Parents should know what is needed for their children’s classes to avoid buying unnecessary items. (Black Press Media file photo)

Being wise with back to school shopping

With the start of school just one week away, parents should be wary of potential scams and know how to prepare their children for the things they’ll need in class.

Before buying anything, be aware of what items the school requires students to bring. This way parents can avoid buying unnecessary items.

Some schools do not issue a specific list of required items before classes start.

The advice that given for the first few days is that students should have a sturdy binder with some dividers, pens and pencils, lined paper, a simple calculator, and shoes and clothes to change into for gym class. Teachers will have specific requirements when kids get their course schedule.

Locally, Countrywide Printing has a supply list. Just tell them which school and grade you need supplies for and they will do the rest. See their ad on page 9 for more information.

If there are still items that students and their parents feel are necessary, there are a few tips to bear in mind.

If that laptop for university or college – or even high school – students is really deemed important, do some research on brands and warranties and read customer reviews to find the best deals, as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advised in its Back to School tip sheet.

If buying things online, “make sure the URL starts with ‘https’ and includes a lock symbol. The ‘s’ in ‘https’ stands for secure, that way you know your information is being protected,” the BBB said.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card because credit cards give extra protection and it’s easier to dispute fraudulent charges with them.

Make the most of cash-back or rebate offers to save money.

If other parents have the same set of markers, pens or other stationary in mind, buy them together in bulk and split the costs.

“Be extremely wary of any website or store that asks for your child’s personal information in order to access special deals,” the BBB advised.

The lowest price isn’t always the best option. An unknown website might offer something similar for cheaper, but make sure the site has user reviews and badges for consumer protection agencies.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
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