Monday, July 16, 2012


WARNING: this post is loooonnng and math is not my strong point so my #'s may be off a little. ______<----(Insert huge sigh here) I knew it was going to happen. For all good things must come to an end. Staples has officially changed their "teacher rewards" program to one, that at the moment, has the masses in an uproar. Last year the rewards program consisted of the following: During "Extreme Deals" ( 1 cent, 25 cent, 50 cent, etc) teachers were able to purchase a maximum of 25 items at the extreme deal price with a minimum $5 purchase. So for instance, if pocket folders were on sale for .01, teachers could get 25 of those for the extreme deal price plus the minimum $5 purchase. The total would come to $5.25 before taxes. Add to that the extra 15% discount if you had a savings pass ( savings passes cost $10 and can be used 1x per day between July and September) and lets just say that this bargain was amazing! Now imagine being able to spend $5 and get a 25 folders, packs of pencils, glues, sharpeners, etc for .01.....see where I'm going with this? A teacher could literally supply their classroom for about $10. Great deal right? We all thought so. Now if you weren't a teacher, the deals changed a little. If you're a parent, you could purchase folders at .01, but it would have been a limit of 2, plus the $5 minimum purchase. Any extra folders that you bought after the limit cost the full price (and the same worked for teachers. If we purchased more than 25 we had to pay full price for the extra). So let's say the extreme deal is .01 for folders, limit 2 and the regular price is $1. If a parent were to buy 10 folders, the first two would be .01 but the rest would be $1. So the total price for a parent would come up to $8.02 + $5 minimum purchase=$13.02 before taxes and there would be no extra 15% off (savings passes were only available to teachers). This is why teachers were SO excited about Staples "extreme deals".  How many parents do you know can afford to spend over $13 for FOLDERS?! Imagine paying that PER CHILD! Being the giving people that we are, teachers tried to pick up the slack knowing that for about $10 we could make sure that our students had everything they needed. ______<----(Insert huge sigh here) Staples changed their rewards for teachers this year. Teachers can still purchase items at the "Extreme Deal" price, but we now have the same limits as everyone else. We can still purchase up to 25, but everything after the limit is full price, we have to pay the money upfront and it will go on our rewards card. Here's the scenario: There is still a minimum $5 purchase before we can even get the extreme deals. So again, folders are .01, but the extreme deal limit is two. The regular price is $1. So if a teacher wanted to buy a class set of 25, we would get the first two folders for .01 and the other 23 would cost $1 each. Don't forget that minimum $5 purchase. Total cost for a teacher now would be $28.02 plus 15% off if you have a savings pass. This is why the masses are in an uproar.    Now for teachers, the amount over the limit price would go on to our rewards card to be used at a later date (the rewards would show up about a month later). Roughly $23 would be in rewards cash/credit to be used at Staples at a later date (subtract the $5 min purchase and the 2 folders you got for .01...that doesn't count towards rewards). I'll let that sink in for a minute ..…..................................... So yeah. Basically, we teachers have to pay full price upfront, but we get the money back a month later in rewards cash. And every teacher needs school supplies a month AFTER school has started right? Right. There's talk about boycotts, teachers are petitioning, people have emailed the President/CEO of Staples, and Staples employees are bearing the brunt of the anger. Most teachers have no idea that the rewards have changed and don't find out until they're in line checking out. Once anger ensues, the store clerks are left with baskets full of supplies to restock. But, honestly, I get why Staples changed their policy and I understand it completely...hear me out please. Many teachers AND parents abused this rewards deal and to the company, it probably seemed as though Staples lost revenue, rather than gained (overall they didn't...but I don't want to get into that). I have witnessed first hand many teachers coming in and making the minimum $5 purchase, get 25 of each extreme deal, paying, putting the items in their car and coming RIGHT back in the store to do the same thing over again. So while teachers were getting great bargains on supplies, Staples was essentially losing out on profit. Also, and I'm not sure about every store in the US, but, every Staples I went to never checked ID. If I said I was a teacher, they believed me and never questioned it. So if you were a parent and knew this.......yeah. "Back to School" was the busiest time of year for Staples and I'm sure employees and managers voiced their opinions about how they were getting "cheated" out of revenue, especially with customers making multiple transactions and let's face it...they were, during that time, just not as a whole. In my personal situation, the new Staples policy doesn't benefit me at all. Yes, I'll admit I only shopped at Staples for the extreme deals. I never abused the rewards in one day, but I did go back day after day to get that extra 15% off that I paid for. I mean, the supplies weren't for me, they were for my class and I also donated to needy families at my church. Working in a low economic area/district, it's absolutely heartbreaking to see children come to school with no supplies because their parents were scraping the bottom of the barrel to buy them decent clothes, shoes, and necessities. Since I was a teacher and could get great deals, why not help out where I could? As for me, I went out of my way to shop at Staples. The closest location to me is about 20-25 minutes away depending on traffic. However, there are several big box and brand name stores that offer teacher rewards and do price matching all within a 5 mile radius of my home. So, I definitely won't be going extra miles out of my way to purchase items from Staples.  Now after that long post, tell me how YOU feel? Do you support Staples decisions? Are you on the fence? Or are you apart of the mass that is currently in uproar?

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