Personal Finance

Back-to-School Shopping with Visa

Disclosure: I received a prepaid Visa gift card to facilitate this posts. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

It seems Back-to-School sales are everywhere! I’m noticing lots of blog posts to help parents get prepared for the big day and sales at stores I frequent both in store and online. I’ve been picking up supplies here and there so I can avoid one big trip (and expense) all at one time! In fact, I bought too much stuff last year so there wasn’t as much to buy this year.

Visa Canada has just released its annual Back-to-School spending survey that showcases consumer online purchasing trends and behaviours during this busy time of year. Highlights from the survey are as follows:

  • Canadians are being more frugal this year in their back-to-school shopping, and are looking online for better prices and deals
  • 90% of Canadian shoppers will be setting a back-to-school budget
  • 87% of shoppers surveyed admitted to “showrooming” – looking at items in store before buying them for less online

I fit the bill for all three of these behaviours. Every year I’m becoming a more savvy online shopper and have a number of sites I frequent because of the great prices, fast and free shipping and selection they offer. I notice that I will often look in stores before I check the price online to compare which is the better deal. This behaviour applies to every larger purchase I make and not just for back-to-school shopping.

One of the stores I checked out online for school supplies is Staples. I’m a repeat customer and love that they offer free shipping, speedy delivery and I don’t have to drive an hour to get to the store! It’s so much more convenient to shop in the comfort of my own home. I also like the security of paying with my Visa Card online. Visa cardholders shopping online can count on several layers of security to protect them including Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, Verified by Visa®, E-Promise, AVS (Address Verification Service) and CVV2 (the three-digit code). Plus, I’m earning rewards on every dollar I spend with my Visa card!

If you prefer to shop online using existing funds or don’t have a traditional credit card, Visa Debit offers a safe and convenient alternative.

I ended up purchasing the 3M™ Gel Mouse Pad Wrist Rest at Staples online with a Visa Gift Card that was provided to me by the PR firm for Visa Canada. It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow so I don’t have a picture of it yet, but you can check out the link to see what it looks like. We don’t have a good mouse pad for our family desktop computer that the kids use. I liked that this particular one focuses on comfort and extends the life of your wireless mouse up to 75%.  I decided to purchase it online because it would save me the 50 km trip to the nearest Staples store in New Minas. With the savings on gas and free shipping, I’m saving money on this particular purchase!

I also did a little back-to-school shopping at our local Walmart in Greenwood, NS. It’s only a 15 minute drive from us and we shop here several times a month. When I walked into the store, I was greeted by aisles and aisles of school supplies! We went early on a Saturday morning to beat the crowds.

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There was some pretty crazy deals! Lined paper is only 15 cents (regularly $1).

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I picked up some printer paper, lined paper, pens, Sharpies and some blank ink for the printer with my prepaid Visa card. I’m almost set!

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Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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