Back to School Shopping: Online vs. In-store

Back 2 School

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- You may be wondering if it’s worth it to skip the hassle of crowded aisles and just order school supplies off Amazon.

As much as parents may wish there to be a “perfect” way to school shop, it really does depend on a lot of factors.

Jody Vitali is a co-owner of the Charleston Moms Blog. Her advice to shoppers is to do a bit of research beforehand.

“While Tax Free Weekend can save you some money” says Vitali, “Sometimes it is cheaper to shop online. So do your comparisons.”

Taking her advice into consideration, I decided to do some research of my own. I looked at 5 popular retail stores to see which had the best price for a pack of 30 Dixon Ticonderoga pencils.

Just to clarify, the comparison was done with the exact same brand and number of pencils-per-pack.

While Amazon was the winner at $5.95 a pack, Walmart was a close second at $5.97. Office Depot held up the rear at $7.59 a pack. On sale.

I decided to go in-person to Walmart and see if there were any differences in price from the website. When I got there, I searched and searched for Dixon Ticonderogas. There wasn’t a single pack in the store.

What I realized is that this situation is highly likely for school-shoppers considering their long lists. Perhaps the 29% of online shoppers prefer that method because of the security. (

Regardless, 56% of shoppers are expected to still shop in-store this year.

The number-one factor for consumers is price, and with Amazon’s price only being 2 cents less than Walmart, some may be unimpressed.

With all the money you save shopping during Tax Free Weekend from August second through the fourth, you could consider donating some supplies for kids who can’t afford them.

The City of Charleston is holding a school supplies drive to lead up to their annual First Day Festival. Supplies are being accepted from now until August 14th.

If you’d like to learn more about the festival, click here.

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