The hidden costs of a school uniform

Parents are faced with an additional cost of £287 per child as they replace lost school items throughout the year

The hidden costs of a school uniform

Parents are faced with an additional cost of £287 per child as they replace lost school items throughout the year


As parents prepare to send their children back to school next month, new research* from eBay reveals that parents are set to spend an additional £287 a year per child on lost and damaged items. On top of the initial outlay at the start of each term, this means that parents will fork out a staggering £1,310** per year for each of their children on uniform, essential items and school activities.

The research also found that 38% of parents in Britain have to purchase replacement school wear and equipment every single month, with shoes coming out on top as the most commonly misplaced item. Findings show that children in London are the most prolific when it comes to losing or damaging school uniform, followed closely by those in Yorkshire.

According to the research, almost half (40%) of parents in the UK said a good pair of school shoes is the most important back-to-school item. In comparison, trainers, sports kits and technology gadgets were identified as the least important, as Brits value the more traditional school essentials.

Order of the most valued back-to-school items according to British parents:

  1. Shoes                                        
  2. Jumper                                      
  3. Trousers/skirt                            
  4. Shirt                                         
  5. Coat                                          
  6. Tie 
  7. Backpack
  8. Stationery
  9. Technology gadgets
  10. Trainers/sports kit


As parents across the country prepare for the new school year, eBay has seen a huge surge in demand for popular back-to-school purchases. Sales of school shoes almost doubled and children’s backpacks rocketed up 85% over the last month.

eBay spokesman, Steven Heywood, says; “We have seen parents flock to the site en masse this summer for back-to-school essentials. With over 61,000 school shoes listed on the site, eBay offers busy parents the perfect platform to not only get their hands on school items to kick the new term off but to snap up those much needed replacements throughout the rest of the year as well.”



For more information please contact the eBay press office at Shine Communications on: or 020 7100 7100


*eBay worked with One Poll to survey 2,000 people, August 2013


**eBay research that identified the cost of purchasing school essentials (i.e uniform, equipment and school activities) for one child is £341 per term, a total of £1,023 per year, August 2011


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eBay, Inc. enables commerce by delivering flexible and scalable solutions that foster merchant growth through its eBay Marketplaces, PayPal and eBay Enterprise brands.  For more information visit