Many people buy things on a regular basis but put no thought into how much it cost at the end of the year. If you are in business then it is imperative that you get a handle on your purchase power even for art supplies. The best way to do that is to track what you use and how much you use on a regular basis. Once you know what you need on a regular basis it will be easier to look into vendors that supply that type of material.
I used to buy my art supplies at a local box type store when I started out, thinking that was the only place to get supplies. As my art career grew I began to find other real art stores that were much cheaper and had better variety. As my wife and started traveling I would go into art stores wherever we were and do price comparisons and check out materials. When I began my business and started teaching it would have been too costly to keep buying materials at a retail level. So I had to change my perspective.
If you are not in business the best way to save on art supplies is to join a local art group. Many times the membership will allow you to save 10-20% on purchases at selected stores. It may not seem like much but that is the tax in most cases. The other thing is to find stores that have bargain areas or sales on a regular basis. We have that in Canada where certain stores seem to have more sales than others and this may be due to the way they buy their products, especially chains.
If you are in business then you can go a step further. Investigate on setting up a business account with a store and buy your products at one time. If they can invoice you even better it will be better to pay at a later date. Many times that will save you over 20% on the retail price. If you teach privately or in a group setting ask about an educational discount. This may save you up to 50% off the price of materials.
If you are not sure if this is available, there is one way to find out, ask! Walk into the shop and ask the manager. Many times it is not promoted but is available. The worst they can say is no.
About the Author,
Bruce Outridge is an illustrator, art instructor, business and leadership consultant. He is the creator of the pride junkie Comic Series, The Drawing with bruce Product Line and more. More information can be found on his websites at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com, www.drawingwithbruce.com, www.pridejunkie.ca, and www.outridge.ca