New York is a treasure trove of so many things that it is quite difficult to select one thing to mention when discussing this wonderful city. If you are a natural born shopper and bargain hunter though you would be remiss not to head out to New York with the idea of finding some fabulous bargains in mind.
I can’t imagine many places in the world that have quite the number of shopping options that are available to New Yorkers on a daily basis. It’s hard to imagine that there are people who actually have never felt the thrill of getting that little extra percent off or finding a perfectly good second hand piece for less than a quarter of what that item would have cost new. At the same time, there are very few things that I can mentally justify paying full price for.
Perhaps this is why New York represents shopper’s heaven to me. There are so many consignment stores, used clothes stores, vintage clothes stores, and the bargains don’t end at clothing. There is consignment furniture, house wares, even tools can be found at bargain prices in very specialized consignment and second hand stores. Electronics and appliances can be found in these types of stores as well. It’s truly amazing all the wonderful things that can be found at bargain basement prices by those who are truly willing to look for them.
In addition to the many consignment, second hand, and goodwill type stores that you can find in New York City, there are also plenty of outlet stores that offer lower prices for last years overstock or slightly flawed patterns. It’s amazing the bargains you can find when these stores have sales. Of course shopping your regular shopping malls just after Christmas or a couple of weeks after school has started can also net some very similar values. The real beauty lies in the fact that you can actually go to these stores while these sales are going on and have wardrobes for your kids for the next school year (provided some unholy sort of abnormal growth spurt doesn’t occur in the meantime).
If shopping for you is more like a calling than an adventure then you should have a great time just wandering around the many malls and shopping centers of New York trying to get into your head the close proximity of so many wonderful bargains and how everyone in that city isn’t either filing for bankruptcy or in serious hoc due to credit cards that are spent well beyond their limits.
Shopping Tips To Remember
Sales tax in New York City is 8.65% except on clothing and footwear under $110, but you can have your purchases shipped home to avoid the tax.
Store hours can vary greatly from store to store and day to day. The bigger department stores are open 7 days a week. Avoid lunch hour shopping to miss the native New Yorkers trying to get errands done during a hectic lunch break.
Check out sale dates. Discounts increase during the last day, but your purchases may be non-returnable if they’re on sale or on clearance. You’ll want to make sure you check for any signs of weakness, scratching, chips, etc. before you buy anything on sale or clearance. Some discount stores may offer great deals on designer items, but there may be a button missing, tear in the seam, and so on. Also, do your research so you know how to spot a fake designer item. It’s no fun to pay high prices for a stand-in wannabe.
The Garment District is the area of town between 34th and 40th streets and between 5th and 9th avenues. City magazines and newspapers will have the locations and dates, which can vary.
Souvenir shops around Times Square are tourist traps. It would be best to shop there only for small trinkets. Department stores or neighborhood shops offer better prices.