CLEVELAND - We found dozens of websites that help teachers save on books, computer software, a home and even their own clothes.
While Ann Taylor Loft advertises its 15 percent savings discount for teachers, it’s worth a try to show your teacher ID card at other stores that might not publicize their savings programs. Banana Republic says it also offers a 15 percent off program. You need to ask your local store about the specifics for the program.
There are also lots of websites that advertise deep savings for teachers. Make sure you read the return policies carefully, and research the company before you send them your order.
Teacher Deals advertises 20-50 percent off everyday, but they don't take returns.
You also need to make sure these advertised discounts are really discounts after you calculate in the shipping costs.
You'll get the most protection if you pay with a credit card. These companies are pretty good at helping consumers dispute a charge if they don't get what they order and the problem is reported within a reasonable timeframe.
Discount School Supply offers arts and crafts materials, educational toys, classroom furniture, and school supplies. The company advertises the lowest price 110 percent guaranteed. So, do some price comparison shopping to guarantee you are getting the lowest price. We found 9" x 12" heavyweight construction paper 50-sheet packet for 95-cents on this site.
Creative Teaching Press advertises classroom learning decor and research based, teacher-tested products. This site even has links to free activities like directions to build a milk carton bird feeder. The Teacher Pro Shop in Mansfield, Ohio also offers free, monthly teaching resources. To sign up, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Smile Makers is trying to bring a smile to classrooms with stickers, toys, and other practical items like pens and pencils.
Corporations helping teachers teach
If you want to test new products and participate in Crayola events, you need to sign up with the Crayola Gold Star Teacher Program . There is also a generic Crayola site with lesson plans for various grade projects.
National Geographic has a similar program that offers a monthly newsletter for teachers including classroom activities and resources, new features, and educator opportunities. You have to sign up by email.
Many teachers belong to NEA , and the association offers members benefits at all sorts of stores from Target, JCPenney, Best Buy, or FedEx . NEA doesn't list its click and save benefits unless you register.
The Office Depot Star Teacher Program & Partner Program offers discounts for partner companies where you can order flowers, eat chicken, rent a car, or stay in a hotel.
Half Price Books offers a Teacher and Librarian Discount card that earns you 10 percent off. You need to bring a valid ID and proof of current employment such asa pay stub or employee ID card.
The Barnes & Noble Educator Program is a two year program that offers 20 percent off the list price for items Barnes & Noble considers suitable for classroom use. You can earn 25 percent off on Educator Appreciation Days. You must enroll in the stores, but the discount can be used online.
The Borders Classroom Discount Card gets you a25 percent discount in stores only.
Teacher EBooks Now offers downloadable teaching ebooks. This helps you avoid shipping costs. Most products are in PDF form so you just need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download. There are even some books that you can download for free .
At the Scholastic Teacher Store , we saw up to 40 percent savings off new Scholastic books.
If you are looking for manipulaitves and other hands on learning tools, ETA/Cuisenaire offers a low price guarantee. The website explains the policy as follows: "If you find an identical product advertised by any land-based, U.S. retail store or current catalog for less, give us the details and we will match the price-GUARANTEED!"
Academic Superstore , CampusTech , Gradware , journeyEd , and Software Express offer savings on well-known software products. We saw Microsoft Office Professional 2010 edition advertised for $99 on all the sites. Some of the websites advertise that as a $400 savings. Amazon sells it for $300, but just make sure you're getting an authentic copy of the software.
The Apple Store for Education and Hewlett-Packard Education Discount offer discounts for educational professionals, students, and parents. Apple even offers a discount for school board members and HP offers alumni a discount. There are limits on the number of products you can order each year, so don't expect to buy discounted computers for your entire class.
The A dobe Education Store advertises up to 80 percent off for student and teacher editions of software. College students, primary and secondary students, as well as teachers and staff are eligible for the discounts.