School items to buy, and don't buy, at has become a big player in back to school sales in recent years, especially with college students where things can be delivered direct to the dorm.

But while that brings convenience, a new report says there are some things you should buy from Amazon, and a few things you may want to stick with local stores for.

                               Great Flash Sales
Amazon now has 40 fulfillment centers in the country.

When you place an Amazon order, a team of workers here find your items in shelves, put them in yellow bins, which then travel through the facility until they reach the box or bag destined to your house.

Amazon's Julie Law tells me the site is running flash sales right now on thousands of school items, with discounts on everything from crayons, to backpacks, to electronics.

"if you go to Amazon and look at the deals page," she explained,"you can find deal of the day, or our lightning deals with a time limit on them."

Among those deals,  Law says, are Amazon's own Kindle tablet, and touchscreen laptops, which are red hot sellers this year. 

"In addition to being really lightweight, long battery life, it's also a touchscreen," Law said. "So it incorporates both a keypad and a touchscreeen.

Plus, most laptops are 20 -  25% off for back to school.

The tech site Gizmodo says Amazon is great place for school shopping, especially for college students who want door to door shipping.

Students and teachers can also get 6 months of free shipping under the Amazon Prime program. All you need is a ".edu" email address.

                          What to buy online, and locally

Gizmodo suggests using Amazon for:

    --Laptops and tablets
    --External hard drives
    --Portable flash drives
    --Wireless routers

In most of those cases, Gizmodo says Amazon often has the most for the least money.

But it says you may not want to use Amazon for:

    --Cheap smartphones: Gizmodo says you'll kick yourself for going cheap, when everyone around you has an iPhone or good quality Android.
    --iPod speakers:  It says you should listen to them before you buy, as even Amazons best sellIng speakers don't necessarily have the best reviews.
    --Also, you may want to shop local for things you want to try on for fit, like designer jeans.   
Finally, while Amazon has a tremendous selection of backpacks, backpacks are one area where many parents and students prefer to pick them out in person, so they know how it will sit before you buy.

Wherever you shop, don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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