Shop Smart This Back-To-School Season

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Although summer has just begun, the back-to-school shopping season is officially here! Shoppers are expected to purchase more items this year with the return of in-person learning, sports, and extracurricular activities.  If you or a student in your life is shopping for books, clothes, school supplies, or backpacks, be sure to keep these tips in mind.  Better Business Bureau offers the following advice on how to shop smart for back-to-school or back-to-college purchases:

Before Leaving the House

Start your back-to-school shopping by creating a list. Jot down everything you need and stick to the list! Impulse buying can increase your overall total in a hurry. Then, shop your home before heading to the store. You may already have some of the items from last year. Why purchase the same thing twice? 

Research Big Ticket Items

Before purchasing that expensive laptop, tablet, or dorm refrigerator, be sure to do your research. Research the brands, warranty, customer reviews and the prices at various stores to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Also, look up the retailer on BBB.org.

Shop Smart with Sales And Tax-Free Weekends

Compare prices between different retail stores, save your coupons, sign up for email alerts and redeem any cash-back or rebate offers. This will help you get the best deals, saving you a nice chunk of dough. Also, your state may have a tax-free weekend, enabling you to buy clothes, school supplies and other items without paying sales tax. Alabama’s Tax-Free Weekend is scheduled for July 16-18, 2021.

Ask For Student Discounts

Many stores and software companies offer discounts to students that have either a .edu email address or a student ID. Even if you don’t see a discount advertised at the store, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Shop In Bulk

Some teachers ask parents to buy bulk items for the entire classroom to use throughout the year. Talk with other parents about what they’re getting and see if you can all split the cost.

Know The Return Policies and Save Your Receipts

Kids can be fickle. They can love a new shirt yesterday but hate it today. Ask about return policies before making your purchase. Be sure to save your receipts just in case you must return the item later.

Shop Safely Online

When shopping from an online website the first step is to make sure the URL starts with “https” and includes a lock symbol. The “s” in “https” stands for secure, that way you know your information is being protected. Be sure to use your credit card instead of your debit card, as credit cards not only provide additional protection, but it’s also easier to dispute a fraudulent charge. Click here more online shopping tips.

Source: BBB.org, NRF.com

To find a trusted business near you, visit BBB.org. To report a scam, go to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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