25 Money Saving Tips Everyone Should Know Before Shopping on Amazon
I’m a huge proponent of shopping on Amazon. I’m a Prime member and I don’t mind showing my support. They make shopping online so much easier with their huge selection and quick shipping. Their customer service is really good as well (if you’ve ever had to use it). There are few things I don’t like about Amazon. Heck, I even just ordered a new microphone to start making how-to videos for my business and they delivered the thing on a Sunday. I guess it means e-commerce has no days off anymore. It also means I don’t have to step foot in a store if I can help it. That makes me smile a little bit.
Since I’m a fan of Amazon, I created an article some time ago called “5 little known ways to save money at Amazon.com.” It is my most popular article by far on Debt Roundup. I showed people a few ways they can save money when they were perusing Amazon for things they wanted or to get the best deals. There is even a bonus in that article, so six ways to save. Since that article, I’ve been asked by others if I knew of some other ways to save. Luckily for them and for you, I do have more. Much more!
25 Ways to Save Money When Shopping on Amazon
Today, I’m going to share with you 25 ways, yes 25, to save money when shopping on Amazon. Not all of these are revolutionary, but they will make you think before you click the checkout button. If you check all of these out, you can really save good money when shopping on Amazon. You can also ensure you’re getting the best price possible. There are times when Amazon is not the cheapest game in town and I know that can be the case. Having said that, I also account quick shipping, ease of returns, and customer service in my reasoning to purchase something. Typically, there are few retailers who can compete with Amazon on all of those levels.
Without further ado, let’s get started. Here are the money saving tips everyone should know before shopping on Amazon!
This is the place to shop! I have saved so much money here and the products are just as good. Amazon’s Warehouse deals section is for the open-box and discounted used items Amazon has around. Since they are the largest retailer, they get items that have shipping damage, were opened and then returned, or a customer just didn’t want them. It happens to every retailer. Instead of just calling it a loss, Amazon sells the items they deem are in good condition.
When on Amazon, head over to this page to start shopping their warehouse deals. Amazon grades the merchandise in their warehouse to help you make a better decision on what you want. They are New, Like New, Very Good, Good, and Acceptable. I would stick with the first three when buying anything. I was able to save $75 off a camera lens for my wife just because the shipping box was damaged. It was labeled new, but since there was box damage, they couldn’t sell it at full price.
I wrote an in-depth article about Amazon warehouse deals, so check it out and then start looking around to enjoy the savings!
If the warehouse deals wasn’t enough, Amazon also have an outlet section. This is where they stick their overstocks, older models, overruns, closeouts, and markdowns. The items are all new, but they put a deep discount on them in order to sell. Right now, you can typically score a deal up to 60% off the regular price. It’s a pretty good section to look at. Not every category has an outlet section, but they deal mostly with clothing, electronics, outdoor equipment, musical instruments, and a few more. You can typically find outlet deals for Amazon’s most popular categories.
It’s a good place to look for items you know are not in season. If you need something that you can use in the summer, but you’re buying it in the winter, check Amazon’s outlet section. You never know!
Did you know that Amazon has coupons? Most people didn’t know that, but they really do. Amazon has an entire coupon section just for those looking for some deals! Now, these coupons tend to be for the bigger manufacturers, but the best part is they are instant clip. If you’re looking to buy some diapers, you can head over to the Coupon section and see if they have any diaper coupons. One click and the savings are yours.
If you want to just navigate to the coupon section, you can just go to www.amazon.com/coupons/ and you will be there! I wrote an in-depth article about Amazon coupons, so you can look that over before you go. Basically, they have coupons for well known brands, including food items they stock in Prime Pantry.
They break out the categories for their coupons into sections such as Most Popular, Beauty, Grocery & Gourmet, Household Supplies, Electronics, Baby & Child Care, Vitamins & Dietary Supplements, and much more. Depending on your need, there might be an instant clip coupon waiting for you!
Want up to 15% off items you normally buy each and every week? Then you need to be a part of Amazon’s subscribe and save program! Yes, this little gem allows you to subscribe to a bunch of products you normally buy (think everyday items), but save money on top of it. Subscribe and Save sends out products to you on a regular basis. You choose what products you want delivered and when each month. Amazon will do the rest.
The best part is if you have five or more items on subscribe and save, then you get 15% off. You also get free shipping on your items (doesn’t matter how many you have). This is the perfect way to keep your house stocked up without having to drive to the store every month the replenish your supplies. They will be waiting for you at your door at the time you specify. It’s not much easier than that!
Oh, and you can also include some coupons in the mix. Amazon does have some instant clip coupons just for subscribe and save items. Hot dang!!
This program is only for those who have Amazon Prime. It used to be separate, but then Amazon wrapped it under Prime. If you don’t have Prime, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here. It’s $99 for the year. You can read this post to see if it’s worth it!
Just like their subscribe and save program, Amazon Mom allows you to save 20% off diaper subscriptions. This means you pick your favorite diaper brand and have Amazon deliver them right to your door at regular intervals. It’s just that easy. So basically, it’s Amazon’s subscribe and save with an extra 5% added on top. If you’re already a Prime member, then you can sign up for Amazon Mom here.
Another benefit is getting 15% off a baby registry completion purchase. Did you know Amazon has a baby registry? Well, they do. If you have one with them and you don’t get all that you want/need, then you can get 15% off by purchasing the items you’d like after your child is born. That is only if you’re part of the Amazon Mom program.
If you’re a student with a .edu email address, then you can save on an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Student is basically a Prime account, but for 50% off. You can get it for $49 a year. There are some limitations to this program, which are still available for full Prime members. You can’t share any of your shipping benefits with anyone else and you can’t get Instant Video until your free trial expires after 6 months.
To sign up, you just head over here. You don’t need to have your .edu email in your Amazon account, but they will use it to verify you’re truly a student. The program will end after four years of your sign up or they can’t verify your student status any longer, whichever comes first. This is just an easy way to save on Prime and get some discounts on books.
As I spoke in the Amazon Mom section, they even offer a Baby Registry to make your life easier. It’s pretty easy to use and you get to save 15% with their completion discount. This is only for those who are in the Amazon Mom program.
Anyone can sign up for a baby registry. You get the biggest selection of products (Amazon’s selection is unmatched), along with easy 90-day returns, mobile registry, and discounts/rewards only for baby registry owners. Amazon even has a tool that allows you to add items you can’t find on their site to you registry. It’s basically a universal baby registry!
There are also some rotating offers which some will see and some will not. This includes Amazon’s Welcome Box, which is a free and includes some necessities for your baby. It’s pretty cool, but not every one with a registry will get this box.
This is by far my favorite tool to save money on Amazon. It’s a third-party tool that helps you keep track of prices on a product you might want to buy. It also helps you make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Seriously, you should have this one bookmarked if you buy anything from Amazon!
This site is really easy to use. You can either sign up for an account or just use it without one. If you want to watch products and get alerts to price drops on either Amazon or on Twitter, then you will need to sign up for a free account.
To use the site, just put in the URL of the product you want to buy off Amazon, so something like http://www.amazon.com/Mohu-Leaf-Amplified-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B00APPDX86/. This will then give you a run down of the pricing history of the product. It gives you valuable insight into how the product has been priced over time and if the current price is in line with those changes. Her is a graph for the product example above.
This chart tells me the product is not at it’s best price, but is around average. That being said, you might want to wait and see if the price drops or just sign up for an account and CamelCamelCamel will email you when it does! Easy peasy!!
This is a service very similar to CamelCamelCamel, but since it tracks Amazon’s prices on any item you want to buy, I wanted to include it here. Anything to help you save money before you actually buy is what I want to do!
TheTracktor.com is a site that allows you to search for a product by name, put in the Amazon URL, or the ASIN. The ASIN is a product identifier on Amazon and can be found in any Amazon product URL. Here is an example.
The highlighted text above it the ASIN number. If you can get this, then you can enter it and get some pricing history. Here is what the results look like.
Add Products to Cart, but Don’t Check Out
Here is a sneaky little trick that does work from time to time. It’s not guaranteed, but I have seen it work before. Basically, this is a way to get Amazon to push deals over to you without doing any work.
When you want to buy a product on Amazon, head over there and add it to your cart. The key to this pricing trick is to NOT check out after you add it to your cart. You want to wait for some time to see if Amazon will drop the price. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.
This is what I like to call “forcing a promotion.” You must be logged into your Amazon account before you add the items to your cart. This is the only way I’ve seen it work. Once you add the item(s) to your cart, you need to leave Amazon for a few days. Obviously, you want to use this trick when you don’t need an item quickly. After some time, you might get an email from Amazon saying you have items in your shopping cart and they could provide a promotion to you. I’ve saved 20% by waiting before, but it is hit or miss. It’s not 100% effective.
It’s free to try and doesn’t hurt you, so why not? There’s a chance you can score a deal without doing anything but leaving an item or two in your shopping cart!. Winning!!
Two Browser Trick
This is basically running a small price comparison right on Amazon from your computer. You are trying to see if you can score a better deal when shopping on Amazon without being logged in. This is not 100%, but I have seen it work and have received a few lower prices. It all depends on the product and where you live.
You just need to navigate to Amazon like you normally would. Find what you want to buy, but don’t add it to your cart. Make sure you’re logged into your Amazon account!
Next, open a new, fresh browsing window (try incognito in Chrome or private window in Firefox). Navigate to Amazon and go to the same product page. Sometimes Amazon will show lower prices to those not already an Amazon customer, but this trick really works if you can get a friend in a different city to check the pricing. Amazon does really well with their product distributions, so if they can pinpoint where you are and where the product is, they might be able to score a better deal if the distribution center is near.
This trick is not hard to try, but it’s accuracy is not as good as anything else in this article. I think I’ve seen this work about 10% of the time. Either way, you can save by checking pricing on two different browsers.
There are tons of retailers out there who price match products. Many didn’t know that Amazon did it, but they do, just not on everything. I wrote an article about how to ask for an Amazon price match, so make sure to check that out for full details.
You can simply tell Amazon about a lower price and see if they will match it. It’s not instant, but you can go back to the product a little later and see if they dropped the price. Sometimes they do and sometimes they do not. It all depends on the product and the price you found. Telling them about the price match is fairly easy.
On any product page, you want to navigate to the product details. Here is what you’ll see.
Just click that link and go through the pop up box that comes after your click. Here is a brief example after you tell them where you found the price to match (online or in-store).
I’ve seen a 50% success rate with this, so I can’t complain. I’m not an avid price match superstar, so when I can get a lower price by just asking for it, why be upset?
Amazon Price Protection
I’m sure you probably didn’t know this, but Amazon does offer a price protection policy. You’ll be hard-pressed to find information on their site about it, but that’s why I’m here! If you purchase something on Amazon, which is sold and shipped by them (Amazon.com LLC), then you get some price protection. If the price of the item you purchased dropped within seven days of your delivery date, then you can get some money back.
Amazon will refund you the money back to the payment method you used, or with an Amazon gift card posted to your account. They don’t provide this across the board, you have to ask for it (of course!). The easiest way is by live chat, but you can also call them. When doing so, make sure to have your order number so their reps can look it up.
How can you go about finding the lower price? Use one of the services above. Go to CamelCamelCamel and put in the product you just bought. Once there, sign up for price monitoring. If the price drops within that seven day window after your delivery, jump on the phone or live chat with Amazon and ask for their price protection.
Beyond the popularity of the little know ways to save on Amazon, one of my next biggest posts on here is on how to share your Amazon Prime account. For the longest time Amazon allowed you to share you Prime shipping benefits with up to 4 people. Yes, four people!
They had specified those people needed to be in your household, but there was no enforcement. You could share with friends and coworkers to allow them to get free, two-day shipping. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, Amazon wised up and figured out a way to cut out the fun. You can still share your Amazon Prime benefits, but you also have to share the credit cards on your accounts. That could really throw off anyone wanting to do this with friends.
Basically, you can create a household so only one person needs Amazon Prime. The other person in the household can use your Prime account for the shipping benefits, but still hide their order history. This is good for those who use Amazon to buy birthday gifts for each other and don’t want them to find out. You can share the credit card and the order history if you want, but Amazon does let you hide somethings.
When you share your benefits, it allows you to only use one Prime account, so you don’t have to pay $99 for each person. Just one and share it! Here is some information on how you can set up a household.
Do you like shopping and giving back at the same time? Good!
Amazon Smile can do just that for you. While it’s not a way to save money on Amazon, it is a way to give back while you shop there. If you haven’t heard of Amazon Smile, then here is a rough break down. You can read more here.
When you shop at smile.amazon.com instead of just amazon.com, you can give back to your favorite charity. Amazon Smile lists over one million charities where you can donate to. But, how do you donate?
Simple, instead of buying an item on Amazon, you just head over to smile.amazon.com and buy the item there. It’s still Amazon’s site, but now they will give 0.50% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. While it’s not going to be a huge donation, it’s still a donation none the less. It’s basically a donation to your favorite charity just for shopping on Amazon. You don’t get to write it off, since Amazon is the one doing the donation, but still. It doesn’t take any extra time or effort on your part and you can help your favorite charity in the process.
The next time you are on Amazon looking at a product to buy, try replacing the “www” with “smile” in the URL. If the product page comes back up, then you’re in luck. Most of them work this way, but if not, just head to smile.amazon.com and look for the same product.
If there is one thing I always do before I shop online, it’s check out the cash back sites to make sure I’m going to save more money in the process. My favorite is Ebates, but there are many more. Here is a good list of them.
Cash back sites are typically free to join and they offer money back when you shop at your favorite retailers through them. Basically, I sign into my Ebates account, find the retailer I want to shop at, then click through their site. If I purchase something, Ebates will pay me a specified cash back amount. I’ve seen upwards of 40% cash back for some retailers.
While Amazon doesn’t regularly provide cash back offerings, they are listed in Ebates and many other ones. You can get 5% back when shopping some clothing or other items. It changes almost all the time. I do believe they generally provide at least 1% cash back on your purchases, but they can be selective on which categories they allow.
I always suggest to anyone to check out the cash back sites before shopping on Amazon. It’s like three extra clicks and you can get money back in your pocket. What’s easier than that?
Amazon has a little feature they like to call their “Gold Box.” This is really just their deal of the day type of section. They have daily deals on a large number of products, but only two or three get into the Gold Box.
It’s not hard to find the daily deals on Amazon, but I will show you where to look anyway. I’m just kind that way! Just look for the link below when you’re on Amazon. If you can find “Today’s Deals” then you got to the Gold Box section.
Amazon lists products for deeper discounts on this page. The two or three which are the daily deals are the biggest discount. They are only for a day and there is even a counter to tell you when the deal ends. Now, I’m not going to say the deal is as good as Amazon advertises. They typically inflate the savings by using the list price instead of what they typically sell it for. If you want to see what the true deal is, then check out this tutorial.
The deals are hit and miss, but it’s easy to check out. You can also sign up for a daily email which will be delivered every morning with the day’s gold box deals. I do this and it’s easy for me to see if I want to even check out the deal. You can subscribe here.
Do you have some old items you don’t use or need anymore? Have you thought about trading them in for cash? Well, what about trading them in for an Amazon gift card? This can help you save money when you shop on Amazon by getting you cash for items you don’t use anymore.
Amazon’s trade-in program usually is reserved for items like electronics. It does especially well with iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. They say they will give you a quote for phones, electronics, books, video games, and DVDs. You can’t trade in your old clothing or anything like that.
To trade in an item, you have to head over here to get a quote. Amazon will provide you with an instant quote based on your feedback of the item. They will then provide you with a prepaid shipping label to ship the item to them. Once they receive it and inspect it, they will pay you with an Amazon e-giftcard. It’s really that easy. The amount you make will be determined by the popularity and the condition.
Most people think wish lists are used for birthday gifts and other events like that, but you can actually use a wish list to save money on Amazon. They make it really easy to setup a wish list for products you want to purchase. They might make it too easy!
To start one, just go here. Once you have a wish list created then you are good to go. The point of this is not to share it with people for them to buy the products. You can do this, but we are not talking about that. Once you add a product to your wish list, Amazon starts tracking the item for you. The best part is they will email you when the price drops from what it was when you added it to your wish list. Basically, it’s the built in price tracking service on Amazon.
You can’t get all of the historical data like you can with CamelCamelCamel or The Tracktor, but you don’t have to sign up with another service. You just create your free wish list, then wait to see if the price drops. You can then head over to those two sites mentioned earlier to see if the price drop is a good one or not. Who doesn’t love easy?
This money saving tip could be a little touchy for some because it involves emails. If you’re anything like me, you have an inbox that is growing by the day. I can’t handle too many emails beyond what I already have. That being said, Amazon does deliver deals right to your inbox depending on what categories you sign up for. As noted before, I get Amazon’s daily deals to my inbox every morning. This allows me to quickly look to see if the deal is anything which pertains to me. If not, it gets deleted.
It only takes a minute to sign up for different lists Amazon provides. You can go here and see what they offer, but these emails will usually be promotions and deals. It’s really just about saving money with this one and making it easy for you.
The people behind savings.com put together a little tool to show you if the price on Amazon is the best price. While it can be hard to tell based on a number of factors like Prime shipping, free, shipping, and other things, this tool is pretty cool. As noted before, Amazon might not be the lowest price. While I will check their prices against some competitors, I will most likely check out on Amazon because of my Prime shipping and the customer service. To each their own!
As with the other third-party tracking services, this one doesn’t track price history, but shows you some other stores/competitors and their pricing. It will tell you if the best deal is at Amazon and give you the option to look at the other stores. Based on looking for a Mohu Leaf 50, I found that Amazon is not the cheapest around. I can get it for $10 less at Home Depot. That being said, sometimes it can’t find an exact match for the product, so it tries to bring relevant matches. This example was close, but the Walmart listing was off.
Either way, it’s a free tool to use and why not stick it in your savings quiver. You never know if you’re getting the best deal until you compare with other stores!
Here is an interesting little way to save money on some unique Amazon products. SnagShout is a service that allows you to get some products from Amazon but at a reduced price. Why?
The point of the service is to encourage you to leave reviews of the product. This typically is reserved for newly released products. They don’t have a huge amount of products, but they are at great prices. for instance, you can get a 3-piece stainless steel barbecue set for only $5. That’s about 80% off the price it would sell on Amazon. As noted, you get the price because you have to submit a product review on Amazon. Companies are spending money to reduce the price in order to get reviews. You have to be honest in your review.
This is not a way to buy 5-star reviews. This is to just get reviews in order for your product to sell. The more reviews you have (hopefully positive), the better your chances at selling a product become.
Before you go sign up, make sure you read their FAQ to see if you would be a good SnagShout shopper. They want people they can trust to do what is asked of them.
Adding Pre-Order Items to Bypass minimum shipping
I haven’t tried this method, but I’ve heard it does in fact work. I have tested it in theory and you can see that above. Basically, you are tricking the Amazon shopping cart system to give you free shipping even though you don’t match the threshold. See, Amazon gives free shipping on orders of $35 or more. They also now give free shipping on items of 8oz and less. You can read more about these two free shipping initiatives here.
If you wanted to purchase a product and didn’t have Amazon Prime, then you would either have to be ordering enough to meet the $35 free shipping threshold or something that is 8oz or less. Well, that might harder to do for some orders, so there is another way.
This little trick involves adding the items you want in your cart. Once you do that, you can go add something that is in pre-order status. While it can be a little challenge sometimes to find pre-order items, I suggest looking at DVDs or video games. That is the best way to do it. You can easily just type in “pre-order” or “preorder” in the Amazon search box and add that to the cart.
Once you do that, the system will usually say you qualify for free shipping (order is over $35). You aren’t charged for the pre-order until it actually ships, so your original products will ship (if in stock) and then you can just cancel the pre-ordered item and be done with it!
Do you like to read? Do you have an Amazon Kindle? Well, then you need to make sure you save money when buying books for your Kindle.
They have a Kindle Daily Deals section just for those people who love to read on their Kindle. They offer items at up to 80% off and it’s easy to find. You don’t have to do much, but head right here and start looking for those deals.
They break down the categories for you to make it much easier to look at the categories that interest you. You can also find $2 deals and much more. Just look over the page and find the books that you want to get to read on your Kindle.
Free Amazon Prime Extension
This last tip to save money on Amazon is for those who already have Amazon Prime. This is basically calling Amazon when your order is not delivered on the guaranteed day. See, when you shop on Amazon and you have Prime, then you will get a guaranteed delivery date.
If the order does not arrive at your house on that day, then you can call up Amazon about it. Now, most likely, they will just apologize. In some cases, if you let me know of you frustration, you can get an extension on your Amazon Prime membership. Since they are yearly memberships, getting some free months is awesome and it saves you money.
I’ve heard of people getting an extra month, sometimes three, and in the extreme cases up to six months. This is all for just calling them out on missing their guaranteed delivery date. Amazon prides themselves on excellent customer service, so just asking them about missing the shipping deadline could result in more months added onto your Prime membership. Just call and see what happens.
Well, there you have it friends. There are 25 money savings tips you should know before you shop on Amazon. If you’re like me and use it for many purchases, these little tips can keep more money in your pocket. Who doesn’t want to keep more of their hard-earned cash? I know I do.
No matter if you only use one of these methods or stack them together for a bigger savings experience, at least try them out and see what happens. Saving money shouldn’t be hard and this article proves it. I’m sure most people didn’t even know of most of these. Heck, I surely didn’t for some time, but my eyes have been opened!
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