Kids are getting ready for the back-to-school shop.
Kids are getting ready for the back-to-school shop.

How to avoid a back-to-school rip-off

IT is almost impossible to avoid businesses advertising back-to-school sales and there's no wonder why as it's big business.

Consumer advocacy group Choice has estimated that parents spend about $540 to get each child ready for the start of the year.

This includes stationary, uniforms, bags, fees, electronics and transport, and it comes right after the Christmas period.

As part of its 2020 school survey, Choice went on a shopping trip to find basic classroom supplies like notebooks, pens and pencils.

This year the group visited Officeworks, Big W and Kmart but excluded Target as its stores did not have the range on offer to source all the products needed.

Supermarkets were also excluded from the CHOICE comparison.
Supermarkets were also excluded from the CHOICE comparison.

Out of the three retailers Officeworks had the cheapest basket at $26.87, which was just over $2 cheaper than Big W whose basket cost $29.69.

It was noted costs are rising though as last year Big W was the cheapest basket at $24.82 while Officeworks was second with $25.44.

Officeworks business manager office for supplies and furniture Jim Berndelis said he understood that many parents would be feeling the pinch at this time of year.

"At Officeworks, we want to take some of the pressure off parents by doing all the hard work for them and having everything they need under one roof and at everyday low prices," he told News.com.au.

Mr Berndelis said the retailer had set up a service to help save parents time and money by outsourcing the school list.

"We offer a free school list service, where parents are able to drop off or upload their child's school list online or instore and the team will select and pack it for them," he said.

"By using this service, parents are saving on average more than 30 per cent on their 2020 school list prices."

Afterpay and Zip pay options were also available to help parents, said Mr Berndelis, particularly with little extras that may not be on booklists.

"It's easy to forget items that may not be on the booklist such as book covers, book cover rolls, or labellers - which go a long way in ensuring possessions last beyond term one," he said.

"Products like laptop sleeves and screen protectors are also great to consider to protect their tech gear from the rigours of school, providing peace of mind against accidental damage."


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