Back-to-School Sales are Here Again

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Release Date: July 30, 2018

Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – Stores are rolling out their back-to-school promotions, and there are plenty of ways to save on the items that students need to hit the classroom (and dorm room) this fall. To make sure you get the right items at the right prices, take these tips from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) along with your shopping list.

“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, Director of the Bureau of 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.”

Keep these shopping tips in mind to ensure that you are charged correctly during this busy back-to-school 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 checkout. 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.

  • Report register pricing errors to state or local inspectors. To file a weights and measures complaint with DATCP's Weights and Measures Bureau, send an e-mail to or call 608-224-4942.

  • 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, August 1 through Sunday, August 5. 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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