Back-to-school sales are here again

With the beginning of August comes the return of back-to-school sales. While it’s a great time to stock up on the items that students will need to return to the classrooms and dorm rooms, shoppers need to be savvy to ensure they are getting the right items at the right prices.

“Back-to-school sales mean discounts and special promotions on a wide range of products, both for home and for the classroom,” said Michelle Reinen of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “Whether you are shopping for sale items online or in store, keep an eye out for fine print and point-of-sale notices to ensure that the products you are adding to your cart meet the promotional requirements.”

The department suggests keeping these shopping tips in mind during this busy season:

Review the advertisements for restrictions on quantities, sale hours, returns and rain checks. Check store policies on price matching to consolidate your purchases.
Sales typically apply to particular products and model numbers, so make sure to review the information on an item’s packaging in order to avoid surprises at checkout.
Write down prices and information about special sales while you shop to have a better sense of the final total before you check out. Most pricing errors occur on sale items.
If there is a pricing error at the register, Wisconsin law requires that a store refund any overcharge. Work with customer service to receive a refund while you are in the store. Double check your receipt before you leave to ensure that the totals are correct.
When you are finished shopping, save your receipts and submit any rebates immediately.

Another consideration for back-to-school shopping: Wisconsin will hold a sales tax holiday from Wednesday through Sunday. During this temporary exemption period, some purchases will not be taxed, including certain clothing items, computer purchases and supplies. For the terms of the tax exemption, visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website.

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