Back to school trends

Back To School Sourcing Guide | Your Best Sourcing Strategy For The New School Year!

We know what you’re thinking- “it’s only July, why should I be thinking about back-to-school sourcing already?”. To that, we say – it’s never too early to plan for the success of your reselling business!

Similar to the traditional holiday shopping season, back-to-school (BTS) sourcing and selling should be planned far in advance. With nearly 61% of consumers taking advantage of 4th of July, and Labor Day sales, planning in advance will help you understand potential inventory costs, what customers will be looking for, and the type of inventory you’ll need.

Before you run out to stock up on school supplies, check out a few factors that can help set you up for major back-to-school selling success!

Understand Back to School Buying Behaviors

According to NRF Insights’ annual June survey, 64% of back-to-school shoppers are expected to be in class this year. It’s essential to understand the two specific phases of back-to-school buying behaviors; College and K-12.

Phase 1 (College)

Believe it or not, the focus on back-to-college shopping technically starts as early as April or May. During these months, parents and graduation gift-givers seek dorm-related items to stock up students for the coming school year. Phase 1 officially starts around mid-July and ends mid-to-late August, in line with most college move-in days.

Phase 2 (K-12)

This phase begins after July 4th and focuses on the kindergarten through high school crowd. Parents’ mindsets are all about outfitting their kids with the best clothes, tech, and supplies to start the new school year.

With two classes of students attending school for the first time in over a year, both college and K-12 supply sales are trending up this back-to-school season.

Schedule Your Sourcing

Leverage the two phases of back-to-school sourcing by focusing on items that are in high demand by those specific audiences.

In Phase 1, parents and college students are looking for:

  • Computers & Office: Laptops, printers, and tablets
  • Apparel & Accessories: Apparel, footwear, backpacks, and jackets
  • Health & Beauty: Shower caddies, hair care products, soap, makeup, personal care essentials
  • Home: Bedding, dorm décor, small space furniture, small kitchen appliances, lighting, storage & organization, bath towels, and accessories
  • General Merchandise: Books, luggage, pens, markers, and general school supplies

In Phase 2, in-demand items for K-12 students can include:

Be sure to source before each phase’s shopping window is in full swing. This will guarantee that you have time to properly list your items and get them in front of the best buyers. . In addition, BULQ is a great way to stock up large quantities of category-specific inventory, so start sourcing now!

Plan Your Promotional Strategy

Similar to every new season and quarter, setting yourself apart from the competition can be difficult. When sharing your listings, consider ways to make your store stand out.

  • Create back-to-school-themed promotions to offer deals and discounts on specific items.
  • If you have an email list, create a back-to-school newsletter to showcase your best items and promotions.
  • Consider bundling related items together (such as bedsheets and a comforter) to boost your average order value. You could also offer discounts on separate listings purchased together, such as 20% off lunchboxes with the purchase of a backpack.
  • Use social media to promote your back-to-school inventory. If you have specific promotions or special items, share them across your channels to let buyers quickly know about them.

Now that your business is in the best position to support college and K-12 students, this back-to-school season will be a breeze.

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