's Expert Guide to Orlando's Shops, Outlets and Sales

Shopping in Orlando

Sale Shopping in Orlando

Orlando shopping in general will feel like ‘sale shopping’ to visitors from the U.K., with the stronger pound against the dollar and the lower prices on most retail goods compared to home, but there are a couple of notable events that will make you feel like you’re practically shopping for free.

Black Friday

The most anticipated annual shopping event of the year is the nation's Black Friday sale, taking place the day after Thanksgiving (which is always the 4th Thursday in November). It’s a mad free-for-all, with stores opening in the wee hours of the morning (5am, sometimes earlier) in an attempt to accommodate the stampede of bargain hunters. Think you’ll be alone if you show up early? Don’t count on it. The locals often camp out on the doorstep the night before, with their Christmas shopping lists in hand.

What could be worth that level of dedication? Put simply, the markdowns are immense, including special ‘Door Buster’ promotions of up to 90% off on items such as televisions and electronics. Supplies are limited for these massive markdowns (sometimes to just 2 or 3 of any given item), there are often time limits on when the biggest savings can be had, but even if you miss out on the hottest deals, it’s still worth making an effort for the excellent all-day specials and…frankly…just to say you’ve experienced it!

Parking is horrendous, the crowds are huge and it is not unheard of to have people snatch something out of your cart if you got the last one (so protect your goods well), but it IS ridiculously good fun if you go into it with the right frame of mind, and you’re almost certain to come away with massive savings on your most-wanted items.

Some shops will offer ‘Black Friday’ sales several days in advance, minus the bigger mark-downs and Door Buster pricing, but if you’re just not up for the mania, terrific savings can still be had online a few days later with the Cyber Monday sales.

Sales Tax Free Shopping

The end of July/beginning of August is highlighted by a 3-day Sales Tax Free Shopping Weekend extravaganza in many of the Florida stores, with all back-to-school items offered tax free. The promotion includes school supplies, clothes, trainers and even computers and computer accessories. There are limits to the dollar amount per item or category that will be tax-free—for example, $100 per item for clothing and trainers—but the limits are generous.

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