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BACK TO SCHOOL: Better Business Bureau gives tips for buying supplies
school supplies

ATLANTA —  As the summer nears its end, students and parents are gearing up for the start of the new school year. With in-person instruction expected to retake center stage, back-to-school shopping will likely be different this year from last year.

With inflation continuing to rise, many parents will find that their annual back-to-school shopping for the upcoming school year will cost more than usual. 

Before determining what students may need for the year, Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests setting a budget and planning as much as possible with everyone involved to help keep expenses to a minimum.

BBB also recommends the following tips when looking for school-related items, either in-person or online:

• In-person shopping

Most retailers have dropped mask mandates, but some pharmacies or local stores may still have them. Supply chain issues could also impact shopping. When getting ready to shop, contact the store directly if you have questions about hours, policies or to see if supplies are in stock.  

Research big ticket items

Over the past two years, technology has played an increasingly important role in education, whether students are learning in-person or online. When buying new equipment, check with your student’s school to learn about any technical requirements and determine if any changes are necessary to the home’s high-speed internet. 

Before purchasing a laptop, tablet, or computer accessory, research the brands, warranties, customer reviews, and prices at various stores to ensure you get the best deal. Also, look up the retailer’s reputation on

Shop smart with sales

Compare prices between different retail stores, save coupons, sign up for email alerts, and redeem any cash-back or rebate offers. This will help get the best deals and stay within budget. 

Ask for discounts

Many stores and software companies offer discounts. Some are available to students with either a “.edu” email address or a student ID. Others may have a discount for signing up for marketing materials or surf the internet for online coupons and discounts (make sure they are affiliated with the retailer). It doesn’t hurt to ask, even if you don’t see a deal advertised at the store.

Consider buying in bulk

Some teachers may ask parents to purchase bulk items for the entire class, such as paper towels, tissues, and hand sanitizer, throughout the school year. Parents can share lists and buy these items in bulk to save money.

Shop wisely, safely online

When shopping online, be wary of “clickbait” ads that feature items that imply that you may want or need them based on your search history. 

Scammers could be trying to drive you to a different website to steal personal information potentially. Take note of the ad and go to the store’s website by directly typing into the search bar. Make a note of the website’s privacy policy, and contact information, and always use a credit card when making a purchase. 

For more information, visit the BBB Back to School HQ site at

BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. It does this by encouraging and supporting best practices by engaging with and educating consumers and businesses; celebrating marketplace role models; calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behavior; and creating a community of trustworthy businesses and charities.

For more information, call 404-766-0875.