Sarah Franks

Sarah Franks at Windy Hill Furniture on Kettle Road in Morris Township, straightened a table runner on a dining room table.

With income tax season just starting, some folks in the area may already be considering what to do with their refunds. Those bigger purchases that some might consider to be normally out of their price range could be the targets of their refunds.

The folks at Sears Hometown in Smithfield Township has already had a few customers that have been in to look around and plan what they’ll use their refund on.

“It’s going to start probably later this month and then March, that’s the big time when a lot of this hits. They just get their W2s at the end of January, We have a couple people already already looking saying, I should get my return in another week. So it’s going to hit,” said Suzan McClure, owner of Sears Hometown. “Tractors, that’ll be the next big thing for lawn season. They are starting to look at those.”

McClure said many folks usually have different ideas of how to invest their refund.

“A lot redo their kitchen, and fitness is big this time of year with tax returns. Thinking about spring, a lot of times they’ll go for tractors, and those typically are our biggest items. Some of the guys will come in and buy the big tool chests. A lot of the things are on sale, so it’s a good time to buy some of the bigger ticket items,” said McClure.

According to McClure, appliances are also on the wish list for many this season.

“If they’re doing a full kitchen remodel they’re going to do, fridge, range, dish washer and some have the micro-hoods. Usually they want it all to match, so they go the full gamut with it,” said McClure. “We sell quite a few sets, we had a lady come in the other day who bought a washer, dryer, and a new range. It is that time of year when we do see a lot of that.”

Due to the inclement weather, some folks are considering more indoor type faire.

“Honestly the tool boxes have been selling quite a bit this year. We’ve sold several over the last two weeks. The mitre saws, are something people get if they’re doing trim work,” said McClure.

At Windy Hill Furniture, co-manager Sarah Franks believes that the majority of people will be looking for comforts of home.

“Usually bedrooms and dining rooms are what we see the most during tax season,” said Franks. “We are seeing mostly dining and bedroom this time of year; we’re seeing season for everything. Fall is a lot of dining, now through may is a lot of bedroom suites, and upholstery is spring too.”

Regardless of what folks are looking for, according to Franks they can have it tailor-made just for them.

“We’re a custom-order store; everything we have is solid wood, hand crafted and American made. You can pick your paint and stain, your sides and wood types. You can custom order anything. That’s why people come here, because you don’t have to just buy this dining table, you can buy this dining table in different ways and how you need it to be,” said Franks.

The crew at Laney’s Feed Mill in Huntingdon have also see folks gearing up to make bigger purchases.

“We usually see them in late February, March and April, the normal time when people are getting refunds. Even into closer into spring, we’ll see people, but March is the big one,” said Brent Radar of Laney’s Feed Mill.

Radar explained that some bigger ticket items trend during refund season.

“What we’ve seen in the past is we’ve have people buy bigger ticket chain saw. That seems to be a popular thing, somebody needs a new saw, but their waiting to get a few hundred extra bucks and they’ll come in to buy that,” said Radar. “I’ve also seen people use their refund toward a lawn mower sometimes, especially if someone gets it March and it’s almost time to mow grass. If they’re thinking of it anyway, sometime it will push them into buying one. We see that quite a bit, especially like a riding mower for a bigger ticket item, or sometimes a push mower.”

“I had a person one year buy a rototiller for their garden. Anything else power equipment is typically what we see. Maybe there’s some piece of lawn equipment that somebody wants but typically can’t afford otherwise and they get a little extra cash and they end up buying something,” said Radar.

Radar believes the size of the refund determines just how willing customers are to go for their dream purchases.

“I’ve seen people spend on a smaller item like a chain saw, seven or eight hundred bucks or less. A lot of times a chain saw for the average homeowner user is probably around $300, so that’s a really common purchase,” said Radar. “If someone is looking at a bigger ticker item like a riding mower and they get a big refund they might spend two to three thousand on that.”

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