Comparison of Office Supplies Prices by Forbes

August 21, 2007 · 0 comments

There was an interesting article on yesterday called, “A Penny Pincher’s Guide to Office Supplies“. Forbes put together a shopping list of commonly used business supplies like toner, paper and pens, envelopes, stuff like that, and then compared prices at the big three office supplies stores: Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples. This is what they found:
“The winner: Office Depot (see slide show). While Staples’ 10% discounts on printer paper and toner made it a close race, Office Depot’s low prices and 5% overall discount pushed their prices below the other retailers.’
Note: For some items, there are alternatives to the big three. Most neighborhood stores can’t compete on price (sorry, Mom and Pop). Sam’s Club offered the best deals on garbage bags, toilet paper and paper towels, but charged more for pens, file folders and toner. For the best overall penny-pinching strategy, try an Office Depot/Sam’s combo.”
Note that, in the slide show, you can press the forward arrow at the top to manually advance the slide show page, or you can adjust the speed using the slider bar.
I don’t know whether these stores will allow you to combine their loyalty programs (like Office Depot’s Work Life Rewards) or credit card points programs with online shopping rewards programs, but if so, the article neglects to factor that in.
I did some digging and here are the programs that will best reward you for purchases at these office supplies stores, along with links to join these rewards programs if you’re not already a member:
Staples: offers the best cash rebates for Staples purchases, at 2.2%.
Office Depot: Their best rewards are from MyPoints (the number of points, convertible to gift cards or United Mileage Plus miles, varies based on your order amount…but 4,000 points for a $400 order, or 1,000 points for a $100 order, would equal around 7.5%). If you’d prefer to receive a cashback check than a gift card or miles, 2% seems to be about the standard, available from a variety of rewards programs including Ebates,, and Upromise.
OfficeMax: The highest cashback reward for OfficeMax is 4%, from Ebates.
Again, I can’t verify that you can combine these online rewards with other loyalty programs offered by the stores themselves, but you’re welcome to give it a try!

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