Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 12th, and Father’s Day will be quickly approaching a month after on Sunday, June 16th. Last-minute shoppers will be looking for deals on gifts within the next few weeks, and Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) has the tips you need for finding a perfect gift for mom and dad.
BBB Media & News
You’ve been invited to check out a favorite retailer to secretly shop their store and evaluate the quality of service, product availability and the best part - keep the items plus earn a paycheck. It really does sound like a too good to be a true opportunity, however, such a job does exist and is sanctioned by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) mspa-global.org. Naturally, for every good opportunity, there is a scam behind it.
The holiday season is in full swing and online shoppers need to be on alert for ‘porch pirates’ - people stealing packages from unsuspecting homeowners. In a recent study, nearly 26 million Americans reported holiday packages being stolen from their front porch or doorstep.
Holiday shopping is expected to rise four percent this year, with consumers spending an average of just over $1,000 on holiday shopping, according to the National Retail Federation.
The day after Thanksgiving was originally dubbed “Black Friday” as a negative due to traffic, crowds and hostile behavior. It’s now a positive for many people who get excited for the lines, the crowds, and especially the deals. Now it’s the single busiest shopping day of the year! American consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 during the holiday shopping season this year, according to National Retail Federation’s survey conducted by Prosper Insights.
Thanksgiving weekend is the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season.
BBB’s 2018 Holiday Guide is here to help you make the most of it!
- Do your research
- Read the ads carefully
- Shop around
- Be safe online
- Give wisely
With only a month left before students head back to school, it’s time to get shopping! Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday weekend is scheduled for August 11-12, 2018. This is a great time to take advantage of back to school shopping deals for Massachusetts residents.
This will be the first tax-free weekend since 2015. The Senate approved an amendment in an economic development bill, on July 25, 2018, establishing a sales tax holiday. The House already agreed to hold a tax-free weekend when it passed its own version of the economic development bill earlier in July. However, these two bills need to be integrated and a final version passed and signed into law before the tax free weekend can be set in stone.
Currently Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont do not have a tax-free weekend scheduled for 2018.
If you’re planning on shopping during a tax-free weekend, BBB has back to school tips to tackle your list. If shopping for new supplies isn’t the plan, take advantage of local opportunities to help cut costs.
With back-to-school specials running all summer long, parents and students can start their shopping early and spread it out to avoid a hefty back-to-school shopping bill all at once.
Better Business Bureau offers up the following tips on how to shop smart when starting your back-to-school or back-to-college shopping:
Make a List
You can either wait for the school supplies list to come out, or start shopping without it. Even if you don’t have the exact list, you should have an idea of what to purchase regarding school clothes, and basic supplies. Jot everything down on a list and stick to it! Impulse buying can jack up your overall total in a hurry.
Shop Your Home
You may already have some of the items from last year hidden in your home. 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 check the retailer out with BBB at bbb.org.
Look for the Sales
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.
Ask for Student Discounts
Many stores and software companies offer discounts to students that have either an .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.