Back to school shopping season is upon us. Parents are dragging their kids to malls and department stores across the country to shop for backpacks, books, school supplies, and clothing. College students are shopping too for new clothes, textbooks, and door room decorations. Everyone is looking to score the best deals on their buys. The way to do this is by preparing yourself for your shopping excursion.

Here are a few ways to save money on your back to school shopping.

1. Take advantage of your state’s tax holiday.

Most states in the United States have a sales tax holiday. This is a time when states will eliminate state sales tax on selected items. You can save on computers, clothing, and school supplies depending upon what state you are from. Check out  TaxAdmin for a complete list of states and the date of the sales tax holiday. Your local state comptroller’s office or state department of revenue website will detail dates and eligible items. It may only be a 5 or 6% discount but every bit counts.

2. Wait until the last minute.

Waiting until the last minute will actually save you money when it comes to school shopping. Retailers like Abercombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Gap, and Urban Outfitters are discounting items now to lure in shoppers but the best discounts are still to come. The heavy discounting on school items will come the closer you get to school starting. You can score sweet deals on shoes, clothing, and apparel the closer that you get to the fall season. Retailers will be forced to sell items at their lowest prices in order to dispose of inventory.

3. Negotiate with store owners.

This retail season is expected to be below average based on past consumer spending. Sales dollars are few and far between. This gives you the consumer a leg up on retailers. You can negotiate a deeper discount than the store is even offering. Did you know that you can negotiate a lower price on your new laptop at stores like hhgregg? Sales associates are authorized to bargain with customers. If you fail to bargain, then you will be buying your items at higher prices than other shoppers.

4. Search the Internet.

Your best resource for shopping is right at your fingertips. It always pays to check the Internet first before heading to the department store. Many stores like Best Buy and Macy’s are offering online only specials on items that are not available in stores. Subscribe to store mailing lists so that you can be notified of new online deals daily. You can always buy the item online and go pick it up in the store later.

Do you know of any specific tips that will save customers money during the back to shopping season? What strategies have you employed in the past that have worked out favorably for you?

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