Massachusetts shoppers can forget about paying the 6.25 percent state sales tax on most items when the sales tax holiday goes into effect this weekend.
Consumer World founder Edgar Dworsky offered up five tips for navigating the sale Aug. 13 and 14.
DON’T LET THE SALES TAX HOLIDAY CLOUD YOUR JUDGEMENT
Dworsky said he can’t understand why people go crazy for the sales tax holiday when the savings are relatively low. He advises shoppers slow down and think about what they’re buying.
“If your favorite store was offering 6.25 percent off everything, are you going to pound down the door to get in? I don’t think so. But people just love the sales tax weekend,” Dworsky said. “I honestly don’t understand it. It’s only 6.25 percent.”
COMPARE, COMPARE, COMPARE
Don’t stop comparing prices this weekend just because there’s a sale. Dworsky said you can negate the savings if you pay for an overpriced product. He recommends using price tracking websites like CamelCamelCamel to find the best deal.
“CamelCamelCamel gives you the price history at Amazon and other stores, so you know if you’re getting a good deal to start with and then saving an additional 6.25 percent,” he said.
MULTIPLE ITEMS ON ONE RECEIPT
The sales tax holiday is for most items $2,500 or less. Remember, it’s okay if your total receipt is more than $2,500, as long as each individual item is $2,500 or less.
“If you’re going to a furniture store to furnish an apartment and the total comes to over $2,500, that’s okay as long as the individual pieces are each less than $2,500,” Dworsky said.
OUT OF STOCK?
If the product you want is sold out, you need to order and pay for it this weekend to save on the sales tax.
“If the item is out of stock and you get a rain check, you can’t come back in two weeks or a month when the items comes in and buy it then. You have to buy and order it now and pay for it now, even if it’s out of stock,” Dworsky said.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT ONLINE SHOPPING
The sales tax holiday doesn’t only apply to brick and mortar stores.
According to Mass.gov, an item will qualify for the sales tax exemption if you order and pay for an eligible item over the internet 1) on the sales tax holiday and 2) during Eastern Daylight Time.
No sales tax is due on that purchase even if delivery of the item occurs after the sales tax holiday weekend.
Dworsky has more consumer tips for navigating the sales tax holiday at Consumer World.
Visit the state’s website for more information and frequently asked questions.
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