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This is the first year that online shopping has actually eclipsed in-store shopping. It’s nice to go out and shop sometimes, but to be honest, most of our shopping is done online, especially around the holidays. Amazon is the biggest retailer of them all, and is usually pretty competitive price-wise. But not always. So, here are 15 ways you can be sure to save with Amazon and be the shopping boss of the family.
Use an Easy Code to Search for Discounted Products
Here’s a trick to save with Amazon that I just 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. This is a better method to find discounts than clicking the “Price: Low to High” option because that selection will list many things that are only slightly related to your specific item.
So, to use this method, 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.
Ask for Compensation if Your Prime Shipment is Late
Amazon Prime shipping has always been very efficient 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, be sure to let them know. Usually, you’ll receive either 1 month of free Prime or a free gift card.
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
Amazon has been rolling out same day delivery for Prime members. 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
I had always thought Amazon lists your search items in ascending order from cheapest to most expensive. That’s true sometimes, but not always. Many times they’ll prioritize items where they receive the highest profit margin. So another way to save with Amazon is to give a quick look at the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also” area below your item. There’s a good chance you may see the same or a similar item at a better price.
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 trick 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 over $100 or even $200 per month for cable when you can pay $99 per YEAR for content and other benefits.
Earn Money to Shop on Amazon
Probably the easiest way to save on Amazon (or any other site) is to use eBates. Here’s how it works: you just sign up for a free eBates account. You’d log in, then use the eBates search bar to type in whatever store you want to shop at. (eBates is partnered with over 2000 stores.)
Here’s what it would look like: I typed in Amazon and as you can see, you’d earn up to 6% back just by shopping on Amazon through eBates.
You’re not paying anything extra to shop through eBates. They get a percentage of the sale from merchants in exchange for pushing customers their way. And eBates 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 eBates. It’s the same price both ways. Except that you get money back through eBates. So, you’re leaving money on the table by not using it. When you sign up for eBates, 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 works well on Amazon: 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 that should seal the deal right? But just because your item is listed first doesn’t always mean it’s the lowest price available.
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, 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 have an Amazon wishlist you can use CCC to 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 works well 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, for the annual price of Spotify or Apple Music, you’d have music and all the other benefits of Amazon Prime.
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. Prime Music is worth checking into.
Always Look for a Coupon Listed Next to Your Item
Look to the right of your item and if a coupon is listed, don’t forget to click it and save.
Get an Amazon Prime Student Account
As a college student, you can take advantage of 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 Deals to 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.
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 can be pretty frustrating to see that someone sitting right next to you paid 30% less. That’s just because they knew a few tips and tricks. So try a few of these tips to shop simply – and cheaply.
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