At a Glance
This year, Tax-Free Weekend in Massachusetts will occur on August 14 and August 15, 2021.
Tax-Free Weekend also falls within Labor Day promotions, so normally, there are good opportunities to save even more.
I said, "normally" because the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit the global supply chain for almost 18 months.
For the first time, there is an argument NOT to shop or make large purchases during Tax-Free Weekend.
In this article, you will learn the basics of Tax-Free Weekend, the problems, and how to save the most money and time with our step-by-step guide.
Tax Weekend is different this year. With inflation, you will spend more money buying your appliances and furniture yet save 6.25%.
So, we have added some interesting solutions to our yearly guide, including a way to shop tax-free before the holiday.
First, let's cover the basics.
MA Tax-Free Weekend Dates and Regulations
Tax-Free Weekend states any item under $2,500 is not subject to the state sales tax. Any items $2,500 and above are taxable for the full amount.
The tax exemption does not include $2,500.
At $2,499.99, you pay zero tax. At $2,500, you pay the full tax of $156.25.
It's a consumer event day only so that a builder couldn't buy 1000 refrigerators for their projects.
All orders must be paid in full.
You do not have to schedule delivery at the time of purchase. However, delivery can be an issue.
Not having to schedule delivery at the time of purchase may NOT ensure you have the product anytime soon.
You want to make sure your store of choice will still be open for business in case of a long delivery.
Yale Save the Tax Promotion: August 2-13
When you buy qualifying in-stock appliances under $2,499, between August 2nd and 13th at Yale, you can save the equivalent of the sales tax.
Appliances must be in stock, and you must take delivery within two weeks.
Orders also must be paid in full unless you use your Yale Card.
I don't like losing 6.25% since we will be paying the tax days before the state does.
However, it will be hard to fulfill orders on Tax-Free Weekend with increased demand on a short supply.
Many stores, especially furniture retailers, are doing the same because delivering appliances and furniture will be tough with the increased demand.
MA Tax-Free Weekend Survival Guide
- Shop Now: Do your shopping now before the weekend by phone or in person. Most stores will have promotions available early. Commodities (basic stuff like diapers, tissue paper, etc.) can be purchased by phone or online, while decorative purchases you should shop for in a person if you can.
- Generate a Quote or List Early: Getting a quote on the items you wish to purchase can save you a ton of time. You cannot buy the products until the weekend itself to save the tax. Either tell the salesperson to process the order on Tax Holiday or call/ email that weekend. This will save an incredible amount of time.
- Schedule an Appointment: You don't have to wait around for a salesperson. Why waste time? Many companies have appointment schedulers online. You can browse first, then meet your appointment. With many stores cutting capacity, appointments ensure you will be able to shop. You also don't want to be in a store with a ton of people just browsing.
- Live Chat: Live Chat has become a preferred resource for many people. You can talk to someone without having to shop in a store. You get the answers you want in a minimal amount of time.
- Virtual Appointments: Virtual appointments are another good time-saving idea. It's like a combination of live chat and an appointment. You can see the product through your phone and talk to a salesperson as they guide you through the store without having to be in the store.
- During Tax-Free Weekend, Head Out Early: If you still want to shop that weekend, head out early to your prime destinations. By prime, I refer to the big-ticket items. If you're waiting in line for three hours for a few $20 items, you may find that your time is worth more.
- Buy Online: You can also save time by buying online as long as the store processes the order before Midnight on Sunday. Web orders are great for commodities like dishwashers or laundry, but you still may want to speak to someone for more detailed purchases.
- Shop Smart to Avoid Exchanges: You lose the tax advantage if the refrigerator or sofa does not fit and has to be exchanged after Tax-Free Weekend. So be careful about bigger items if you're unsure of the product or style. Exchanges are taxable for the full amount.
- Check Store Hours: This may seem baffling, but smaller stores rarely change their hours for this weekend. Larger stores and chains will be open for extended hours. Take advantage either early or late. But start early if you can.
- Beware of Credit Card Fraud: This may seem obvious, but never provide your credit card information online unless the site is secure. One way you can check is by looking at your URL link at the top of the page. It should have a green lock or say "secure."
- Ask About the Delivery Process: You want to be very specific about your delivery requirements while also leaving yourself some flexibility. Typically a store will sell two months of business in two days so that that specific dates will be tough. Delivery is the toughest part of Tax-Free Weekend historically and will be worse this year.
- Be Careful Where You Purchase: You don't want to save money and lose more of that in aggravation and missed delivery appointments later. Anyone can take an order. Shipping is another matter completely.
This year, make certain you will have your products by the specified date in writing.
Also, you should ask for the purchase orders to be certain they are ordered quickly.
If the store waits until Monday, you will be in the back of a very long line.
You do not want to be in the back of that line when many brands and products are being allocated. You want to be first, not last.
Should You Buy Appliances During Tax-Free Weekend?
Anyone shopping now can relate to the lack of available products.
COVID-19 first attacked the supply chain almost one year ago, causing shortages of metals, computer chips, shipping containers, and even actual shipping.
Now, product availability is inconsistent for appliances, flooring, decking, furniture, and other home improvement products.
Tax-Free Weekend will add additional strain, so you may not have delivery until Halloween, Thanksgiving, or next year.
If you need your appliances sooner, shop before the Tax-Free Weekend for a more reasonable delivery.
Many retailers have tax-free promotions before the tax-free holiday, so you can save the tax and have faster delivery.
Jordan's, Bob's, Cardi's, and other furniture retailers have traditionally had pre-tax holiday events.
Check your local stores for any pre-tax holiday sales or specials.
If you don't need the appliances right away, you can always wait for another promotional holiday like Black Friday.
Don't be pressured into buying products you don't like.
Read More: How to Buy Appliances During a Supply Crisis
Our Final Advice for Tax-Free Weekend
In summary, plan your weekend a couple of weeks before. Develop your list early and competitively shop.
Start with your high ticket items or items that will save you the most money.
Look at the Pre-Tax Holiday Sales closely. They may be your best bet to receive your products on time.
Use Live Chat and video sales appointments to maximize your time and limit waiting at a store.
Then generate quotes beforehand and during that weekend, call and have those quotes turned into orders.
That's the key to maximizing savings and avoiding crowds.
Remember, you want to be sure of your purchases. Exchanges after that weekend are taxable.
Also, be careful where you shop. Check reviews of the stores beforehand to understand what will happen after the sale.
Ask tons of questions and get all promises and details in writing. Call me a skeptic, but the written word always trumps the spoken promise.
However, saving 6.25% is a small consolation to buying the couch or stove you hate, so don't be pressured into making a purchase.
Appliance and furniture sales are predictable. The next one is Black Friday - less than 90 days away.
Yale Appliance Showroom Hours For Tax-Free Weekend
- Saturday, August 14th: 9 AM to 6 PM
- Sunday, August 15th: 10 AM to 4 PM
Want more information on appliances? Get the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with features, specs, buying strategies, and the answers to the top 10 appliance questions. Well over 820,000 people have read and trusted a Yale Guide.
My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.
A Note About Pricing