Sales Tax, New York City
In September of 2005, New York City permanently eliminated the city sales tax of 4% on clothing and footwear purchases under $110. In April of 2006, the state of New York followed suit and repealed its portion of the sales tax on these items. The result is that the five boroughs of New York City are the only counties in the state of New York that charge no sales tax on these purchases.
Exempted: All clothing and footwear, clothing material (fabric, thread, buttons, etc.), hats and neckwear (ties and scarves), formalwear (purchased), and diapers (including disposable diapers.
Not Exempted: Jewelry and watches, handbags, umbrellas, rented formalwear, sports equipment (pads, helmets, etc.), pet or doll clothes.
When you check the prices in the stores especially if you buy electric devices, ask what the price is including tax. In most of the places in USA, tax is not included and you can be stuck with insufficient sum of money if you don't take it into account.
Although the sales tax in New York isn't one of the lowest in U.S.A. (in fact, it's one of the HIGHEST), you can still find some good buys here.
So, remember to bring along an extra bag in cloth material (like what I always do). :-)) If you're coming from Europe or Asia, buy only the American brand products. They are really, really worth it (read: cheap).
Brands like Clinique, Prescriptives, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Anne Klein, Donna Karan, Anna Sui, Estee Lauder etc. are really good buys.
I gave Calvin Klein products a miss because there are just too many imitations right now in the market (to say it's being flooded would be an understatement!). Sorry, Calvin... :-((
And if you're really SERIOUS about coinciding your holiday with a MAJOR sale, I can't think of a better time than the FANTASTIC 4th of July sale - yes, nation-wide.
And for those who absolutely MUST know how cheap American products really cost in the U.S.A., here's a rough guide. Let's take the brand Clinique as an example. Their LARGEST bottle of Clarifying Lotion cost only US$15.50 (excl. sales tax) in U.S.A. That same bottle costs - (a) 450 French Francs in Paris/ Nice (France) and (b) US$34 (S$58) in Singapore.
O.K., I'm sure you're convinced now. :-)) Happy Shopping then!