RALEIGH, N.C. (August 10, 2021) – With the academic year starting soon, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina (BBB) is offering tips for back-to-school shopping.
“According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, parents and students are expected to spend more on supplies than ever before,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president, and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina. “It is important to make a plan ahead of time to ensure proper preparation as well as money savings.”
Better Business Bureau offers the following advice on how to shop smart for back-to-school or back-to-college purchases:
Know Your School’s Safety Protocol
While your child may have ended the school year back in their school building, be aware that safety protocols may be different once they start again. Be sure to know if masks are required so you can properly prepare them with enough for the entire week and extras if something happens. Also, be aware if they will have to provide their own cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc. You can follow the same tips below if you need to purchase these items.
Shop Your House
Start your back-to-school shopping by creating a list. Jot down everything you need and stick to the list! Impulse buying can increase your overall total in a hurry. Then, shop your home before heading to the store. You may already have some of the items from last year. Why purchase the same thing twice?
Research Big Ticket Items
Before purchasing that expensive laptop, tablet, or dorm refrigerator, be sure to do your research. Research the brands, warranty, customer reviews, and prices at various stores to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Also, look up the retailer on BBB.org.
Shop Smart with Sales
Compare prices between different retail stores, save your coupons, sign up for email alerts and redeem any cash-back or rebate offers. This will help you get the best deals, saving you a nice chunk of dough.
Ask for Student Discounts
Many stores and software companies offer discounts to students that have either a .edu email address or a student ID. Even if you don’t see a discount advertised at the store, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Shop in Bulk
Some teachers ask parents to buy bulk items for the entire classroom to use throughout the year. Talk with other parents about what they’re getting and see if you can all split the cost.
Be Aware of Return Policies
Be sure to save your receipts and know what the return policy is for the items you have purchased. The pandemic caused some stores to alter their return policies and have not changed just in case you have to return the item later.