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Shopping Tips

Best Value #2 Wooden Pencils for Back To School

It is back to school time and that means time to stock up on school supplies. Of course, you will find the classic #2 wooden pencil on the supply list of nearly every classroom out there. So, we thought we would help out by giving you our buying guide on how to find the best value on #2 wooden pencils.

But first, some fun facts

Fun Pencil Facts

  • There are an estimated 2 billion wooden pencils made every year, the vast majority being #2
  • Dixon Ticonderoga is the world’s largest pencil manufacturer, producing ~1.5 billion pencils each year (source)
  • A single standard size pencil can draw a line 35 miles long (source)
  • Before erasers were invented, bread crumbs were used to erase mistakes (source)
  • There are over 2,000 search results for Pencils on Amazon

How much can you save buying pencils?

The most interesting fact for us is the disparity in the prices. Online, we see prices that range from just over $0.06/pencil to $1.00/pencil for what appear to be nearly the same #2 wooden pencils. It is pretty common to find them for $0.15-$0.20/pencil. To put that in perspective, if the average pencil sells for $0.15/pencil, but with a smarter shopping strategy you could get them for $0.10/pencil, then the families/schools/businesses of the world could collectively save 100 million dollars! That is a lot. Of course, each of us only saves a small amount, but still!

To make sure you are getting the best price, we have three recommendations:

Buy at a local store

In all of our price comparisons, we found the cheapest place to buy pencils is finding a local Wal-Mart where we have seen them for ~$0.04/pencil vs a typical price of about $0.15/pencil online. But, if you like the convenience of buying online and willing to pay just a little more, then read on.

Buy in bulk

We found that many of the bulk packs have the best price per unit. They come in quantities of 144 – 1000 pencils and can often be found for $0.06/pencil. This quantity is often too many for any one household, but maybe going in with friends or as a classroom and splitting the cost might be worth it. Use the $100 savings to have an ice cream party!

Time the market

Prices fluctuate like crazy online and buying “out of season” can often save you a lot of money. We have included below our top recommendations for buying pencils. We update the list below multiple times a day so you can check back frequently and see if there are better prices for you.

Also, keep in mind that it may be a huge bonus to you if they come pre-sharpened!

We hope you find this buying guide useful. Happy back to school shopping!

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Also, if you are a website owner and interested in displaying this or a similar list of products on your website, please contact us at [email protected]

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Shopping Tips

Eliminate Trustbusters and Optimize your Page

40% of product detail pages on Amazon are not reaching their full potential. We reviewed 50+ best-selling products and saw that nearly half have at least one trustbuster on their page. Trustbusters will lose you sales day in and day out. But you can easily fix them.

As ex-Amazonians, we have a unique knowledge of how customers shop eCommerce. If you want to increase your sales on Amazon or any eCommerce platform – start with two objectives: focus on customer trust and make the shopping experience as simple and clear as possible. Customers want a low risk transaction that requires minimal effort to understand the core shopping questions – what is this product, is it the one for me, and how do I get it?

Eliminate all Trustbusters

Customers are wary of eCommerce transactions – every pixel they see increases or reduces their trust in the transaction as safe and low risk. 

What is a trustbuster? A trustbuster is anything that leaves the customer wary or confused with your product. Many SKU’s on Amazon shoot themselves in the foot and lose sales because of bad images, confusing titles, and poorly written product descriptions. Customers prefer a clean, beautifully merchandised display over a cluttered disorganized showroom – whether brick & mortar or online. Absurdly long titles, exaggerated claims, and low-quality images all indicate to a customer that this is high risk transaction.

Don’t sabotage your sales – invest in images, shorten your titles, focus your product descriptions, and create enhanced content.

Images

Pictures are a powerful tool to quickly answer the customers question of what your product is. Create a gallery of images that highlight the product; show the product in context and how it fits into the overall brand line. Videos of the product in use are worth considering – how many unboxing videos are out there being watched?  Put your best videos in the product gallery.

We recommend you photograph every angle of the product and ensure the shopper knows what the product will look like. You should also be sure to provide images of your product in natural settings where it will be used; if that is in the kitchen, then show your product sitting on the countertop. Photographing the product where it will be used will give the shopper a better idea of its actual size and what it will look like in real life. Lastly, avoid computerized images! Of course, use your best judgement, but remember that computerized images can be trustbusters.

If all the customers saw was an image gallery – would they have a great answer to what the product is and whether its right for them?

Title

The title of your product must be clear. Many titles on eCommerce websites are cluttered and long. Take a step back and simplify it. Using lO is not customer focused. A commonly held belief is that long and keyword optimized titles help with SEO – this is not customer focused, and it is a trustbuster. Remember, all of the keyword content you are flooding your title with is in your product details – search engines will find it, focus on gaining the customers trust.

Instead of inserting as many words into the title as possible, simplify it by simply including, in this order, the brand name, the official name of the product, and perhaps the top 2-3 features relevant to the type of product (I.e. Brand Name Button Down Men’s, No Iron Athletic Fit Dress Shirt). With a clear title, the customer will know what your product is and will feel more assured in their purchase. They will find the rest of the details when they want them, in the product description.

Product Details

Again, simplicity is key! The product details section to the right of the images needs to be clean and easily readable. Capitalizing, boldening, underlining, and bracketing only confuses the customer, or they ignore it altogether!

We also recommend you tone down the sales lingo; be sure to inform them of your products’ key features, but do not bombard them with an essay screaming the product benefits. The best way to use this space is to keep your bullets short and to the point. Do this by anchoring the customer at the beginning of the bullet with what your product offers. Look at all the comments in customer reviews to see what customers want other customers to know.  Consider lifting this information to the product details.

Enhanced Content

While many customers do not scroll down to the enhanced content section on an Amazon product details page, you still have a great opportunity to optimize this section and provide additional information about your product in more detail.

Instead of simply copying in a basic product description, take some time to create graphics that depict additional features and benefits of your product. Graphic overlays and text boxes work excellently here. Get creative and shine a bright light on your product! This section in the product details page is also your prime opportunity to depict your brand personality. Consider decomposing this content into smaller pieces that can also be used in the product image gallery.

Safe & Simple Shopping

As you optimize your product images, clean up your product titles, simplify your product details section, and get creative with your enhanced content, you will eliminate trustbusters and your sales will increase! Don’t do it just once, treat your page like a showroom. Keep it updated with periodic reviews and testing. Try new images and product bullets to keep the page fresh and engage customers in a new way.

Our combined 25 years at Amazon taught us a great deal about tried and tested best practices. Trust us and optimize your product listing page.

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Shopping Tips

How do I submit my Amazon Wish List?

Remember the Kitchen Aide Standing Mixer you wanted for Christmas last year? Maybe the new Hydro Flask water bottle you could never justify purchasing? Perhaps you are waiting for a reason to upgrade your laptop or tablet? Or you simply want a new portable Bose speaker?

Unfortunately, there are always purchases we want to make, but we wait for someone to gift it, or for the price to drop enough to indulge. Either way, your Wish List does not have to remain in your imagination! Let Price Tempter track prices for you and notify you when there are significant price drops for the products you want.

Before Price Tempter can start tracking prices for you, you need to add all of the products you have been waiting to buy or receive as a gift to your wish list. This includes the: standing kitchen aide mixer, cordless Dyson vacuum, portable Bose speaker, desktop monitor, laptop, baby stroller, hydro flask, or even a quilt – wherever the wind blows you! Let your imagination run wild and add anything you may need or want in the future and find yourself ahead of the game in knowing when prices drop.

You will never regret being prepared – and may I add – aware of great deals! But after you have idealized your wish list, you need to take action.

Steps to create a wish list on Amazon and submit it to Price Tempter

  1. Go to Amazon and scroll over your “Account & Lists”.
  2. You can “Create a List” or edit an existing one.
  3. Once you have created a list, browse for products you want to purchase in the future. Consider products you will need and want.
  4. If you know you will need a new vacuum for your house or apartment, try searching for “dyson cordless vacuum cleaner”.
  5. Click on one of the search results and review the product details page. On the right side of the page below the buy box, you can add the product to a list – add the vacuum to whichever list you want tracked by Price Tempter.
  6. Continue shopping! Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you have added everything you may need or want to your wish list.
  7. Navigate to Price Tempter.
  8. Click on the “Your Account & Login” icon in the top right corner of the page.
  9. Follow the instructions outlined on the page by first clicking on your wish list.
  10. Tap “Send list to others” link on the top right of the wish list page. (On mobile, tap “…” icon first.)
  11. Click “view only” and then “copy link”.
  12. Paste the link into the box on the right and submit.

Submitting your wish list is easy and takes no longer than a couple minutes! The time-consuming part is figuring out all of the products you need and want – but if we are being honest, the latter is more fun!

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Shopping Tips

All You Need Is Price Tempter and Patience

There are a few kinds of Amazon shoppers: Diligent Dan, Hopeless Hannah, and Smart Sally. While there is no right way to shop on Amazon, we believe there is a best way with Price Tempter.

Diligent Dan

Diligent Dan knows the ins and outs of ecommerce. He knows where to check for the best deals and knows when and why prices are dropping. He often finds himself thinking, “I am an expert Amazon shopper. I know where to cross-reference prices and which plugins to use. I may spend hours monitoring prices, but it pays off”

Is Diligent Dan going overboard? Perhaps. If you are a Diligent Dan, there is hope. Free up hours of your time and head over to Price Tempter – we will do the heavy lifting for you.

Hopeless Hannah

Hopeless Hannah cannot be bothered finding deals on Amazon. She wants to place her order and move on. She firmly believes, “In my case, the products I am shopping for are rarely discounted, so it does me no good to be patient shopping on Amazon.”

Hannah may feel there is no hope, but there is. For almost every product on Amazon, you can expect the price to fluctuate. We currently see select wireless earbuds discounted up to 64%! Become a Hopeful Hannah and let Price Tempter notify you of price drops on your wish list!

Smart Sally

Smart Sally joined the Price Tempter family early on and has seen consistent savings since. Price Tempter tracks the prices of her Amazon wish list and other lists she subscribes to. Smart Sally waits patiently for Price Tempter to notify her of ‘Go For It’ recommendations and then makes her purchase.

How can you be like Smart Sally? It is easy.

  1. Go to Price Tempter and create an account linked to your email account.
  2. Submit your Amazon wish list to Price Tempter and we will track the prices and make recommendations on when is best to buy.
  3. Subscribe to other Price Tempter lists like Top Rated Apple Products and receive notifications for them as well.
  4. Purchase whatever and whenever you want and save money!
  5. Spend less time searching for deals and more time with your family and friends.

Be like Smart Sally. Save money. Save time. Save sanity. Most importantly, be patient and use Price Tempter.

Subscribe to Price Tempter today.

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Shopping Tips

All You Need To Know About Warehouse Deals

Amazon Warehouse Deals account for over 47% of our ‘Go For It’ recommendations on Price Tempter and the average discount for a Warehouse Deal is over 36%! Trouble is, after clicking on Amazon, the product is marked as ‘Used’. Buying used products can be risky and returning product can be a hassle!

But here’s the ‘Go For It’ level good news: Amazon Warehouse resells product at a huge discount because they were returned with minimal – if any – use! Amazon is simply reselling millions of like-new, open-box, and pre-owned items at a significant discount. The original owner either changed their mind, were dissatisfied, or realized the product wasn’t what they expected, and sent it back. Cheers to your lucky day!

Let’s take a look at a Samsung Galaxy S10+. This product has been on the market for about a year (released in March 2019) and while many consumers have bought the phone, others have changed their mind and returned it. The Unlocked Cell Phones list on Price Tempter shows the Samsung Galaxy S10+ discounted at 30% (as of May 22, 2020). A new, ‘unused,’ Samsung Galaxy S10+ available on Amazon is only discounted 18%. Here is a prime example of a Warehouse deal selling the phone in ‘Used – Like New’ and ‘Used – Very Good’ condition for a bigger discount. Talk about a great deal!

But what does that really mean?  What does ‘Used – Like New’ mean versus ‘Used – Acceptable’ really mean? Since the product has already been in the hands of another owner, Amazon cannot resell the product as ‘New’. To help with accurate labeling,  Amazon developed a set of criteria to assist in determining the returned product’s condition as either: Renewed, Used – Like New, Used – Very Good, Used – Good, Used – Acceptable.

  1. Renewed: These items have been inspected and tested by Amazon and work like new. These products may come repackaged but will include all accessories.
  2. Used – Like New: An item in perfect working condition. Original protective wrapping may be missing. But the product was returned with minor defects.
  3. Used – Very Good: An item has cosmetic damage or blemishes, shows slight signs of use, has minor accessories missing, or the packaging has been replaced to better protect the item.
  4. Used – Good: An item has large cosmetic damage or blemishes and/or missing accessories. It is also possible the packaging has been replaced to better protect the item.
  5. Used – Acceptable: The item shows signs of wear including scratches, dents, and other aesthetic problems. The packaging may have been replaced to better protect the item, manuals may be missing, and the item may contain third-party attachments.

Next time you are shopping on Amazon and see a Warehouse Deal, do not hesitate to consider it! The savings are huge, and the product is more than likely in great condition. Amazon maintains a 100% customer satisfaction rate so buying from ‘Warehouse Deals’ is of no concern. But if you still have apprehensions, head over to Price Tempter and see if the product is reasonably priced. If it is, we’ll tell you to “Go For It!”