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Shopping online has now eclipsed in-store shopping, so we thought it’s about time to share some Amazon hacks. Amazon sure makes it easy to buy stuff with just a few clicks, but it’s not the cheapest retailer by far. So we’ve put together 20 tips and tricks that’ll help you to save money shopping on Amazon.
Here are 20 Amazon tips guaranteed to save money every time you shop on Amazon.
One of the best Amazon search hacks that works every time
Here’s an Amazon search hack I recently found. Go ahead and search for a product. Then, to filter your results for discounted items within your search results, add a simple code to the end of the results url.
For example, here’s a search for “kids’s pajamas”. The average price of the first four PJ’s listed is $14.94.
Now, I want to filter all the results to show me just the ones that are discounted between 25-40% off. I’ll just add this code to the end of the url (without the quotes) “&pct-off=25-40”. Whatever discount you want to find, just substitute the numbers.
Here are the first four results now:
Now the average price of the PJ’s listed is $8.35. So you’ve just reduced the average price by $6.59! This is a better method to find discounts than clicking the “Price: Low to High” option because that selection will still list lots of products that are only slightly related to your search, which you’ll need to sift through.
So, to use this Amazon hack, just do your normal search, then add your qualifier to the end of the url on the results page. You’ll be sure to see the discounts you may have missed.
An Amazon Hack to See Whether Your Product Review is Legitimate
Amazon was one of the first retailers to introduce the concept of customer reviews, and it’s a great idea to get other people’s opinion. But don’t you wonder sometimes if all the good reviews are legitimate?
Now there’s an easy way you can tell.
Fakespot will analyze both the product review and the seller, and within seconds, report any inconsistencies. I tested it with a few products I’ve already bought. Fakespot told me the reviews for a wifi extender I purchased were 90% accurate. But for a piece of clothing we purchased, it said the word “perfect” was used in way more reviews than should be expected.
You can use Fakespot as either a Chrome extension, or an app for iOS or Android. When it’s activated, you’ll see a Fakespot notification near the product price (in the photo above) which displays the validity of the product reviews.
Shop the Amazon Renewed Department for Pre-Loved Items
The nice thing about online shopping is never having to leave your couch. But we all know that some things can be bought much cheaper if we’re willing to buy second-hand.
Enter Amazon Renewed. It’s a way to by refurbished, pre-owned or open-box products like computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, cameras, audio devices, home appliances and dozens of other products. Everything is professionally inspected and tested to work and look like new. And every item is backed by the Amazon Renewed Guarantee, so you can shop with peace of mind and save money.
Earn Amazon Gift Cards for Trading in Stuff You No Longer Need
What do you do with those devices you no longer need? Things like video game consoles, Kindles, tablets, bluetooth speakers, home security devices, routers… Rather than let them sit in a cabinet unused, why not trade them in through the Amazon Trade-in program and earn Amazon Gift cards that you can use for something you really need.
Ask for Compensation if Your Prime Shipment is Late
I wouldn’t suggest how to cheat Amazon, but fair is fair. Amazon Prime shipping has almost always been on-point for us, but keep an eye out. If for some reason they miss their 2 day promise, remember their guarantee is 2 days and they’re charging you for the privilege.
So if you’re receiving items through Amazon Prime that clearly don’t meet the shipping promise, let them know. There’s a good chance they’ll offer compensation in the form of a gift card or a month of free Prime.
Here below, is a letter I received last year (again, this one late shipment is the only one I can ever remember).
As a Prime Member You May Qualify for Same Day Delivery
I like same day shipping, but same day delivery? Wow! Amazon has been rolling out same day delivery for Prime members, and so far, it’s only available to certain zip codes, but check here to see if yours is one of them.
Related – 25 Guy Gifts He’ll Actually Use
Want to Exchange Gift Ideas with Friends or Family?
Have a wedding, birthday or other special occasion coming up? If your family or friends are kicking around ideas for the birthday boy or girl, try using the Friends and Family Gifting link to keep track of ideas and prevent duplicates. Or if you have a family member in another location, they can shop for exactly what they want and share the links with you.
Just click on Accounts and Lists > Friends and Family Gifting.
The Lowest Priced Item Won’t Always be First in Your Search Results
Wouldn’t you think that Amazon would list your search results in the order of cheapest to most expensive? It’d sure make sense for the buyer right? And it’d be an incentive for sellers to keep prices low.
Well, they don’t. Amazon lists your search results in the order of what makes them the most money. So you’ll usually see “sponsored” items listed first. These are products where the merchant has paid Amazon to list first.
They’re far from the lowest in price, and Amazon gets a nice fee when you buy them.
Instead of scrolling though pages of unrelated items to find the best price, try these first:
- Use the drop-down sort box in the upper right corner to select “Priced Lowest to Highest“.
- Check the “Customers who viewed this item also bought” section just below your item.
- Beware of the “Sponsored products related to this item” section. Those prices are higher.
- Try filtering your search for sale items using the code we described above.
For Certain Items Don’t Overlook Second Hand
You can save with Amazon by considering some of the second-hand items. Some that I’ve found to be a great buy are DVD’s or gently used books. We’ve selected the “Like New” condition, and purchased a lot of popular movies for anywhere from $3-$6 and have never had a problem with them.
Take Your Time Shopping and Earn Discounts
According to Shopify, over 67% of shopping carts are abandoned before an online customer checks out. So you can bet online merchants want to recover some of those lost sales. This Amazon hack won’t work repeatedly, but is very likely to score you a discount or free shipment.
When you find the item you want, instead of checking out, just close you’re browser window. Believe me, this won’t go unnoticed. Almost definitely, within a day or two, you’ll receive an email notifying you that you have things in your cart. And there’s a good chance you’ll be offered an incentive. So if your purchase isn’t that time sensitive, and you have a few days, give it a try.
If You Subscribe to Cable, Have You Considered Prime Video?
One of the reasons I waited so long to ditch cable TV was, the hundreds of on-demand movies cable offered. But if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you have access to thousands of movies, documentaries and other content.
Why pay $100 or even $200 per month for cable when you can pay $119 per YEAR for content and other benefits.
If you’re on the fence about getting Prime, check out their Amazon Prime Free for 30 Days offer. You can always cancel if you change your mind, and owe them nothing. Personally, canceling cable was one of the best decisions I’ve made in the past year. I don’t miss it one bit.
Related: 20 Cable Alternatives That Cost Less and Bring More
Earn Money to Shop on Amazon
Probably the easiest Amazon hack is to shop there using Rakuten (formerly Ebates). Here’s how it works: you just sign up for a free Rakuten account. Log in to Rakuten, then use the search bar to type in Amazon (or whatever other store you want to shop at). Rakuten is partnered with over 2500 stores, including Amazon.
Here’s what it would look like: I typed in Amazon and as you can see below, you’d earn up to 6% back just by shopping on Amazon through Rakuten. That’s pretty crazy. Just by taking an extra 10 seconds to access Amazon through the Rakuten app, you save money.
You’re not paying anything extra to shop through Rakuten. Rakuten gets a percentage of the sale from merchants in exchange for pushing customers their way. And Rakuten shares that with you.
I’ve tested it, by searching for items at a store like Target, then search for the same item at Target through Rakuten. It’s the same price both ways. Except that you get money back through Rakuten. So, you’re leaving money on the table by not using it. When you sign up for Rakuten, just select whether you want to be paid through PayPal or by check.
Let Honey Find Coupon Codes or Discounts
Honey is browser extension that that’ll enable you to save on Amazon. It sits idle until you’re checking out. You don’t have to do anything. Once Honey sees a product in your shopping cart, it will check for any available discounts and if it finds one it will apply it to your cart.
How easy is that?
Here’s why Honey is a nice Amazon hack: It’s common to assume that the first item in your Amazon search is the lowest price available. And if you see the “Prime” icon next to the price, you know you’re getting free two-day shipping. So for a lot of people, that would seal the deal.
But usually, the first item listed isn’t the lowest priced. It’s probably a sponsored item.
Once you install Honey, it’ll show another little icon next to the price. This one indicates whether or not you’re seeing the best price. Honey calls this Cart Protection, but it’ll actually alert you before you add a product to your cart and show you a cheaper item if one’s available.
CamelCamelCamel Will Locate the Best Price on Amazon
Don’t you hate it when you agonize over a purchase, then you see it priced lower than what you paid for it? You thought you looked everywhere, but there it is, a week later for 15% less!
You’ll probably find whatever you’re looking for on Amazon. But how do you know you’re getting the best deal on the largest retail site in the world? There could be hundreds of listings for the camera or the TV you’re shopping for.
CamelCamelCamel bills itself as an “Amazon Price Tracker”. There’s a variety of ways you can use CCC:
- If you create an Amazon wish list, CCC can automatically create price watches for anything on your list.
- You can have your price alerts direct message or tweet you.
- You can add their browser add-on which will display price history charts for your item displayed right on Amazon.
- If you don’t want to add the browser extension, you can use their Bookmarklet that’ll create a price history for your item and make it easy to flip back and forth between Amazon and CamelCamelCamel.
I find that CamelCamelCamel is a nice Amazon hack if you’re planning a bigger purchase like a TV. You’re shopping around and want to make sure you’re getting the best price when you decide to pull the trigger.
Save Over $100 Per Year by Using Amazon Prime Music
If you subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music you can save the $9.99 per month by using Prime Music instead. Just like Spotify and Apple Music, you can create your own playlists and listen offline.
So, instead of paying around $120 a year for Spotify or Apple Music, you’d have music and two-day shipping, thousands of movies and all the other benefits of Amazon Prime.
Here’s an idea. Try adding up your yearly cost for cable TV and whatever music service you subscribe to. We used to pay over $2000 per year just for cable. Now, compare it to the cost of one year of Prime at $119.
If you’re looking to cut costs, pay off debt and start saving, remember:
It’s an accumulation of all the seemingly “small” savings that add up to thousands per year.
Check out Amazon’s Free Prime for 30 Days offer and see if you like the level of content they offer.
Always Look for a Coupon Listed Next to Your Item
This is such a simple Amazon hack, yet I used to overlook it. Just look to the right of your item and if a coupon is listed, don’t forget to click it and save.
Related – Digit – The Painless Way to Build an Emergency Fund
Get an Amazon Prime Student Account
This is an Amazon Prime hack that isn’t widely advertised – as a college student, you can get a free six-month trial of Amazon Prime Student. It offers the same free two-day shipping, access to unlimited photo storage and other benefits. Then when your free trial ends, you’d get upgraded to a Amazon Prime membership but it’ll only be half the usual cost. You’ll just need to use a .edu email address to sign up.
Exchange Your Loose Change for Amazon Gift Cards at Coinstar
Gather up the loose change accumulating in your sock drawer and drop it in one of the Coinstar Kiosks around town. You can elect exchange it for a no-fee Amazon Gift Card. Click here to find the kiosk near you.
Check Out Amazon Warehouse Hacks Can Save 50% or More
Amazon Warehouse Deals is a business of Amazon that sells open-box & used products as well as renting out textbooks. The items sold through Warehouse Deals will always have a clear description of why it’s discounted and be assigned a condition, for instance Like New, Very Good, Good or Acceptable. Warehouse Deals is supported by the same customer service staff as regular priced items, so you can be sure. Check out Amazon’s Warehouse Deals.
An Amazon Lightning Deals Hack Offers Huge Discounts
Amazon Lightning Deals are flash sales that run for about 2-6 hours on almost anything. And they can be a significant discount off the regular price. You’ll find them under the “Today’s Deals” menu item.
They’re not advertised before-hand, so it may be a matter of luck to see something you need. But that’s not that uncommon right? Maybe you’re shopping for a coffee maker, when you notice a great deal on a blender.
Use these Amazon Lightning Deals hacks to tip the scales in your favor:
- Lightning Deals are limited to their stock on hand so they end when the time limit or the items on-hand expire (whichever comes first). But you may be able still get the deal by joining the wait list. If you do select the wait list option, refresh your page every few minutes to see if it’s your turn to claim the item. Or if you’re using the Amazon app on your phone, turn on notifications.
- When you select a Lightning Deal, you have 15 minutes to check out. Otherwise it goes back into their stock.
- Check on the sidebar to see the upcoming Lightning Deals and set yourself a reminder to check back.
- When you’re checking out with a Lightning Deal, don’t select the “1-Click Checkout option“. Select the “Proceed to Checkout” option. This is the checkout option that’ll apply the discount for you.
Probably the best Amazon Lightning Deals hack is that throughout the year, the deals are available to anyone. But on Amazon Prime day, the discounts are so deep that they’re only available to Prime members. So it could be worth it to join Amazon Prime using their 30-day free trial. Even you cancel later, you’ve lost nothing but may have snagged some sweet deals.
One of the goals of Amazon has always been to make shopping so simple and so accessible that you’ll keep coming back. But simple isn’t always cheap.
Have you ever been to a concert, a play or taken a flight somewhere and compared the price of your ticket with someone else? It’s frustrating to see that someone sitting right next to you paid 30% less.
But that’s just because they knew a few tips and tricks.
So keep these Amazon hacks handy and you’ll be the shopping boss of the family.