I Wonder: Back-to-school shopping online

I Wonder: Back-to-school shopping online

I Wonder: Back-to-school shopping online




Posted on August 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 5:10 PM

I wonder: Is it cheaper to do your back-to-school shopping on the Internet?

School is back in session, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your back-to-school shopping is complete. When I was in college, many of my friends would wait until after the first day of their classes to see what books they needed to buy. Similarly, your kiddos may be coming home telling you they now need a Justin Bieber notebook because their Jonas Brothers notebook is "soooo last school year."

Whatever the reason, if you are in need of more school supplies but are reluctant to spend the extra cash, have no fear.

After one of my Twitter followers asked me if it was cheaper to shop for school supplies online, I found out – yes, it can be.

Sally Borie with Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Austin says the factors that could potentially make shopping online more cost-friendly are: price, convenience, return policies, and your time including travel and gas.

Borie told me about Bankrate.com for some other back-to-school money-saving tips.

According to Bankrate.com, websites like “Globe Student Discount, StudentRate and Journey Ed offer information about the latest deals, and will often throw in extra discounts, bundled software or cash-back incentives.”

For college students there is CollegeBudget.com, which operates by the power of group buying, similar to Groupon or LivingSocial. Bankrate.com says the site “offers deals where students can pay $10 for $25 worth of textbook rentals or $15 for $30 worth of shoes.” I really wish I had known about this website when I was in college!

Other websites offering affordable options are Chegg.com, which lets students rent textbooks for a semester or less, Half.com, and Textbooks.com. Personally, I used to buy my college textbooks on Amazon.com and, when possible, search for a gently used version which came at a cheaper cost than buying new.

Amazon.com, also lets students rent electronic versions of textbooks for their Kindles or iPads. According to Bankrate.com, “Amazon also offers "Student Prime" for college students. It includes free two-day shipping on almost any product for six months and deals on dozens of school-related items.”

If you are a parent looking for school supplies online, one of my Twitter followers knowledgeable in buying school supplies online suggested these sites to me:




Keep in mind, I have not used any of those sites or know if they will truly give you the deals you are looking for, but they are worth a look.

If all else fails, Bankrate.com suggests you wait until the back-to-school rush is over when “most retailers will put leftover school supplies on clearance, enabling you to scoop up supplies for next year at up to 90 percent off.”

Do you have a question for I Wonder? Send it to iwonder@kvue.com.

I Wonder Video
More Video