Shopping for In-School Holiday Gift Shop Yourself Vs. Hiring Fun Services

Do you enjoy going to the Shopping Districts in Los Angeles? LA shopping hot spots include The Fashion District, The Santee Alley, and Financial District of Downtown to name a few. Sounds like a great time to get your holiday gift shop committee together and make a date to shop and enjoy the city’s diversity. There are so many stores to go through; you can spend days and not see it all. You can find great deals at those locations and if you like to haggle, then that is the place to be.

If that sounds like fun to you, then you are also probably great about shopping year-round at stores such as Walmart and Target, looking for clearance items. You may be the type of person that takes pride in getting the best deal possible and will visit a variety of stores based on specials of the day or coupons. You may go to one store for milk, another for eggs, and another for produce all in a single day. You are organized and a great negotiator. You are the best friend of whoever is responsible for the budget for each event or purchase for the school because they are confident that you have exercised all options and will save the organization the most money.

As the American lifestyle gets busier and busier, you may have less and less committee members available to share in your shopping experience. As schools become more crowded, the space available to store the items may be limited. As the number of parent volunteers decreases, it may be more difficult to find volunteers to help you sort and price each item.

As this happens, planning a holiday gift shop for your school as a fundraiser or family fun event, may sound like more work than it’s worth.

If you have noticed this change, it may be time for you to contract with a company such as Fun Services to provide all of the gift items.

Below are 5 reasons why:

Save Time – We know that many people love to shop and what fun it is to shop with someone else’s money. Have you calculated the hours running from store to store? If you shop in one day, then you are a super shopper and you have the system down. If you make several trips and stops at your local retailers, you are spending a lot of time even if you are already at the store to shop for personal items. Then calculate the time to organize and price each item. Do you use a standard markup based off of your purchase price, or do you look at each item and mark it up to how much you think it will sell for? I bet that decision process alone for each individual item can take a while, especially if you have help by committee members that may disagree with the value of each item. After pricing, you need to label each item or sort them by price.

Fun Services delivers the products to you. We have searched the globe for the best deals, researched and tested what types of items the kids would buy for friends and family and have followed the latest trends. We take the guess work out of your purchases. After we deliver your merchandise, you set it up on the tables in the room you designated to hold your shop, place the pre-printed price labels next to each item, put back stock under the tables, set out your cash registers given to you, and you are ready to go.

Save Money – Do you have a wholesale license to help you get the best deal on products? How do you know if you have priced the items too high or too low? Do you know how many of each item will sell in your shop? What if you think an item is a hot seller but it doesn’t sell? Can you return the items? Are the items that don’t sell taken as a loss against your profit? What happens to items that you pull out of their packaging that are broken?

Fun Services has been in business for almost 50 years working with the same wholesalers and have negotiated prices far below retail price. We also offer schools all of the products on consignment so the school isn’t charged for items not sold. In addition, we offer schools daily reorders. If you get low on an item, send us a list and quantities and we will deliver them to you the next morning at no additional cost. If an item happens to be broken in the packaging, set it aside and we will send a new one with your reorder.

Save on Promotional Materials and Supplies – Do you have someone on the committee to design and print the promotional letters that go home with each student? Do you have a banner to place in front of the school reminding families about the sale? Who prints the price tags? The design of the holiday gift shop is that students can make purchases without their parents’ help so they can surprise them with gifts. Do you have gift bags or wrapping paper for the students so they can wrap their gifts?

Fun Services provides the promotional letters/flyers that go home with the students announcing the shop and the details. The letters are available in both English and Bilingual(English/Spanish). There is also room on the back to copy all of your dates, times and room numbers. The students will also receive envelopes to hold their shopping money. On the back side, it has spots available to list family and friends’ names they would like to shop for, the amount of money they can spend per person, and a total. Fun Services provides all of the price tags to set next to each item, two aprons for volunteers, and cash registers already pre-programmed with the prices for each item. What the kids love the most is that we provide self-sealing gift bags. The student can place each gift in individual bags, seal the bag, and write who it is to and from before they walk out the door.

Incentives – Each school receives a $1 value box and every item in that box sells for a dollar, but has a value of much higher. Based on your sale, you can earn an Amazon Echo, 32” TV, Kindle Fire Tablet, playground balls or a tub of pencils. In addition, as soon as you sign up you are automatically entered into a raffle. Each month, prizes are given away to the schools. The prize for June was 2 Sets of Corn Hole/Tic Tac Toe Games; September is an Amazon Echo; October is a Kindle Fire Tablet. If you don’t win one month, your raffle ticket is carried over to the next month.

Accounting & Security – National Parent Teacher Association is now watching receipts more closely and are limiting the quantity and quality of receipts submitted for reimbursement. Shopping over an extended period of time at a variety of stores can be an accountant’s nightmare. Many receipts fade, names of the items on the receipt can be vague, and receipts from some smaller stores are even more basic with little to no details. In addition to the difficulty in accounting for each purchase on a receipt, it is difficult to monitor the items purchased. Where can the merchandise be stored and who is to monitor the products and match them up to each receipt? What happens to the products not sold? Do they roll over to the next year? Do they have a risk of getting lost or thrown away if stored for another year? What do you do with items that were returned and were they returned before reimbursement was received? What happens to items or money for items that are broken, lost, or stolen?

With Fun Services No County Inventory Program, you receive a contract, a price sheet, and a set mark-up price that you determine. No money is paid out in advance. We deliver the products to you on consignment (borrowed); at the end of each day you count the money in the drawer for purchases made. At the end of the week, calculate your markup and write us a check for the difference. You don’t need to keep track of each item. Then box up all the unsold items and we will pick them up. Your bill is straightforward and you won’t have questionable or illegible receipts to keep track of.

If you would like to simplify your shop and save time, money, have promotional materials and supplies provided to you, take advantage of incentives, and make your treasurer and financial secretary happy, contact Fun Services at 800-300-6380 or go to