7 Tips to Stretch Your School Supply Budget and Save Time

By: ISS School Supply Team

As you prepare for the upcoming ordering season, here are some helpful ways to streamline your school supply ordering process and possibly stretch your budget! The ISS School Supply Team is always here to help guide you to ensure your order arrives easily at great savings!

1. Save Time in Your Ordering Process

You can use the ISS School Supply Marketplace to order many different school supplies at the ISS discounted price. Create your order directly through the portal and skip the step of submitting a Purchase Order. You can also grant permission for your teachers to directly create their orders and submit them for your approval. If you are not currently using the Marketplace, please let us know.

Bonus Back-to-School Tip: At the start of the school year, you may need to add or remove teachers who are permitted to access the Marketplace. Your ISS representative can make those updates for you. Just email us!


2. Boost Your Savings

Check the ISS Discount List to identify suppliers that give ISS a special discount, free shipping or other offer. By selecting one of these suppliers, you can maximize your savings and reduce the cost of your overall order.

Bonus Processing Tip: While Amazon may seem like an option, it may not always be the best choice. You may want to limit your Amazon ordering to hard-to-find items only. Amazon has a strict 30-day policy: after 30 days, they will not accept any returns or issue any no-charge replacements, which can create issues. Most of the ISS suppliers can provide the same items and offer substantial discounts and/or free shipping.


3. Streamline Your Ordering

If you need to order outside the Marketplace and use our P.O. Template, check that you have completed all of the information on the template to ensure the fastest order processing. You’ll want to include the vendor name, purchase order number, quantity, code/ISBN number, description and price. If your item offers a color choice, be sure to list that too!

Bonus Furniture Ordering Tip: When ordering furniture, remember to list color choice, and if necessary, the edge color, type of top, and size(s).


4. Get Your Orders in Early

You can send orders at any time, but sometimes as it gets late in the ordering season, vendors may have lower inventories and you might need to choose alternate items or wait longer. Sending your order early in the season will give you a better fill rate on your orders, which means less backorders to send later!

Bonus Timing Tip: Best times to order are December, January, and February.


5. Bookmark this Book Site

If you have a large list of individual book titles that you need beyond your Library order, check out the Booksource website (www.booksource.com), instead of Amazon. Booksource includes a wide range of titles for the classroom.

Bonus Shopping Tip: Take advantage of Booksource’s discounts and free shipping.



6. Ship Electronics with Ease

Ordering and shipping electronics typically requires special information or paperwork. If you use one of the suppliers listed on the ISS Discount List, those preferred vendors know what information to provide to ensure safe travels of your items.

Bonus Electronics Ordering Tip: If you don’t see a supplier for an electronic item you need, ask your ISS School Supply Representative. We can help you find an appropriate supplier.


7. Handle Science Orders with Care

We order many items to support science programs, but any order containing hazardous chemicals or live/perishable items requires special care. If the teacher needs these items, the ISS School Supply Team can arrange to send specific shipments for hazardous materials or live/perishable items directly to your school. These types of shipments can be costly due to the nature of the materials. If you need a shipping quote, we can secure specific pricing from the carrier for you.

Bonus Paperwork Tip: Orders containing hazardous materials or live/perishable items will need to be on separate forms from your regular science orders.

The ISS School Supply team supports the sourcing, procurement and worldwide transport of school supply items ranging from technology and digital equipment to furniture to general classrooms supplies, covering the wide spectrum of the resources international school educators and students need to succeed every day in their classrooms and other learning spaces, while stretching budget dollars farther. Get in touch to find how we can help streamline your purchasing, save money, and equip your school with hassle-free and happily-delivered resources.