When my kids were little, I was so overwhelmed just keeping up with daily life, I ordered all the supplies I needed for homeschooling off Christianbook.com. They had everything I needed in one place, and had great reviews and preview sections. They still do, plus their prices are very competitive.
Now that I don’t have toddler’s under tow, and my children’s school books are getting more costly, I spend a bit more time trying to save even more money on our school books, by shopping second hand curriculum sales.
Over the next 2 Saturdays I am going to share with you my top ten tips for shopping second hand curriculum sales.
Top Ten Tips For Shopping Curriculum Sales
Tips 1 to Tip 5
1. If you can sell as well as buy.
You might not want to do this the first time you plan on attending a second hand curriculum sale but I would recommend you try and do this the second time you attend. Here are a few tips to make sure you receive the most benefits from selling as well as buying.
a. Bring along a friend, spouse, or older child to help with the table sales
b. Once you have your table set up cruise the other tables and locate the items you wish to buy.
c. When the sale starts leave your helper in charge and go and obtain those items you spied.
2. Have a great written list.
I have always had a mental list of what I wanted, but last year after selling at an out of town sale, I have decided this year I am going to take the time and effort to type out a detailed one.
At this sale I was overwhelmed by numerous women shoving neatly typed lists in my face asking me did I have any of these titles, if I said no they simply walked on to the next table.
Although I would not recommend shoving the list in the sellers face (it felt like a bit of a personal space violation to me) I did find that their lists saved them time searching through tables that did not contain items they needed. Perhaps you can first kindly ask the seller if they would review your list and then pass it to them politely.
A great list would also save you from spaving, which just means spending money on marked down curriculum you didn’t really need in the first place.
3. Know your prices.
Take some time to note on your written list the cost of the items new, as well as their resale prices on eBay, Half.com and Amazon.
This will let you know when a seller is simply asking too much, and will give you some firm facts to back up your request for a discount. If they won’t discount the item simply walk away knowing you can get it cheaper else where.
4. Consider shopping with a partner
This requires a bit of team work but if the sale you are attending is very large consider bringing a loved one along who is willing to work as a team with you to get the supplies you need.
Print off both you and your partner a list and make sure you each have a cell phone set on vibrate (curriculum sales can be loud and you might not hear a ringtone). When either of you find something call the other and tell them what you have and to cross it off their list.
I saw many mother and daughter teams doing this at the larger sale I sold at last year, and they were crossing off items at lightening speed and saving considerable amounts of money.
5. Shop early
The best selection goes fast. Curriculum is expensive, and almost everyone nowadays is living off a tight budget. That is one reason I highly recommend following tip 1, but if you don’t want to do that, at least come a few minutes before the doors open so you will be one of the first to get shopping.
Don’t forget to check out part 2: 5 more tips for shopping second hand curriculum sales.