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Here's how to buy school uniforms for the best price

Posted at 8:33 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 17:58:12-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.  — At Harris School Uniforms in Riviera Beach, the embroidery machines are always stitching away. It may be February, but kids in both public and private schools always need new school clothes.

"If you need any shorts, we got the khaki and the navy," said Jim Harris, the owner of Harris School Uniforms.

He's been in business a long time but is now coming up with new ways to try to keep customers happy.

"We are always checking prices of other stores. Target, Walmart," Harris said. "They generally have $7 to $9 shirts. Ours might be $15 or $16. Theirs don't seem to last as long, last half a year, rip, lost buttons, shrink."

So, Harris offers a one-year guarantee on what he sells.

"Rip, tear, button falls off, fading," said Harris. "We just hand them a new shirt, no questions asked."

Jim Harris
Jim Harris

If you want to avoid the crowds, Harris said the best time to come is in the off season -- that's anytime other than August. It's also when big discounts are offered up.

"If they buy out of season, we have sales," said Harris. "We got sales buy two, get two free. It cuts that high price."

Big box retailers tend to move most of the inventory out once back-to-school season is over, so other moms turn to school uniform swap events or social media.

"A lot of moms are looking to trade," said Sarah Weinstein, a mom and administrator of Jupiter Mama's Facebook page. "If I just pop onto one of the local mom pages or the Egret neighborhood page, usually I can get three or four moms to reply with in maybe an hour."

She said with multiple kids, every dollar saved can help. Even on school uniforms.

"If you have two or three, it starts to really add up, and you can save a good chunk of change doing that," said Weinstein.

Adam Patterson, a dad of two girls, also agrees it can get costly. He turns to Facebook Marketplace.

"It all adds up," said Patterson. "We're not looking for a Louis Vuitton or Gucci, we're just looking for plain clothes and collars, so if you half way know how to use the internet, you're going to find a pretty good deal."