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Should You Shop Online or In-Store for School Supplies This Tax Free Weekend?

When comparing the same school supply list in-store and online, who offered the best deals.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Tax free weekend eliminates the six percent sales tax for many back to school supplies and other items, and it started in South Carolina Friday.

Are you better off shopping in store or online for back to school? After taking a fifth grade school supply list from Richland County School District Two to a chain-retailer in Columbia, let's compare prices to similar items found online.

In-store, the total was $66.71. Online, the total was $91.70 — not counting shipping costs or subscription services.

It’s a difference of $25, so depending on what you purchase you’ll get more bang for your buck in-store, instead of online.

Here's a list of purchases, with costs in-store and online:

Target, Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC

  • 1 17-inch JanSport book bag, $28.00
  • 1 Target-brand set of dividers, $3.49
  • 2 24-count Target-brand no.2 pencils, $1.99 each
  • 2 large pink erasers, $0.59
  • 4 Target-brand glue sticks, $0.42 each 2-pack
  • 1 pack Expo Dry Erase markers, $2.69
  • 4 Marble composition books, $0.52 each
  • 2 8-oz bargain-brand hand sanitizer bottles, $1.29 each
  • 2 packs of 200-sheet wide-ruled notebook paper, $5.99 each
  • 1 pack of Target-brand colored pencils, $2.49
  • 1 pair of headphones, $7.99
  • TOTAL: $66.71

Amazon.com

  • 1 17-inch JanSport book bag, $29.99
  • 1 Avery 8-count dividers, $3.05
  • 2 24-count AmazonBasics no.2 pencils, $4.49 each
  • 2 large pink erasers, $1.19 each
  • 6 Avery glue sticks, $3.78 (a 6-count was cheaper than other 4-count options)
  • 1 pack of Expo Dry Erase markers, $3.49
  • 4 AmazonBasics Marble composition books, $8.99 (4-pack)
  • 2 8-oz hand sanitizer bottles, $5.14 each
  • 2 packs of 200-sheet wide-ruled notebook paper, $3.99 each
  • 1 pack of Prang colored pencils, $3.99
  • 1 pair of headphones, $8.79
  • TOTAL: $91.70

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