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How to Buy Stationery for your School

February 20, 2019, 8:24 GMT+1
Read in 3 minutes
  • Stationery is a vital school resource, but there are some important factors to consider before making your purchases, says YPO’s category buyer for stationery, Melanie Godley...
How to Buy Stationery for your School

Be organised

Have you ever waited until the last minute to order a product, only to find it’s out of stock? The only reliable way to avoid this situation is to think ahead. We know teachers have a lot on their plate, and that last-minute orders sometimes can’t be helped, but careful planning can do much to prevent unneeded stress.

You could take advantage of weekly delivery slots, create an inventory list so that you can keep a close eye on your stock and make a note of what needs to be added to each delivery.

Remember that product promotions don’t just take place during summer, but all year round – the YPO Budget Stretcher promotion, for instance, begins in February and ends in June.

We usually have about 900 products on sale with discounts of around 20%, so keep a close eye out and try to catch those opportunities before they’re gone.

Be sustainable

With the impact of plastics on the environment now firmly on the agenda, schools can help do their bit. It’s important to consider environmental sustainability when making your purchases, whether it be the composition of the products themselves (if/how they use recyclable materials, for example) or opting for products with reduced or no plastic packaging.

As you’d expect, there’s now a much wider range of environmentally friendly stationery products available for schools to choose from – one example being glue sticks made from recycled materials, which can in turn be disposed of in your plastic recycling bins.

YPO is taking steps to build on this by looking into ways of recycling heavily used items such as pens and other plastic stationery essentials. Other common stationery items have been made from recycled materials for some time, such as punch pockets.

Get best value

Many members of staff will take it upon themselves to hunt out stationery bargains – but are there any other practical, less onerous ways of getting the best value for your money? You could place orders for the whole school, instead of individual departments or year groups, and distribute class packs once the supplies arrive.

Don’t be afraid to try a new brands when certain products are on promotion – if the item does the same job, why not give it a go? ‘Own brand’ stationery can work out as far cheaper than offerings well-known brands in the long run, but at the same time, ‘value’ shouldn’t always be based on price alone.

You might want to consider more expensive products if you know they’ll last longer or perform better. Always think about how a given product will be used, and work out if it’s worth paying a little more or not.

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