Tax-Free Weekend is a good time for you to save money. You will save 6.25% in tax. Tax-Free Weekend also falls during Labor Day promotions, so normally, there are good opportunities to save even more.
I said, “normally” because the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit the global supply chain hard for the last nine months. For the first time, there is an argument to NOT buy on tax weekend.
In this article, you will also learn the legalities of Tax-Free Weekend.
It’s limited in dollar amount at $2,499, but unlimited in product quantity you can buy.
Then I will show you how to save the most money, avoid the crowds, and have the weekend off.
You will have to decide whether Tax Weekend is worth it for you. I can show you how to save and avoid crowds, but the delivery aspect will be tough.
First, let’s cover the basics for Tax-Free Weekend.
Everything You Need To Know About Tax-Free Weekend
MA Tax-Free Weekend Dates and Regulations
The Tax-Free Holiday is August 29th and 30th, 2020.
Any items under $2,500 are tax exempt. Any items $2,500 and above are taxable for the full amount.
The tax exemption does not start at $2,500, where you pay 6.25 cents for $2,501.
At $2,499.99 you pay zero tax. At $2,500, you pay the full tax of $156.25.
So cars, yachts, and other items over $2,499 should be scratched from your list.
A couple of other Tax-Free Weekend regulations to be aware of:
- Items must be paid in full.
- Builder sales do not qualify. Unfortunately, you cannot buy a building full of appliances and save the tax. However, the homeowners in that building can buy the merchandise to save the tax.
- There is no limit to the singular items under $2,500, so you can buy an infinite number of non-taxable items at $2,499.
The following are a few tips on how to survive the crowds and aggravation to save the most money.
Then there is an added element of COVID-19 contamination we should address first.
Should You Go To A Store During The Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
That depends. I have been extra careful because I see my folks on the weekends. If you have elderly parents or live with a person at risk, it’s probably not in your best interest.
Much of it depends on your comfort level and how diligent the store is in its safety protocols.
For example, mask-wearing is a requirement for everyone at Yale. We clean and sanitize constantly. Even our door handles now have nanotechnology and is self-cleaning.
We cut our capacity down to just 25% in each location as well as encouraging appointments.
Many stores are similarly diligent. Look at their COVID-19 protocols online before you shop.
Many of the suggestions below are to replace shopping in person. At the very least, it will cut time spent in the store.
MA Tax-Free Weekend Survival Guide
- Shop Now: Do your shopping now before the weekend by phone or in person. Most stores will have promotions available early. Commodities (basic stuff like diapers, tissue paper, etc.) can be purchased by phone or online while decorative purchases you should shop for in a person if you can.
- Generate A Quote Or List Early: Getting a quote on the items you wish to purchase can save you a ton of time. You cannot buy the products until the weekend itself to save the tax. Either tell the salesperson to process the order on Tax Holiday or call/ email that weekend. This will save an incredible amount of time.
- Schedule an Appointment: You don’t have to wait around for a salesperson. Why waste time? Many companies have appointment schedulers online. You can browse first, then meet your appointment. With many stores cutting capacity, appointments ensure you will be able even to shop. You also don’t want to be in a store with a ton of people just browsing.
- Live Chat: Live Chat has become a preferred resource for many people. You can talk to someone without having to shop in a store. You get the answers you want in a minimal amount of time.
- Virtual Appointments: Virtual appointments are another good time-saving idea. It’s like a combination of live chat and an appointment. You can see the product through your phone and talk to a salesperson as they guide you through the store without having to be in the store.
- During Tax-Free Weekend, Head Out Early: If you still want to shop that weekend, head out early to your prime destinations. By prime, I refer to the big-ticket items. If you’re waiting in line for three hours for a few $20 items, you may find that your time is worth more.
- Buy Online: You can also save time by buying online as long as the store processes the order before Midnight on Sunday. Web orders are great for commodities like dishwashers or laundry, but you still may want to speak to someone for more detailed purchases.
- Shop Smart To Avoid Exchanges: You lose the tax advantage if the refrigerator or sofa does not fit and has to be exchanged after Tax-Free Weekend. So be careful about bigger items if you’re unsure of the product or style. Exchanges are taxable for the full amount.
- Check Store Hours: This may seem baffling, but smaller stores rarely change their hours for this weekend. Larger stores and chains will be open for extended hours. Take advantage either early or late. But start early if you can.
- Beware Credit Card Fraud: This may seem obvious, but never provide your credit card information online unless the site is secure. One way you can check is by looking at your URL link at the top of the page. It should have a green lock or say “secure.”
- Ask About The Delivery Process: You want to be very specific about your delivery requirements while also leaving yourself some flexibility. Typically a store will sell two months of business in two days so that specific dates will be tough. Delivery is the toughest part of Tax-Free Weekend historically and will be worse this year. Make certain they are following CDC requirements with masks, sanitizer, and contactless delivery.
- Be Careful Where You Purchase: You don’t want to save money and lose more of that in aggravation and missed delivery appointments later. Anyone can take an order. Shipping is another matter completely.
Should You Buy Appliances During Tax-Free Weekend?
Freestanding Ranges and Front Load Laundry at Yale Appliance in Hanover
COVID-19 has affected the supply chain for almost nine months. First in China, then Europe, the Northeast US, and now Mexico, the South and West where most of the appliance factories are located.
Tax-Free Weekend will add additional strain, so you may not have delivery until Halloween or Thanksgiving.
If you need your appliances sooner, shop before the Tax-Free weekend for much faster delivery.
Our Final Advice For Tax-Free Weekend
In summary, our best advice is to plan your weekend a couple of weeks before. Zero in on the big $2,499 and under purchases first.
Develop your list early and competitively shop. Do your research first. Doing research has never been easier.
Use Live Chat and video sales appointments to maximize your time and limit waiting at a store.
On Tax-Free Weekend, call to convert your quote or shop the big tickets first. Commodities can be purchased online.
Be very careful. You want to be sure of your purchases. Exchanges after that weekend are taxable.
Also, be careful where you shop. Check reviews of the stores beforehand to understand what will happen after the sale.
Ask tons of questions and get all promises and details in writing. Call me a skeptic, but the written word always trumps the spoken promise.
However, saving 6.25% is a small consolation to buying the couch or stove you hate, so don’t be pressured into making a purchase.
Appliance and furniture sales are predictable. The next one is Black Friday – less than 90 days away.
Lastly, and more importantly, stay safe, being in a crowd of people in a store without safety protocols is not a good idea.
Yale Appliance Showroom Hours For Tax-Free Weekend
- Wednesday, August 26th: 10 am – 8 pm
- Thursday, August 27th: 10 am – 8 pm
- Friday, August 28th: 10 am – 6 pm
- Saturday, August 29th: 9 am – 6 pm
- Sunday, August 30th: 10 am – 6 pm
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