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Annual Teacher Shopping Survey from SheerID and Agile Education Marketing Reveals Teachers Spend More than 10% of Salary on Classroom Supplies

Eugene, OR — August 8, 2017 — For the fourth consecutive year, SheerID and Agile Education Marketing have surveyed hundreds of K-12 teachers across the United States to better understand how and when they shop, what they shop for, and how much they spend, which this year, turned out to be nearly 11% of their paychecks. The survey data included responses from 674 teachers who shared insights from the 2016-2017 school year, highlighting the dependence on teacher-specific discounts to save money, as well the correlation between loyalty and brands that recognize teachers throughout the year.

On average, data showed that teachers spend 10.8% of their personal paychecks on classroom expenses such as classroom supplies and instructional materials. When asked to estimate the dollar amount, teachers reportedly spent an average of $468 of their own money on classroom supplies this year, with 77% spending at least $200 annually. This number is just $20 less than in 2016, and some teachers reported spending as much as $5,000, up almost $1,000 from last year.

To get a better idea of whether or not this spending was centered around key times like back-to-school, teachers were asked how often they shop for their classrooms. Results showed that more than one third of teachers (36%) shop every few months, while 28% shop every single month. 22% noted they shop only before the school year starts. As such, businesses that offer teacher discounts year-around tend to be most popular with teachers. Office Depot, Lakeshore, Staples, and Amazon each were highlighted as the most popular retailers to shop with specifically because they offer teacher discounts.

“Though we’ve seen average spending slightly decrease year-over-year, it’s clear that teachers are still spending a significant amount of their personal money on funding classroom supplies and materials almost every month,” said Jenny Schumacher, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Agile Education Marketing. “Retailers should understand that back-to-school shopping isn’t the only time teachers are looking for discounted pricing, and that offering deals year-around will only increase loyalty to their brands.”

Mirroring their affinity toward discount pricing, teachers noted that they are 96% more likely to purchase from a company that offers a teacher discount online than one that doesn’t. However, the size of the discount continues to matter, and it is growing in importance. 83% of this year’s respondents said that a discount of 25% will get their attention, a 5% increase from 2016. However, just 39% of these teachers are currently enrolled in discount programs, down a full 20% from the previous year. This could signal the need for simpler redemption methods than requiring program membership.

“Teachers obviously respond well to brands that offer them discounts, however, it’s time for brands to explore what other exclusive benefits they could offer to their teacher customers across all of their channels,” said Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID. “We’ve seen how our clients’ programs have benefited teachers all over the country, and how creating a variety of benefits that are simple to take advantage of can make all the difference.”

When teachers were asked what typically made them abandon online purchases, 27% said a complicated checkout process. 41% will abandon a purchase if they have to pay for shipping, which suggests that retailers should explore alternatives to discounts, like offering free shipping, to encourage loyalty.

To see the complete set of survey results, go to or view the infographic.

SheerID’s teacher verification solution is used by both large and small brands to bring protected offers to teachers during the back-to-school season and all year around. To see a full list of companies that use this solution and to read case studies of its applications, visit You can also visit the newly launched, a one-stop shop for discounts, offers, and giveaways created exclusively for educators from brands such as Costco, TOMS, and dozens more.

For more information about SheerID, please visit or follow @SheerID on Twitter or Facebook at

About SheerID

SheerID’s instant eligibility verification solutions ensure margin and profit protection for enterprise and SMB clients while also making personalized marketing programs scaleable. By instantly verifying consumers’ eligibility against authoritative data, SheerID delivers a seamless customer experience without interrupting the shopping process. Backed by Voyager Capital, the SheerID verification solution helps clients, including Spotify, The PGA TOUR, and Foot Locker, protect their exclusive offers to high value customer segments such as military, students, and teachers. Verification is available across multiple channels, including online, in-store, via mobile device, or over the phone, all while still keeping customer information safe and secure. SheerID’s verification services can be configured for any e-commerce website, internal customer sales/support system, mobile application, or POS system.

About Agile Education Marketing

Founded in 2009, Agile Education Marketing is an innovative education information firm that supports the marketing initiatives of businesses selling products and services to pre-K – 12 and higher education institutions and personnel. Agile’s at-school and at-home mailing and email lists, coupled with their knowledge and insight, help education businesses improve their marketing results and maximize their marketing investments. For more information about Agile and their partners, visit Follow @AgileEd on Twitter or Facebook at

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