NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County


Tax-free weekend in Ohio kicks off today; BBB offers best ways to save big

BBB says tax-free weekend will help save Ohioans at least 10% in discounts.
Chart shows each state's tax-free weekend eligible merchandise
Posted at 7:27 AM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 07:27:29-04

CLEVELAND — One minute after midnight Friday officially marked the start of tax-free weekend here in Ohio.

It’s a full-out sprint for parents and grandparents as they work to stock up on school supplies while battling soaring inflation rates.

In fact, the National Retail Federation reports that one in three customers will cut back on other spending to cover the cost of items.

It's all coming as retailers expect parents to shell out more than $860 on average for supplies per household.

"It's terrible! I mean, things go up every time I come shopping here," said Karen Brown of Cleveland.

Karen Brown admits the struggle is incredibly real.

Every time the Cleveland grandmother of eight steps foot in the store, whether it's for groceries or school supplies, she feels her blood pressure rising.

Knowing tax-free weekend has arrived brings that of a sense of relief. 

"I think it's gonna help a lot. I mean taxes can take up quite a bit," Brown said.

The Better Business Bureau reports tax-free weekend will help save Ohioans at least 10% in discounts. 

There is no limit on how many items you can purchase.

Ericka Dilworth, Director of Operations for the Cleveland BBB, says it's not all retailer hype either, and the prices are not being set any higher to dupe shoppers.

"They know, especially now with everything that's going on in the world, that consumers are incredibly price conscious, and they know that they're going to do their homework," Dilworth said.

This weekend statewide the following items fall under tax-free:

-Clothing priced at $75 or less is tax-free.

-School supplies at $20 or less are tax-free. 

-School instructional materials at $20 or less also fall into the tax-free category.

The BBB says to best stretch your dollar, see what you can re-purpose and go into the store with a specific plan and a budget.

"Look at things you may have left over from last year and make a list of things, obviously, that your student needs."

Dilworth says the deals are real, but don't be afraid to hit multiple stores and look at multiple ads.

A tool so many of us forget to ask about, she says, is price matching.

Ask the store if they'll price match supplies from other stores for the cheaper rate.

" I think a lot of the larger retailers feel comfortable to do that as long as you have some documentation to show," said Dilworth.

Although the stores will likely be crowded this weekend, shop now.

Supply chain issues could make it far more challenging to get what you need later.

"Take advantage of it because only happens once a year when it happens!" said Brown.

Tax-free weekend runs through Sunday.

If you're buying stuff online, the BBB says double check the websites, because scammers often spoof them to try to steal your info.

Athough electronics don't apply to tax-free weekend, experts say ask if there is a student discount.

Companies selling laptops, iPads and tablets will typically offer a discount with a college ID or college e-mail address.