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Retail Teacher Discounts: How to Get Supplies for Less

written by: Beth Taylor • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 7/12/2012

Savvy shoppers find retail teacher discounts for their programs and classes. Learn where to look and what to ask to get supplies for less.

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    Anytime a teacher is shopping for supplies for her classroom or curriculum, she knows to ask the store if they take the school's tax ID and if they give teacher retail discounts. Not all businesses can afford to give teacher discounts unless one item is being bought in bulk. It is best to know where to shop around to find the things needed to teach a good class without breaking the budget.

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    Discount School Supply

    Discount School Supply started in 1985 with a 16-page catalogue of arts and crafts materials for young children. Their low prices and excellent service have paid off. They are a thriving company that offers anything educators may need, including furniture, literature and arts and crafts supplies for many age groups. True to their name, Discount School Supply continues to offer relatively low prices on education supplies to both educators and non-educators alike. Products are available in both small and bulk packages. They often have free shipping deals and promotions, such as spend a certain amount and get free shipping. They have an easy to manuever website as well as a catalogue that comes out a few times per year. They are a good place to look for school supplies for less.

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    Creative Educational Surplus

    Creative Educational Surplus is a small division of Discount School Supply (DSS). If you become a regular customer of DSS, you will periodically receive a small booklet in the mail from Creative Educational Surplus. This small catalogue offers education products at rock-bottom prices. Usually, the supplies are clearance items from DSS. They are all top-quality products; there are no "seconds" or sub-standard items offered. When this catalogue has what you are looking for, it is like hitting the jackpot.

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    Best Art Supplies

    Both Utrecht Art Supply and Dick Blick Art Supply have numerous retail stores around the fifty states and a booming business on the Internet. Both companies offer high quality art supplies at lower prices.

    Dick Blick attempts to offer prices as low as possible to all of their customers.

    Utrecht Art Supply offers low prices to all customers; however, Utrecht accommodates student's and teacher's needs. If you teach fine arts courses, contact Utrecht to see if your program can be listed on their website and additional discounts can be offered for supplies for your classes.

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    American Science and Surplus

    A lesser-known gem of a supply catalogue is American Science & Surplus. They do have three retail stores; two in Illinois and one in Wisconsin, but their main business is on the Internet.

    The product listings change often, so if you find what you need, it is best not to hesitate. Product categories run the gamut from sets of artist-quality brushes, test tubes and Bunsen burners, electrical parts and household items. Everything in the catalogue is a surplus item and offered at rock-bottom prices, an educator's dream.

    A fun aspect of this company is the highly entertaining ad copy their creative writers compose to describe products for sale.

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    It never hurts to ask about retail teacher discounts. The above supply stores are already in the business of supplying products at discounted prices.