Plan ahead for back to school shopping

Local News

(WWLP) – Back-to-school season is around the corner meaning it’s almost time for back-to-school shopping; check out these tips from the Better Business Bureau when looking for those needed supplies either in-person or online.

  • In-person shopping:
    • With COVID-era restrictions being lifted, many retailers are eager for customers to return to shopping in person. When shopping for clothes, backpacks, shoes, or other items you might want to try on before buying, contact the retailer ahead of time for their requirements. and remember with anything consider following CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting items upon arriving home.  
  • Online Shopping:
    • When shopping online be carful about “click bait” ads for items you might otherwise purchase on more reliable websites. Some of these ads could be scams meant to steal your personal information. To avoid this, try going to the store’s website directly and checking any unknown websites with the BBB to ensure legitimacy. It never hurts to take the extra minute to make note of the website’s privacy policy, contact information, and payment policy.
  • Big ticket items:
    • Always make sure to research big ticket items before purchasing. make sure to look at  the brands, warranty, customer reviews and the prices at multiple stores to make sure you’ve found the best deal.
    • Make sure you check with yours or your child’s school to find what technology is expected for all students. According to NRF, 63 percent of consumers expect at least some school and college classes will take place online this year, so make sure your internet is ready to handle the increased use.
  • Shopping Smart:
    • Compare prices between different retail stores, save coupons, sign up for email alerts and redeem any cash-back or rebate offers. This will help get the best deals and stay within budget.
    • Wait for the state tax free holiday before making big item purchases. In Massachusetts, the sales tax holiday for 2021 will occur on August 14 and 15 and cover any item that costs less than $2500.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts:
    • A lot of retailers both online and in-person offer ongoing discounts as part of store policy. Never be afraid to ask or research a retailer’s discount policy to see if you’re eligible for some savings.
    • When you do qualify for a discount, make sure you’re familiar with the retailer’s policy on that discount. Some might require you to show an I.D. or provide proof of eligibility.
  • Consider sharing the cost:
    • Schools in the Bay state are expected to return to pre-pandemic policies of in-person learning for the upcoming academic year. This means some teachers may ask parents to buy bulk items (paper towels, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer) for the entire classroom to use. Compare lists with other parents and see if costs can be shared. 

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