Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Advice on back to school shopping for the 2021 school year if you care about your local community and local jobs

Mark Fletcher
January 4th, 2021 · No Comments

Parents, schools and others, if you are shopping for back to school stationery items this year, please shop thoughtfully.

  • Shop locally, from an Australian owned business. P{preferably, from a business in your local community.
  • Support the local businesses local community groups are likely to call on.
  • If you have a choice, choose locally made items.
  • Buy what you need, don’t be tricked by a volume price deal that may see you buy items you will later waste.
  • See price guarantees for what they are – lazy marketing from businesses that don’t put in the hard work.
  • Quality is more important than price.

A price difference may not be what it seems. It could be due to lesser quality, or the supplier not supporting your community groups or the supplier sourcing products made in a cheap labour country, which does not help local Aussie jobs.

Newsagents are usually in the first businesses to be asked by community groups and schools for donations. It is unreasonable to do this unless you help them win business. This is just one reason your shopping local for back to school products matters.

Beware claims of big savings. One major stationery business is currently claiming that parents are saving on average more than 25% by shopping with them. This is a business that makes genuine price comparison difficult because of the volume of house brand product. I know of several newsagents who have price checked for local families and found the difference to be less than 5%.

Back to school is, for sure, an expensive time for families. Saving money is appealing. However, it is critical to be sure that the savings are real and that money you are spending benefits the economy on which you rely.

A small higher price could be for better quality product, local community group support, school support or for supporting local jobs, thereby putting money in the local economy, which helps fund, maybe local jobs on which school parents themselves rely.

Yes, the economy is that circular.

I guess my key message to parents re back to school is to take your time, do your research, understand the bigger picture, beside you know how your decision may impact yourself and those close to you.


Category: Social responsibility · Stationery

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