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Back to School Prep: How to Buy School Supplies at Wholesale Prices

By: Kaitlin Krull-- 2015-08-20 3:36 pm --

Nothing says back to school time like shopping for school supplies. However, shopping means spending money, and we know that school supplies aren’t cheap! One of the best ways to save yourself time and money is to buy supplies in bulk. Here are some tips for stocking up on wholesale school supplies with other parents.

Generate interest

The first thing you need to do when preparing to buy wholesale is to find other parents and friends who would like to do the same. Talk to parents at school drop off and pick up, at PTA meetings, and when you see each other around town. If your school encourages parents to communicate via social media, then set up a Facebook group or post a note on existing pages about your intentions. Some wholesale companies have a minimum order amount and only sell by the case, so unless you have others involved, you will end up with enough pencils for a small army!

Make a list

The next step in your school supply preparation list is getting organized. Assemble your children’s syllabi and school supply lists, contacting teachers and other parents if necessary. Make a spreadsheet of items needed and the quantity desired to keep everything straight. Consider checking out deals for additional items as well, such as backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, extra pencils and crayons, and anything else that might end up saving you money.

Do your homework

After you’ve assembled your shopping list, do some wholesale research. Decide where you can find the best deals and the highest quality products. Are you going to shop online or in store? If you and a few of your friends decide to go to the store, remember that some wholesale and bulk stores require membership or discount cards. Clip coupons and find out about sales beforehand so you are prepared on the day. Online shopping is probably the easiest option logistically, as one member of your group can get online and complete a transaction without leaving home. Many online retailers also offer basic back-to-school kits and multibuy deals on branded and generic products. Whatever shopping method you choose, make sure you are up to date on all sales and purchasing requirements.


Finally, it’s time to shop! Choose someone to make your online purchases, or nominate a small and organized group to shop in store. Take along your spreadsheets, coupons, and sale codes, and purchase your items. Separate out and distribute your items after you have taken payment. It’s up to you whether you arrange payment before or after purchasing your supplies, but remember that even the best intentioned parents can be forgetful when it comes to repaying debts. PayPal and online bank transfers take the stress out of organizing and counting cash, and are quick and reliable ways of moving money. After all is said and done, everyone will have plenty of new supplies for their little ones. If it goes well, then keep in touch and do it again next year to save yourselves even more cash and hassle!