Saturday, July 18, 2009

Where are the Sales?

My summer vacations are typically spent grilling, sunning and scouring the back-to-school sales flyers.  A few years back my teaching partner and I stopped sending home the standard "list of school supplies" to the parents and instead requested that they each send in $15.00.

We were a little nervous about doing this at first because we were not sure how the families would react.  As it turns out the parents were THRILLED.  Never in my career have I received so much positive feedback than this idea generated.  We have not heard one negative peep and have actually been sent thank you cards and emails for doing it this way.  The parents say it saves them time and that they are spending far less on school supplies than ever before.  

As a teacher I am a huge fan of this.  I like things to match and I like as little distraction as possible in the classroom.  I am thrilled that each of my students has the same box of 12 Crayola markers and that there is no class struggle because one child has an 8 pack of Roseart while another brought in the deluxe art kit.  I have everything labeled and ready on the 1st day of school and I don't need to sort through bags of supplies.  It's been great.

But, seriously...where are the sales?  I know Labor Day is later this year, but the trends of marketing are off.  I have spent years studying this as a science and can pinpoint which store will offer which items and for which price in a way that would make Bob Barker automatically promote me to the Showcase Showdown.  It's odd.  Staples offered pencils for a penny, but where were the folders, erasers and sharpeners?  Walmart has some college stuff listed on sale, but the five cent spiral bound notebooks are yet to be found.

Maybe this is retails way of telling me to get my mind off school and go to the beach.  I'll give that a shot.

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