I am a frequent Staples shopper. I go there for everything from printer paper to copies (very handily set up and ordered online) to ink to school supplies to home organization items. Frankly I don’t like shopping all that much. I know it’s hard to believe, but I don’t. I like getting things and having things but I don’t like the actual act of going to a store. So it’s a win for me when I can get as many things as possible in one place, and Staples is great for that.
Staples sent me a selection of their products, and even though I’ve been to the store more times than I can count, some of them were a complete surprise. For example the small electronics section is something that I usually skip. And honestly, even if I had seen this Omnitech Mini Speaker in the store, I would have passed right by it because what kind of speaker would actually work well for $9.99? But oh my God, I couldn’t believe the sound that came out of this little thing! Not only do I use it with my laptops (which are never loud enough when I’m watching Hulu), but I also use it with my Zune and my Droid (it has a rechargeable battery inside that you can charge up on your laptop via USB so that it has juice for the smaller electronics). Plus, I’ve been the hero at a couple of meetings already where the presenter thought that an entire table of people would be able to hear audio from laptop speakers. It’s so tiny and portable and the sound is great and did I mention it’s only $9.99?!?
The bright, colorful notebooks and binders are also items that I’ve pretty much ignored up until now, since my kids are in elementary school and still have supply lists filled with plain folders and those black-and-white marble notebooks. In fact, when my daughter saw these she was crushed that she wouldn’t be allowed to use them for school, so she uses them at home when she plays school (yes, she plays school, giving herself homework assignments that she does after her regular homework…I don’t know where she came from). The notebooks that I was sent are from a Staples line called DoSomething.org – Staples has teamed up with the popular social cause website to help teens fund volunteer and school programs. There are links and suggestions inside the notebooks to help teens get involved. So, you know, maybe when they’re not facebooking and texting and being cool and apathetic they can help somebody.
Staples has given me a $25 gift card to give away to a lucky reader. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me what you would buy at Staples with $25. Personally, I would buy two more of those Omnitech speakers for gifts, then some pens because I can never find a pen when I need one.
For a second entry, you may tweet about this contest with a link back to this page. Or, you can copy and tweet the following:
Want to win a #Staples gift card from @SelfishMom? Enter here: http://bit.ly/b1hIke
Make sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet, or it won’t count (instructions on how to find and post the url of your tweet can be found here).
So, that’s a maximum of two entries per household please! This contest will close at noon-ish on Wednesday, October 27th and the winners will be chosen by random.org. Prize can be shipped only within the continental United States. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. See my complete Giveaway Rules page for more information.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, Momtourage, and podcasts with The Blogging Angels.
Aug 27, 2009 What's Going On
I really don’t like school shopping. My son is entering third grade this year, so I’ve been through this enough times to know a few things for absolute certain:
- I will not be able to get everything at one store. No matter which ring I throw my hat into, that store will be out of at least one thing, and I will have to go to a second – or even a third – store.
- No matter what time of day I go, the store will be crowded, the lines will be long, and the cashiers will be harried.
- I will have to ask for help finding at least three things. I have no idea which aisle Post-It notes are in. Construction paper is never with the paper. Neither is loose-leaf.
- I will forget my cloth shopping bags and the folders will rip through the plastic bags.
- I will buy the high-quality name-brand supplies, while many other parents will go to The Dollar Store and buy the paper you can’t erase on and non-washable markers. Why do I care? Because the classroom shares almost all of the supplies.
- I will stare at the 10-pack of glue, calculating how much I would be saving if I were buying all of these supplies in bulk.
Well, the Kindergarten teachers have done this year what I’ve always thought all of the classes should do: they requested we bring in $30 per child and not buy any supplies ourselves. That way they can get exactly what they need, and save money by buying bulk. Hallelujah. I know I spent way more than $30 when my son was in Kindergarten. May all of the other grades follow their lead next year.
But that still left a bunch of supplies needed for my son. For the past few years I’ve been doing more and more of my shopping online. My groceries get ordered online, delivered to my door and carried upstairs. Impulse purchases have always been way too easy with Amazon Prime, but now I get all of our drug-store type supplies there and a lot of our non-perishable grocery supplies too. Zappos.com is a wondrous thing. Why has it never occurred to me to do back-to-school shopping online?
So, 90-minutes and five websites later, I’m done. After checking out shipping options and spot-checking a few prices, I settled on Amazon.com (choosing only from Amazon Prime items) and Staples.com (free shipping over $50 – since I needed printer ink, that was easy!). I know that I got the best prices I could have gotten online taking everything into consideration. Could I have done better in the store? Maybe. But I would have had to go to the store! Instead, I know that everything is in-stock, and it’s all going to be here more than a week before school starts. And I got to watch Daily Show reruns while I shopped.
Customer service has undoubtedly gone down (of course, so has the behavior of the customers). I have to pay to park at my local Target and I’m not even allowed to take the cart back to my car. Traffic in Brooklyn often sucks. I’m having a hard time justifying shopping offline anymore.
Aug 21, 2008 Contest/Giveaway
When I was at BlogHer last month in San Francisco, Norton had a booth set up to check the security on laptops. I didn’t end up having time to take them up on that, which is sad for me, because I missed out on something free. But it probably didn’t matter much, because I’ve had Norton 360 installed on my laptop since I got it. In fact, this is a weird confluence of free stuff: My own personal copy of Norton 360 was given to me by Staples, for free, before I had a blog to thank them on. I went to a Staples seminar on safety, and many different aspects of safety were covered: home safety, personal safety, and online safety (hence, the free copy of Norton 360).
This is a weird product to comment on/review because it’s kind of like birth control: it works great until it doesn’t, and then all of the greatness before that point ceases to matter. But I’ve been using Norton computer security products for a couple of years now, and I can happily say that I’ve never had a virus or any of the other bizarre, devastating things happen to my computer that I’ve heard about from other people. And, unlike some other security software I’ve used in the past, Norton doesn’t cause me any grief. It just runs. It doesn’t conflict with any of the other stuff going on. It doesn’t get in the way. It only pops up and bothers me when it has something really important to say. My children should be so considerate.
Anyway, at BlogHer, Norton was nice enough to give me four copies of their online security products: two copies of Norton 360 2.0 (which can be installed on up to three Windows computers running Vista or XP), each one an $80 value; and two copies of Norton Antivirus for Mac (which can be installed on one computer, running Mac OS X v10.4.10 or higher), each a $50 value. Each of these comes with a free one-year subscription. You need this! Don’t leave your computer unprotected!
To enter, leave a comment on this post stating two things: which prize you want to win (Windows or Mac), and whether or not you’re responsible about computer security (using an anti-virus program, backing up your hard-drive, etc.).
Please feel free to comment as many times as you like, but only one comment per person will count for the drawing. Winner will be chosen by Random.org. Prize can be shipped only to the United States, Canada, or Mexico. The contest will end at noon on Tuesday, August 26th.
Good luck, and may your computer be virus-free!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom