I tried a new strategy at our last Scholastic Book Fair. Our total sales increased AND our sales of books versus "stuff" increased.
Here's what I did.
About a month before the book fair I ordered about $20 worth of goodies from Oriental Trading Company (along with some decorative stuff to go along with the theme). I ordered the neon zoo animal pencil top erasers, the neon jelly bracelets, and the jumping frogs.
I put it all in a plastic bin, with a sign that said "buy a book, pick a prize!" So, as you might guess, whenever someone bought a book (not a hand pointer or highlighter or any of that stuff), he or she got to choose a prize from the "treasure box."
This was a big hit! The treasure box allowed students to buy a book (my goal, to get books into kids' hands) and still get some cheap plastic toy stuff too! Win-win!
Of course, I'm sure that you know that you are NOT allowed to SELL other stuff at your Scholastic Book Fair. That is a big no-no!
But the "gift with purchase" (a la Clinique) worked like a charm! I will definitely try this again at our next book fair!
Do you have any book fair tips or tricks to share?