Friday, October 02, 2015

Saving money: Scholastic Book Club vs. Amazon

As a kid, I remember bringing home those Scholastic Book Club flyers and asking my parents to buy me some books.  I was an avid reader, even then, and have always tried my best to foster a love of reading (and thus learning) in both of my kids.  I love my Amazon Prime account because I can order books and get them within 2 days.  But I also really love a bargain.

My kids are book keepers -- that is, they don't mind borrowing from the library, but there are some series that they love so much that they want to own them.  Another aspect is that our library system sometimes has gaps in series and it's just easier to buy them as a boxed set once you realize that you're going to have to buy a few they don't have anyway.

In perusing the four (yes, four) Scholastic flyers my son brought home, I noticed some bargains.  I will also note, I also saw some titles that I knew were cheaper on Amazon outright, and even a tad cheaper in a Kindle book format.  So it does pay to compare prices on books.

Spirit Animals books:  Scholastic has 5 titles in paper back exclusives (Spirit Animals 1-5) at just $4 each, bought as a 5 paperback exclusive.   Hardcover on Amazon makes them about $10 each, give or take, but they ship free on Prime or you'll need to meet the minimum for Super Saver Shipping.  Buying these books through Scholastic in paperback saves you more than half off hard cover price.

Percy Jackson & Olympians/Lost Heroes:  Scholastic has all five books in paperback for $4 each, bought as a package costing $20 for all five.   Amazon has all five books in a box set for $21.08.  Only a dollar savings there, but if you have Prime, you'll get them super fast.  Lost Heroes are also book 1-4 for $5 each via the $20 pack in Scholastic's TAB, and Amazon has a boxed set of 1-3 for $17.72.  That would make Scholastic's deal a bit better price per book, aside from Amazon's boxed set being short #4.

Maze Runner books:  Maze Runner is popular among teens/tweens right now since the series is being made into movies.  Amazon has a set of all four Maze Runner books for $23.98 and  Scholastic had them in their TAB flyer for $9 each, so a significant savings if you bought them on Amazon.

Some considerations....

Amazon Prime will get you books faster than placing an order via your child's teacher.  Chances are, you aren't ordering a surprise gift for them via the book club.   However, you aren't paying shipping either.  If your child's teacher provides you with their Classroom ID code to use to order online, you'll still get the books you buy sent to their classroom (no shipping).  Ordering with your teacher's classroom code also means that your child's teacher receives credit for your order, which translates into free books for your child's classroom.  If you order off the regular Scholastic website, you may need to make a minimum purchase to receive free shipping, just as you would for Amazon if you were not a member of Prime.

Ordering books through Scholastic sometimes means little extras.  For instance, this month if you order via a flyer, your child will receive a Pokemon bookmark free.  Some books/booksets also come with extra trinkety type items (a necklace or keychain, for instance).  Amazon rarely does this, to my knowledge.

Are you an auntie or a grandma?  If you have the Classroom ID, you, too, can order online and have the books sent to your little one's classroom.  Do you have a teacher friend?  He/She may be willing to let you order gifts for your little munchkins via their account.  Also be aware that Scholastic holds book fairs at schools and you can arrange to shop there as well. 
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