Everyone always gets all jacked up about SC tax-free weekend, but I’m not convinced of its glory.
It’s this weekend, starting tonight at midnight (August 2) and running until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night. During this time you can shop until your heart is content on items that would typically be associated with back-to-school and a whole lot more. For examples of what is and is not included, have a look at this list. To save you two seconds of thinking when you read it, “exempt” means you DO NOT pay sales tax on the time. “Non-exempt” means you do.
Here’s why I’m not all that excited about it.
1. The stores are crowded. Two years ago I was in Target’s school supply section with my entire family and watched two women have an argument over an electric pencil sharpener. It was $15 and the potential sales tax savings was approximately $1.20. I know every dollar counts, but come on. An argument? Over a pencil sharpener? In a crowded Target? I’m good.
2. It feels like there are a few ridiculously great deals (Buy one Sharpie, get the second for $0.01!!!!!) and a ton of really bad ones. Don’t let saving eight cents on a dollar in sales tax blind you to being ripped off in other ways.
3. Selection goes fast. Since the demand for clothing, lunch boxes, and backpacks are so high this weekend, you may be left to choose from styles you don’t love. Don’t make something work to save a few dollars.
4. Shoppers (and I’ve been guilty of it myself) tend to over-buy when they think they’re saving money. My friends, don’t let the retailer win on this one. Those shorts that are on sale are going to be on an even better sale in two weeks. And the joy of living here means our kids will wear them for another two months. The school supplies everywhere you turn? Well they’ll be clearanced in a few weeks to make room for *gulp* Halloween and Christmas items. The best deals to be had will not be found this weekend.
Still, I totally realize it all adds up. I love to save money just like everyone else. So if you venture out this weekend in search of deals, just make sure you’re actually paying good prices and getting what you really need. If you’re like me, you’d prefer to spend your days at the beach in total denial that we’re just three weeks from the first day of school!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Photo credit: Flickr
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