Why Don't You
By Chris and Ellyn Davis
(of The Elijah Company)
We have home schoolers who ask us: "Why don't you discount?" This is a tricky question, because we don't want to sound like "sour grapes" and we don't want to criticize companies who do discount. The reasons we don't discount are based on economics and on principle.
Our Reasons Based on Economics Are:
We have spent years looking for what we consider the "best" resources for home schoolers. Many of our books are little-known, inexpensive, and from small publishers. It is impossible for us to discount such materials and stay solvent.
The book business has a very low profit margin, and we do not have the resources to buy in the kind of volume that would allow us to discount prices. [You have to have not only resources, but SPACE to store them in!]
Our Reasons Based on Principle Are:
Even if we could buy in volume, discounting in not warranted in a Christian home schooling market. There is a fine line between American free enterprise and Christian brothers and sisters competing with one another for money by undercutting each other's prices.
Home schooling has become an industry and people who do not home school don't use the products, and/or can't give knowledgeable advice, are beginning to cash in on this market. They can enter the market quickly by finding out what's "hot" and offering it at a discount. We would rather service the home schooling community by offering products at fair market value and being able to answer your questions because we home school and have used most of what we sell. [Just for the record, I, Barb, am not in a position to be able to answer questions personally, or I wouldn't have time to homeschool and write books, but I am servicing homeschoolers by getting my message via our books and the internet, which takes all our available time and resources to get out to the homeschooling community in the form of my books and speaking.] If we carry something that's "hot," it's because it works. We also realize that a company who discounts to get their business off the ground or to "corner the market" jeopardizes the livelihood of vendors who have spent years servicing home schoolers.
Many publishers have set what they consider to be a fair market price for their products and when they sell these products to vendors such as ourselves they request that we not discount. Some home school suppliers disregard these requests.
Discounting eventually hurts everybody. Suppliers think they are doing homeschoolers a favor by reducing prices, and homeschoolers think they are being wise stewards of their money when they buy from discounters; but in the long-run, the opposite is true.
Discounting eventually hurts everyone. It hurts Christian families like ours who are trying to service home schoolers. It forces out of business the little "Mom and Pop" companies [like us] who carry unique products [because we can't obtain our self-published products in large enough quantities and therefore low enough prices to sell to the big discounters], resulting in fewer teaching materials for home schoolers to choose from. It hurts home schooling organizations who hold book fairs because many vendors (including us at Elijah Co.) are reluctant to exhibit at a book fair where we know there will be discounters because they are taking huge financial risks and making less money than they would if they charged the full price. [Amen! The risk-takers include not only the discounters, but those who are trying to compete with them. It is extremely expensive for the vendor to attend a book fair, both time and money-wise, and in being away from home for so long.] Worst of all, it sends a message that money is the bottom line.
Here's What We Recommend
If you find a company [or author] you really believe in, a company that has ministered to you and met your needs, a company you think fills a unique "niche" in the home schooling market, a company you would like to see grow and flourish, then buy from them. Support them, encourage them, send them comments and suggestions. Consider the few dollars you would have saved by buying from a discounter a "thanksgiving offering" to your favorite company. In doing so, you are helping the whole homeschooling community have access not only to a variety of products discounters would [could] never carry, but also to the wisdom and experience of people who know their products firsthand. If you believe, as we do, that home schooling is part of a move of God to restore the family, then invest in companies you feel are contributing to what God is doing.
Used with permission from The Elijah Company,
which is owned and operated by Chris and Ellyn Davis, who have
been homeschooling and serving the homeschool community for many years.
I urge you to request their catalog by either writing to them at:
Route 2 Box 100-B / Crossville, TN 38555
or by calling them at 931-456-6284.
Their catalog itself is a mini homeschool seminar!
The checked wallpaper is from:
The darling window with the cat looking
out of it and the books are from:
To the Article Chart | To the Main Lobby
[About Our Ministry] [Article Chart] [Catalog] [Contact Us] [Course (Season of Re-ed) Intro] [Course (Season of Re-ed) Menu] [Email List Options] [For Newsletter Editors] [Help! Article] [High School Helps] [Lifestyle of Learning] [Local (Longview, WA) Pages] [Love Lullabyes] [Reader Comments] [Recipes] [Shelton Family Scrapbook] [Site Map] [Storehouse] [V-Enna] [Website Tips] [What's New]