No one likes spending more money than they have to – so why pay state sales tax? It’s an instant discount that can save you a significant amount of money on big-ticket items. Here’s how it works:
B&M (Brick and Mortar) retailers charge a state sales tax, which varies from state to state, wherever they have physical stores. No B&M? Usually, that means no sales tax. New York is home to a fantastic electronics retailer, J&R – they have very good prices on electronics and will price match most competitors. But the best thing about them is that they do not have any physical stores in Texas, where I live now. That means I can order from their website and not be charged sales tax when they ship to my house here. I’m in the market for a new laptop, and when I do finally make that $1,100 purchase, I will definitely not be shelling out another $93 for sales tax. Combine that with cash back from any of the Ebates-type websites (currently around 4%) and that is really a deal.
For stores like Target and Walmart, who have B&M stores everywhere, shopping online will not help you avoid sales tax. In some cases, states are forcing online retailers (like California is trying to do with Amazon) to collect sales tax, but that is mostly the exception and not the rule. And websites like Drugstore.com, Buy.com and others with no storefronts at all? All tax-free!