Start with the sale of school supplies
The school season begins and both parents and students start searching for the list of school supplies and materials they will need in this new stage they are entering, leaving many other supplies that they will no longer need and from which they could obtain a percentage by offering them to a new use from someone who is precisely looking for them.
This is a situation that is experienced year after year and that puts parents in a difficult situation, either because of the economic situation or because the item is difficult to obtain in the area where they reside, so opening a shop to buy and sell school supplies can be an excellent help for them and a business for you.
Profitability of selling school supplies
You can set up your business anywhere (even at home)
Your providers will be people and students close to you
Your customers can be your own suppliers
Buying products is much cheaper
You offer solution to a growing and moving demand
It’s a profitable sector
How to get the items?
Surely at home you will find many items and school supplies that you no longer use, which may become your first materials for sale. You can then approach people close to you, such as neighbours and family members, to obtain the items they no longer use.
How do you calculate your prices?
There are several things to consider when pricing products, including that they should not be priced as new, but finding out how much they cost will help you price them accurately. In addition, take into account the appearance, presentation and general condition of the item to better calculate it. But under no circumstances should its final cost exceed the cost of the item as if it were new, as customers would not see the savings and would prefer to buy it new.
What do you need to get started?
Sales materials: Among the main items you will have to offer are books, encyclopedias, notebooks and writing instruments, as they are the most needed. Then, there are other types of second-hand items such as stationery or miscellaneous, among which are: blocks of paper of all kinds, textured paper, scissors, rulers, squares, highlighters, brushes, gouache and paints, folders, calculators that you no longer use, among others.
NOTE: It is very important that when you buy or acquire a material that is going to be sold at the back-to-school store, you pay attention to the state of the product, the conditions and its operation. Since this is a second-hand sale, people may be a little suspicious when buying the item because of the state, which could get worse if we don’t check that the item is working properly and has everything you need, such as a book with missing pages, incomplete dictionaries, calculators that don’t work with some buttons, among others.
Premises: You can locate yourself in an area of your house if you have a space that faces the street or rent a medium sized premises in which you can set up your business. There you will need tables, shelves and displays to show and organize your products. Remember to place them by sections so that each person who enters finds what he or she is looking for.
Location: If you have the possibility of acquiring premises for the operation of the business, we recommend that you set up in places near schools, universities and commercial areas related to what you sell, as well as areas where there is a strong concentration of students, who will look for ways to save by buying what they need.
Staff: Since it will be a place open to the public, it is necessary that it has staff to guide people who enter, keep the space clean and take care of the process of payment and packaging of items that are planned to take. You can hire one or two more people to take care of all the business’ tasks, especially during the school season and on weekends, when your target audience can visit you the most.
Promotion: In addition to making your business known to people close to you, it is convenient to print flyers and cards that allow them to know where the business is located and that in addition to selling, they also buy this type of articles that they no longer use but that have the conditions to be useful to someone who requires them. To get material and even sell it, you can set up your business on social networks and even a website.
Requirements to start selling school items
A prerequisite for implementing a school supply business idea is to look at profitability, company structure, legal conditions,
the sources of funding and the imprint that they want to give it in order to consolidate its identity.
Another requirement is to assess whether and how to hire staff. Preferably to have a suitable staff than to see if there are employment agencies that offer them or centres that are training staff in the business of trade.
Advantages of selling school supplies
Opening a stationery store, especially in the months prior to the school opening stage, for the sale of school and office supplies, can bring you significant profits and benefits due to the high demand in the first months of the school year.
The stationery and school supplies stores open up other areas of investment possibilities such as office supplies, a bookstore, a gift shop, a computer area, an area for lovers of articles made of cardboard and paper, among others, which can lead to great success and prestige in the market.
Tips to start selling school supplies
It is advisable not to get used to selling the same products, you can look with the distributors and the customers for the newest products. Keep in mind not to sell the notebooks and pens you have left over from past campaigns, again as merchandise in the new season. They can be used to make offers that will attract customers or sold at a clearance sale before the new season.
Another tip is to diversify your stationery to stay open once the high-school season passes. Thus, along with notebooks and pens, the customer can find toys, stuffed animals, accessories, gifts, which can compensate for the drop in sales when it is not school time
Another tip is to stock up on the right products by visiting potential customers in schools and offices and finding out their preferences. Also, acquire good display cases and counters, which allow customers to see and try all the products.
Problems that may arise
It is dangerous to open the stationery store during the same school campaign, because you need to start earlier to get to know the products better. If you start at the time of the season, you run the risk of having problems with paperwork and customers because the opening process is too rushed. Therefore, it is desirable to start the business earlier, at least three months before the opening of the schools and the high season for selling school supplies.
The bookstore is considered a seasonal business, with very good profits only in the school season. The main problem for entrepreneurs is what they will do in the months following the season, when there is a significant drop in sales.
A very common mistake that is made is to close the establishment, when there is a way to continue operating quietly throughout the year, turning the stationery store into a bazaar bookstore and selling other types of products.
Working with informal distributors brings problems because the products are usually not of good quality or may be outdated and can even be harmful to the health of customers, leading to credibility problems in the business.
Debod Stationery, is a successful company, because it is considered one of the best stationery stores by paper lovers, you can find in it an extensive line of writing instruments, notebooks such as Moleskine, Leuchtturm1917, Rhodia, Paperblanks, as well as writing accessories, pens and a section called “lettering”.
FNAC, is another prestigious and successful store, which is very large and complete because it offers stationery, books, a notebook area, notebooks, diaries, diaries, writing accessories, Oxford, Moleskine, MiquelRius brands, among other items, with a high quality customer service.
Disadvantages that may arise: Your customers may be late in arriving, as many people still have a strong mistrust of second-hand items, so you may face a somewhat cold audience at first. However, attracting them will only depend on the confidence and advantages you show them about how, in addition to saving some money, they also help the planet by avoiding the production of new items and reusing those that are still in very good condition.
Final recommendation: With a very good publicity and keeping the search of clients and products for sale, for sure your business will achieve a fast growth, especially if you keep persevering and committed, because it is a necessity not only of the seasons of return to classes, but also during the course of the studies, so do not stay crossed hands at any moment.