Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cheap Plastic Goodies at Scholastic Book Fair

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?

14 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I was just planning to order some book fair decorations from Oriential Trading today. One question: Did you give a prize for each book purchased? I can see some of my students buying one book at a time to get more prizes.

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    1. I said "when you buy books, you get a prize" verbally. If a parent came in and bought books for three kids, I gave out three prizes. If a student came in and bought books for himself, I gave him one prize. I did have some repeat customers, but I don't think they were trying to outsmart the prize box. I think they just wheedled some more money from their parents. I hope you have great success with your book fair!

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  2. Wow! This is an AWESOME idea! I tried a couple new things out at out book fair this year, but also had some revelations that will probably keep me from hosting our next book fair (leave it for the PTA to head up).

    I'd love for you to check it out on my blog: http://www.busylibrarian.com/2012/02/results.html

    Thanks for sharing such amazing ideas. You're an asset to our profession!

    - Matthew

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    1. Matthew, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Your blog is already on my "favorite blogs" list, and I stop by often. Keep up the good work you're doing! I'll stop by and comment on your book fair post.

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  3. Your blog is hands down the most useful and practical school library resource I've ever laid eyes on! Please keep it coming!!! Love it...

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    1. Amanda,
      WOW! Thanks so much for your encouraging words! I hope you'll subscribe by email so you won't miss any of my posts. I really love what I do, and I love thinking of new ideas and collaborating with other enthusiastic librarians like YOU!
      Cari

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  4. Hey there! Surprise ... I nominated you for an award. Come on over to www.librarypatch.com to check it out. There are some crazy rules for accepting it. And quite honestly, you won't hurt my feelings at all if you choose not to follow through by naming five other bloggers. I just thought that I would take this opportunity to showcase some fellow elementary school bloggers. Happy Sunday!

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    1. Sonya, I passed the award along. Thanks for thinking of me! I hope you had a happy Sunday too!

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  5. Cari, thanks for sharing your good ideas. Our book fair is starting Monday. I am always trying to figure out the best way to manage all the non-book stuff that comes from Scholastic. Great idea!

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    1. My pleasure! And it's not "stealing;" it's collaborating! :D

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  7. Have you tried just saying "it is a BOOK fair and we are here to buy books." I am at an elementary school and I
    Simply state that students must buy their books first and then if they have any extra money they can use it on junk (if they push they must have books in greater or equal proportiOn to the junk). Yes I have to keep on top
    Of a few but I have never had a parent complain and it simply works well.

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  8. What a great idea! Thank you for writing such a wonderful blog. You have been like a mentor to this new librarian.

    Sheila

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    1. Sheila,
      Thanks for your positive comment! Keep me posted on your first year in the library.

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