The Better business office helps students and parents prepare for high school by providing tips to save money and avoid fraud.

With an emphasis on in-person tuition that comes back in TexasSchool supplies shopping is expected to be very different this year than it was in the 2020-21 school year, says the BBB.

According to the national retail association, 49% of parents with school-age children said their children look forward to shopping for school clothes the most this year. Additionally, 61% of consumers plan to buy their school supplies around major sales events like Prime Day, July 4th or Labor Day.

School supplies needs expected when students return to the classroom

Communities in Schools say after a year of virtual learning they expect an unprecedented need for materials from students in central Texas. Suki Steinhauser has more on how you can help.

The BBB says consumers should exercise caution before shopping online, as most purchases will be made online this year.

Between May and July 2020, Texan consumers lost an average of $ 50,000 per month to online purchase fraud. according to BBB Scam Tracker data. Many of those who lost money to online clothing stores found the store through an ad on social media.

A Texas consumer reported a loss of more than $ 500 to an online seller who “takes your money if you order their goods but doesn’t send anything purchased. When I tried to message them about the missing order, he blocked me and told me I won’t let him do anything. “

The BBB offers the following tips to save money and avoid fraud:

Take a look around your home

Start school shopping right at home by making a list of everything you need, and then taking an inventory of anything you’ve kept in desks, drawers, closets, or storage space. Some supplies may be left over from last year so you don’t have to buy the same item twice.

Research expensive purchases

Before buying expensive items like computers, laptops, or a dorm refrigerator, find out about the brand, product reviews, warranty, and pricing at multiple locations.

When buying a dormitory, consumers should be aware that universities often have rules about the size and placement of refrigerators in dormitories. Consumers should check with the college or university housing department to determine whether or not an energy-efficient refrigerator is required.

Ask about student discounts

Shops and software companies often offer discounts to students who have either a student ID or a valid .edu email address. Even if a discount isn’t advertised, it never hurts to ask.

Buy in bulk

When buying standard items that are needed at the beginning of each school year, such as binders, exercise books, or writing utensils, buying in bulk is a great way to save money.

Officials concerned about the Delta variant ahead of the new school year

With school starting in a few weeks’ time, local health officials say they are concerned about how the transmission rate might carry over to a school setting. John Krinjak explains.

Shop safely online

When buying school supplies online, make sure that the URL begins with “https” and contains a lock symbol. The “s” in “https” stands for secure and includes additional encryption and security measures as an “http” website.

If you’re shopping on a lesser-known website, take the time to read reviews and feedback from previous customers. The lowest price may not always be the best route. If the company’s contact details are not clearly listed, or there is only one contact point email, this is a warning against possibly shopping elsewhere.

If the seller requests payment by wire transfer or gift card, it is a sign that it may not be a legitimate business. Using a credit card is almost always the best option when shopping online as it must provide additional protection to dispute and resolve fees when products purchased are not received.

More tips for starting school click here.

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