Sunday, August 17, 2008

Taking advantage of tax-free weekend

It's a nice break for shoppers, especially those who are in back-to-school mode.

I'm talkin' about tax-free weekend, where goods priced under $100 aren't subject to sales tax over the weekend of Aug. 15-17.

Houston-area outlet malls did brisk business on Saturday as parking lots were packed at Katy Mills and Houston Premium Outlets.

My goal for the weekend was mainly neckties. Marshall's in Katy Mills did not disappoint. Polo silk ties that normally retail for $75 were marked down to $10 to $15. So I picked up two of them.

The quest continued at the Polo outlet, located a few doors down from Marshall's. The Polo outlet had 75% off on ties, which ranged from $10 to $17.50. After taking an hour to sift through hundreds of ties, I came away with five that totaled $57.50.

Of course, now that I'm in Polo, I've got to see what other deals can be had here. Store personnel were putting out more and more clothes on the racks, so I tried keeping up with what new stuff was showing up. On one of the racks, I noticed a pair of casual button-fly trousers in my size that were worth trying on. I check the price tag, and I'm stunned to find out that the $285 list price was marked down by ... oh, 99 percent.

The sale price was $2.37. There was no mistake about this because there were two tags on these pants that had the same price on them -- two dollars and thirty-seven cents.

There was an extra 25% off at checkout, so the final price was $1.78. I gladly pulled out $2 out of my pocket and came away a big winner.

Moving on from Katy Mills to Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress, I figured I'd look at shirts at the Brooks Brothers outlet store just to coordinate with my newly acquired ties. Found one that did the trick (100% cotton, non-iron), along with two other casual shirts (seersucker and linen). After store discounts (and no sales tax), the average cost per shirt was $28.

So, for less than $150, I got eight ties ($57.50), three shirts ($84) and a pair of pants ($1.78, mind you). I saved at least $10 on sales tax and got first-quality items in the process.

A few Style Points for best bargain-hunting results:
  • Take stock of your existing wardrobe and make a list of what you're looking to acquire.
  • Budget a dollar figure before going out to shop, and stick to it.
  • Always seek satisfaction. Don't be obligated to buy something that's deeply discounted and it doesn't quite fit.

More for less is a good thing. Good luck.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Hello Stylepointer!

I enjoyed your segment on the Channel 13 KTRK show this past weekend.

I'm looking to change from my hip hop/denim style to a more casual formal look in general. I used to wear nothing but slacks and polo shirts in the 80s. However, due to the new subculture of hip hop, I've changed over the years to dressing down.

Now! I wish to dress back up to a more casual formal look. My clothing interests is gearing back to a khaki pants, polo style shirt, sports jacket and coat look. I was considering rebuilding my wardrobe at the K & G clothing stores here locally in Houston.

What's your take on the quality of products and prices of clothes in the K & G Males clothing store as well as Suit Mart? Are the prices reasonable for the products? Or do you suggest better stores to look at.