On Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 22 students from business teacher Debra Buckley’s entrepreneurship class went on their annual trip to of New York City for their buying event. This is the ninth year for the trip to the “garment district” for Buckley’s class. On the trip, students purchase goods from wholesalers in Manhattan to get a glimpse of what it is actually like to be a small business owner.
Buckley explains that a New York business teacher started the annual New York trips because he saw no enthusiasm in his students when he asked them about starting a business. The teacher believed that traveling to New York would give students a sense of what being a business owner is all about rather than having students restricted in the classroom.
Buckley explained that the “garment district” is where the wholesale stores are located. Each student in Buckley’s class received a fifty dollar loan from the NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship”) program that sponsors the class. Buckley added that “some students work by themselves, others work with partners” for the project.
Students can buy a big ticket item with all of the money combined and raffle it off, or they can purchase less expensive objects on their own.” Some objects bought were iphone chargers, scarves, key chains, jewelry, beanies, headphones and 2016 New Year’s Eve glasses. “[Students] can buy a dozen or a couple of packages of certain items to return to the school and sell them.”
Students have to “present every phase about what happened in New York and how they marketed their products. They must have done some research on the original prices of their product(s). By the end of the night, their goal is to explain what price they’re selling their product at, what did it cost them, and what did they profit” explained Buckley.
Buckley encourages her students to market their products on their own, through the morning announcements and through fliers placed across the school. In New York, “students see how wholesalers interact with customers and are encouraged to negotiate when purchasing several products. The selling event will help students learn how to price, sell and market objects right and increase the amount of buyers.”
Junior Christina Montezuma described her experience on the trip as “interesting because [she] got to learn a lot about the qualifications for what it takes to be an entrepreneur. [She] learned what it’s like to be in the business industry and how tough people can be on the prices.” During the trip, Montezuma and her classmates were able to “shop and buy everything for low prices but in big quantities. [They] got to manage their own money and could buy whatever [they] wanted like [they] were in our own business.”
Montezuma discovered “being an entrepreneur also means that you have to be a friendly negotiator because that helps convince people to buy your products, giving you a profit.”An important idea to keep in mind was“key stoning” which Montezuma explained that “ if you spent $3 for an item and sold it for $5, you would be key stoning because you made a $2 profit, which is how business owners make money after buying and selling their items.”
Along with the selling event, students run the annual “Holiday Bazaar” sale that will be held this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 at Malden High School, where they will sell merchandise that was leftover from the previous sale.