How many volunteers will we need?
Organizing the shopping experience.
The place and time of your shop will tell us how many children will be shopping at one time. They may come by classroom in a very orderly and predictable flow. In this case you will need one or two volunteers at the Checkout and three or four helping children as they shop. Between groups these same volunteers can restock the tables.
If the shop is open to all children at once and many children are shopping together, you will need three or four stations at Checkout, one volunteer at each table to help children and restock products as needed, and an assigned helper for each of the younger kids.
This schedule of helpers as well as a primary shop organizer will be among the most important planning decisions you'll make. Feel free to call us to help in any of your preparation for the shop. We have seen plenty of shops and can help in a variety of ways. And we may be able to put you in touch with other organizations to help with answers.
What if I don’t think my child is ready to handle cash?
Cash can be tricky for young kids at school.
Younger children are not always suited to carry cash to school and keep track of it during the day. We offer a few tools to help manage cash.
Each student will receive a Cash Envelope to keep their money in. This envelope is slightly oversized so it won't get mixed in with other papers, etc. Included on the envelope is a chart to list each family member and notes for each so the helpers understand Mom's intent.
This envelope is easy to see and identify with the shop. It will have your child’s name on it and if lost, there’s a good chance it will be returned.
Maybe don't send cash at all.
You can safely fund your child’s purchases with a gift certificate if the school has chosen the Gift Certificate option. What about change due after purchase? Any change from a gift certificate purchase can be converted to a Castle Toys and Games gift card for in-store or online use. Sorry. No change can be given to a child whose parents choose the gift certificate option. (That was the point, right?)
Do you offer gift certificates?
Gift Certificates can be a great option.This option is perfect when shopping will happen during the school day and Mom and Dad are not going to be there to make sure Sally still has her money after a 45 minute bus ride and 2 or 3 hours of classes. And it's free to all schools who use the Castle To Go Shop. Each family will be able to fund a gift certificate for their child, when the school chooses this option. When the child is ready to check out, the cashier simply looks up Sally's name and accepts payment by the certificate. Unused value can be used at local Castle Toys and Games stores or online at CastleToysandGames.com. Sorry. No change can be given to a child whose parents choose the gift certificate option. Read more...
Do you offer next day delivery for reorders?
Yes we do. Our warehouse is conveniently located so that we can replenish best sellers by tomorrow morning before the shop opens for the day. And with our software you and we will be able to track those items as the sales day progresses. This allows us to prepare for replenishment even before you call. When you reorder by 1:00 pm, your First Thing Tomorrow delivery is assured.
What equipment is needed?
All of the Inventory, Checkout, Reporting and Resupply is done using our very efficient iPad app from SalesVu.com.
You'll use you own iPads or iPhones - as many as you'd like. We can show you how to download the free app to your tablet and access a school file set up for your school (iPad 4 or later with updated IOS). A free and easy training session is offered for every participating school or organization.
The same app also has a checkout screen which allows you to input the item number or item name, or simply scroll through to a picture of the product to add it to the list. Many schools love the ability to easily remove items if your young buyer overspends.
Reports are easily shown within the app to check sales by day and week. At the end of the first day of a multi-day sale, take a look at best selling items to prepare a reorder to begin tomorrow's sale fully stocked.
You'll love our app! It's smart, efficient and very user-friendly.
Why do you ask for the Treasurer contact info?
Your treasurer needs to know it all.
We want to make sure that before the sale begins, your treasurer is aware of these and other very important aspects of the agreement.
- The items are on consignment. No purchase is necessary.
- Which rebate option has been selected for the event?
- Cash will be needed to begin the shop.
- We assist with reporting and reconciliation.
At Castle To Go, we want a smooth and transparent operation. And we know you do too. So let's make sure everyone involved has the help they need to make it a fantastic shop for all.
We want particular price-points. Can you work with us on this?
Different schools have different goals.
We receive requests from schools which have presented a shop in the past and are switching to CastleToGo as a new vendor/presenter. They may have had a particular pricing structure that they would like to continue. We are happy to discuss any particulars that your school hopes to achieve. Use our Contact Form to see how we can help.
Is there a rebate to the sponsoring organization?
Can our organization make a profit?
Each school will choose pricing options during the application process to elect:
- No Rebate (our Better than Market pricing)
- 10% for a little help in fund-raising, or a
- 20% rebate which could fully fund your next big event
We work to help you achieve your goals. Some schools choose not to use this event as a fund-raiser and extend our Better than Market pricing, which means that you'll rarely find the same item at any brick-n-mortar store at a lower price.
Most schools need the added funds to support the work of the school or parent-teacher group. We facilitate both with a varying price structure. And even at the 20% Rebate level, your families will still see good value in the items presented. When a fund-raising option is chosen, we always recommend that the school families are aware that a portion of the price goes to support the school.
Are your gifts the same junk we’ve seen before?
Better quality at low price points.
Many schools are dissatisfied with the poor quality received from other suppliers. Our gifts have been chosen specifically as holiday gifts (not cheap carnival prizes) by Linda Lyden who is also responsible for all of the amazing items found in our stores. These are better quality, low-priced items for every member of your family. This quality-driven approach is often the first reason schools choose Castle To Go.
Is there a way to help my child with decisions before they enter the shop?
Can I preview the shop?
Absolutely. When your school chooses to use CastleToGo, it will be assigned a MySchool page of its own where you can pre-shop with your child. Browse items by category and make a list for each family member if you'd like. Then use the Holiday Shop envelope to keep everything in one place.
We'll provide a link to the MySchool page so at you can add it to the school calendar Read more...
Will gifts come home wrapped?
We offer several sizes of gift bags free of charge to help your kids complete their shopping and bring home their selections ready for giving.
Do you have items for the whole family? And what about pets?
Is there something for everyone on my list?
Oh yes. The Castle To Go gift selection includes items in all price points for each member of the family - even Fido. Black 'n Gold too (we're Pittsburgh Sports fans). Your kids will find perfect little things for all of the ladies, men, kids and pets in the family.
What is a MySchool page?
A free and easy addition to your marketing strategy.
At Castle To Go, we want your whole school aware of, and excited about your sale. One way we can help you do this is by providing a landing page for your families to find out everything they need to know about your shop including dates and times and other particulars. When you fill in the Simple Agreement form, a MySchool page will be created and soon you'll receive a link to your own MySchool page. You can add it to every correspondence related to your shop. Drop this link on your school calendar and you're all set!
Parents can preview the shop.
On your MySchool page, families will be able to preview all of the items and prices the kids will see at the shop. This will help in the planning and budgeting so that parents will know how much money to send. They'll also be able to talk with their kids about what types of things family members might like.
If your school has chosen to participate in the Gift Certificate funding program, there will be link on your MySchool page so that parents can purchase a Gift Certificate so the Billy and Sally don't have to carry cash on their way to school. Extra money from Gift Certificates will become useful at Castle Toys and Games stores or online at CastleToysandGames.com following the shop.
So sign up today and we'll get started with a MySchool page unique to your shop.
Are there incentives sign up early?
When you sign up early, it helps us plan for your event well ahead of time. The incentives we offer change as the year progresses, so the earlier you send in the agreement, the better the offer. You should go to the incentives page to see what we're currently offering.
What is an In-School Holiday Shop?
Holiday Shops are an opportunity for students to shop for family members in their school with the help of volunteers to guide them. The shop offers small gifts presented in a casual setting for students to make purchases on site. Schools vary in how large or small the shop might be and in price points offered. At CastleToGo we accommodate almost any style or type of shop desired, and offer suggestions from our experience at other schools to enhance yours. While we offer a complete and ready-to-present plan based on successes at other schools, when schools have goals or requirements beyond our plan, we’re happy to work with you to create a Shop uniquely yours.
In a CastleToGo In-School Holiday Shop, gifts are presented in categories so that children can make reasonable purchase decisions for each member of the family. And we use very rounded pricing so that calculations are easy for them.
At your shop, kids will find an orderly and straight forward presentation of gifts for Ladies, Men, Siblings and Pets in a variety of price points, with signage that make it clear that Ladies include Mom, Adult Sisters, Aunts and Grandmothers. We also offer a Holiday-themed department, and because we primarily serve Western Pennsylvania school districts, our Shop will also offer a nice variety of Black-n-Gold licensed and non-licensed items (licensed products will have officially sanctioned logos while non-licensed items will have Black and Gold colors and Pittsburgh slogans, etc. without logos).
While it’s great for the kids to be able to shop in the safe environment of their school, it can also be an excellent lesson in home economics, budgeting and financial stewardship. This may be the only time that your child will:
- consider a list of family members and how to decide what is an appropriate gift for each.
- budget the list of family members against a fixed amount of money available.
- make purchase decisions without parental oversight. (volunteers will be on hand to assist)
Whether your school has always done a Holiday Shop or if this is the first year it's being considered, CastleToGo can help make your little store a simple, safe and spectacular shopping experience for the kids and a very nice event for the school.
How do we get started?
Use the contact form on the left. We'll contact you within one business day by phone if you've provided one. Otherwise you'll first receive an auto-reply to your email address followed by a more specific response after we've reviewed your question(s). You can also use this form to request a no-charge consultation. We will be happy to meet with your team to discuss your plan and our offerings and help you put together a super event.
Ready to sign up?
Click here to fill out the simple agreement form. It'll take about 5 minutes. This form also gives us everything we need to create your school's personalized MySchool page to help you market your shop and provide a great way for parents to preview your shop with your prices.
What are the Price Point Options?
Schools have differing goals and expectations for Holiday Shop.
Many groups would like their Shop to have the added benefit of raising much-needed funds to the organization by planning for a rebate on sold items at the shop. Others want a simple, straight forward lowest price/highest value product for the kids. Either is fine and we offer you the flexibility to choose from three plans. You can preview the differing price points bu going to our Gift Selection and toggling the rebate levels.
- Choose your Rebate from these plans:
How will you be able to offer your products at the prices we need?
Low price points on great little things.
If you've been to our Castle Toys and Games stores you will have seen our exceptional offering of better gifts. And you may be wondering how we can translate our wonderful selection into a necessarily low-priced shop for the kids.
We hear this question alot. We had to search for things that meet both our quality standards as well as your acceptable price points. We now draw a mix of items for your shop from some of the same vendors we use for the stores as well as items not previously used. Have a look at our Gift Selection Read more...