sales to back-to-school shopping, and although August is a good month to buy back-to-school supplies, it’s not the only month. And it’s usually not the best month. August is the best month to buy the most expensive school supply: computers. Laptops, which all college students and many high school students need, generally are as inexpensive as they’re going to be in August, when competition is fierce among manufacturers and retailers. Expect discounts of $100 or more and maybe even freebies, including printers and software. With the exception of computers, September typically is the best month to buy school supplies. By September – and especially after Labor Day – stores want to get rid of school supplies that have yet to sell rather than store them or ship them back to warehouses, so they will price them to sell. Smart shoppers stock up in September and store the items to use next school year. Bonus tip: Most states have one tax-free weekend in August, when consumers can buy back-to-school supplies and clothes and save anywhere from 3% to 7% in state sales taxes. (Meanwhile, five states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon – charge no state sales tax at all.) Before you shop, make sure you know the rules.
Check back to our previous blog The Texan’s Tax Free Weekend to learn some of the rules and more helpful shopping tips!