How to Get an 'A' on Back-to-School Shopping

BBB Teaches Parents about Smart School Shopping
August 20, 2012

Class is almost back in session, and Better Business Bureau is teaching parents about smart back-to-school shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation, K-12 back-to-school spending in the United States is expected to top $30 billion in 2012, and more than one-quarter of parents admit that they have not even started shopping yet. It is likely that there will be a steep increase in trips to the mall over the coming weeks.

“It’s crucial to be smart when shopping for apparel, electronics and school supplies,” says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “Planning and patience can make a huge difference.”

Learn BBB’s ABC’s of back-to-school shopping:

  • Assess needs. Take an inventory of what children already have and what is still needed; reuse items if possible.
  • Budget. Make a shopping list and stick to it; avoid impulse purchases and place “needs” over “wants.” Shop sale items and look for coupons in newspapers and online. Keep an eye out for “loss leaders”—deals that stores offer at a loss to draw customers.
  • Check grades. Visit to find BBB Business Reviews on reliable local retailers.

With seven out of 10 tablet owners making purchases on-the-go and two in ten smartphone owners following suit, mobile security is extremely important. Read BBB’s tips on smartphone shopping at

Get schooled on more marketplace news at

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington, founded in 1918 and serving more than 9 million consumers, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 2014, people turned to BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington more than 5 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 264,000 local businesses and for Charity Reports on more than 1,200 local charities, all available for free at