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Consumer ReportsIsrael's children go back-to-school. How much do school supplies cost?

Israel’s children go back-to-school. How much do school supplies cost?

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Last Updated on June 29, 2021

A 2  year price comparison school supplies for the 2017/2018 and  2018/2019 academic years

back to school 2Where is the best place to shop for school supplies? Are there any deals to be had?

It’s that time of year again when families are hitting the shopping malls and stores with their back-to-school lists. In 2015 the cost of an average shopping cart for school supplies was 400 shekels per pupil.

Four hundred shekels does not include the cost of a school bag, a desk and chair, books and school uniforms. You could easily be looking at 1,500 NIS+ outlay per child. If you are buying a computer or tablet, a printer or a phone for your child, you could be looking at an outlay of around 5,000 shekels.

Are there any real deals and ways to save money? Is you local Dollar Shop any cheaper than the large retailers like Krawitz or Office Depot or even your neighborhood stationery store? What about buying online?

With our list of common school items we did an online comparison between Krawitz and Office Depot. We also checked our local dollar-shop in Haifa.

Prices are accurate as of 9.08.2018. We cannot guarantee that on the actual date of purchase, these prices will be the same.

Dollar Shop Office Depot Kravitz
 Supplies 2017

Carmel

 2018

Hadar

2017 2018 2017 2018
Sellotape –   –  8  –   3.90/3 0.90
Document protector -50’s 7 12.90  14.90  – 15.90  9.90
Eraser 3  5/3  4.90 1.90 – 4.90  3.90/5 11.90/10 
Felt markers  –   10.90  11.90 11.90  10.90 – 43 8.90 – 43
Fine-liners 13/12  15.90/15  – 11.90/12  36  –
Fluorescent markers  –  7/4  14.90/4 14.90/4  16.90/6 15.90/4
Glue stick large 10  8  5 1.90  4.70 6.90 
Pastel crayons (Panda) 15  13 –   – 12.90 
Pen 8  6  –  89/10  4.90 -10.90 4.90-50/50
Pencil – mechanical –   10  4.90  4.90 5.90 – 11.90 7.90 -12.90  
Pencils x 12  7  15/24  3.00  –  5.90 5.90 
Pencil case 5  –  37.90 -54.90  24.90 – 49.90  17.90 – 45 15 – 49
Pencil crayons  15  10.90  –  2.90  – 7.90 
Pencil sharpener  –  5.90  4.90 -13.90 1.90 – 14.90  1 – 14.90 0.50 – 16.50 
Printer paper  22  –  15.00  –  15.90  17.90
Ruler –  30cm  7 plastic  4 3 4  1 1
Scissors 7.00  4  0.90 – 8.90  0.90 -8.90  3 -27.90 2.50 – 21.90 
White-out  –   3  6.90 6.90  6.90 6.90 
Notebooks
A5 – 40 pages (plain) 14/10   12/10  13.90/5 6.90/5  14.90/5  –
A5 – wire-bound – 1 subject 5.00  4  12.90 – 2 subjects 14.90/3  11 11.90-39.90
A4 – wire-bound – one subject 22/2  18/2  9.90  19.90/3  16.90/3 18.90/2
Notepad – Dafdefet A4 25/10  20/10  18.90/10  18.90/10  1.90 ea 1.50 ea 
Plastic covers for A5’s 8/10  3/5  3.00/10 9.90/10  3.90/10 9.90/50
Machberet Chachama  –  3  4.90 2.90  5.90 2.90
Files
Cardboard – 8cm  –  10.90 89.90/12 7.90  – 9.90 
Vinyl – 8cm 12  10.90   14.90  14.90  15.90 15
Branded – 8cm  –  –   24.90  24.90  14.90 – 4cm 27
Miscellaneous
Calculator (scientific)  –  25  48 59.90  20 – 180 49
Diary – weekly –   25-45  18.90 – 39.90 12.90 – 39.90  10 – 39 7 – 38
School Bags
Backpack 50 – 230   – 50 – 220   49 -389  170 – 320  49 -499

Rating the Online Shopping Experience

We’re giving each online shopping experience a rating out of five – with one being the worst and 5 being the best.  These were our criteria:

  1. Language options (Hebrew/English/Other)
  2. The website search facility
  3. Product range
  4. Clear categorizing of products
  5. Overall user experience
  • Both websites were in Hebrew only – minus one for that.
  • Searching the Kravitz website was easier than Office Depot
  • Both had a good range of products.  Kravitz had more branded items.
  • Items categories were clear, logical and well displayed in both sites
  • Kravitz offered the best user experience.  The Office Depot site has improved since our last comparison in 2017.

**** Krawitz gets 4/5

***  Office Depot gets 3/5

You must have a reasonable command of the Hebrew Language to use both websites.

Product Quality

There are considerable differences in the quality of many of the cheaper stationery items.  For example cheap pencils may snap into two or are difficult to sharpen.  Sharpeners too – you can waste a lot of pencil with a sharpener that doesn’t sharpen well. As for notebooks, cardboard covers vs. vinyl, the cardboard cover can tear easily.  Panda and quality wax crayons like Crayola do not leave flakes on the page and they won’t snap easily either.

Check before you buy that your purchases conform to an EU standard or the local Israeli Tav Teken.  This is especially important with items like a schoolbags.  There is no way that a 50 shekel school bag can offer the same strength of construction or orthopedic support as one that is priced at 250 shekels.

Does it pay to buy from big sites like AliExpress?

Not 100 per cent satisfied with our local options, we looked into the option of buying online from AliExpress.  Lots of cute novelty items to buy here; tortoise and rabbit shaped erasers or a Pokemon pencil case  5 dollars gets you a scientific calculator under the brand name of ‘Unwise’.  Hmmm, that could be a clue to an unwise purchase!

If you have the patience to sort through their product listings, you might find a few bargains.  Check quantities before you order and remember to allow a few weeks for delivery.

Just for comparison, Walmart in the USA has this to offer online:

$0.97 gets you a set of 12 Crayola colored pencils (on special offer)

$1.60 for a Pental polymer erasers

$2.15 for a pack of 1 Uhu glue stick – 21g

$4.50 for a spiral, one-subject, A4 notebook

$15.99 for a small Spiderman backpack.

$24.99 for a JanSport girls backpack

A Nike backpack starts at $40

Back to school bundles

First timers, don’t be tempted to purchase stationery items  that have been bundled together.  They make cute gifts from grandma but there is nothing worthwhile in them and you will still have to purchase dozens of other items as well.

Top Tips

  • Check before you buy. Over the years we have found many stationery items that are not clearly priced.  We wonder if this is the store’s tactic to get you to purchase items that you might not have, had the price been displayed or is the store just disorganized?
  • Remember if you are ordering online you should budget extra for delivery.
  • This is a difficult one, but if you can, leave small children at home when doing the ‘shop’.  We all know that their whining and nagging for cute pop items will land up costing us more than we budgeted for.
  • August and September are expensive months in Israeli households and our debt piles up.  Stick to your guns, try not to fall into the trap of buying everything your kids want as opposed to what they really need.
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