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One Teacher’s Trash is Another’s Treasure: Online Consignment Shops Allow Teachers to Swap Supplies

One Teacher’s Trash is Another’s Treasure: Online Consignment Shops Allow Teachers to Swap Supplies

Every school year brings new opportunities with it, and most teachers can agree that starting off with the right supplies makes a world of difference in greeting these new opportunities with confidence.

Unfortunately, most teachers can also agree that supplies carry hefty out-of-pocket expenses year-round. That’s why several teachers have decided to do something about it, which has led to the creation of several online consignment stores made specifically for teachers to buy and sell gently used supplies.

Hoot of Loot, for example, was created by veteran educator Cheryl Shane. Her 17 years of experience as an educator led her to believe in the growing need for a place to exist that allowed educators to buy cheaper supplies.

In 2010, Shane developed a marketplace that offers educators “no fees to list for sale used teaching supplies, overstock inventory, clearance items and returns and slightly damaged items.”

This year, a similar site launched called PasstheApple.com. Pass the Apple proudly offers educators 50-80% off supply prices by selling gently used products.

There’s also a lot of incentive for teachers looking to make extra money selling goods, as well.

"People who sell items on Pass the Apple are able to list as many items for sale as they like. There is no cap, no listing fees, and no transaction fees for the seller. When an item sells, the teacher who listed it gets 80% of the purchase price. That’s 20-50% more than they would earn at a consignment store,” the site says.

Like Hoot of Loot’s story, Pass the Apple was created by an educator who wanted to help her peers save money on the growing costs of supply expenses.

Yolanda Terry created Pass the Apple "as a way to connect teachers directly with one another and to give them a means to support each other’s classrooms, regardless of school district, federal funding, or state boundaries.”

The goal of this site and others is to try and help drive down the average yearly out-of-pocket expenses that teachers pay, which is currently estimated to be over $500.

Education World would like to know: Have you used online consignment stores to get your supplies? Take our poll below.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/8/2016

Have you used online consignment stores to get your supplies?

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