14 Little-Known Ways to Save Big Money on Every Single Amazon Purchase
No matter if you’re shopping for fresh flowers, cleaning products, books, beauty products, or electronics, Amazon is probably the first place you go. You can basically get everything you’d ever need in one quick online transaction, and real customer reviews make it easy to decide which best-selling Amazon products are actually worth buying. Not only does Amazon top pretty much any other retailer when it comes to convenience, Amazon is also rife with little-known opportunities and tricks to save some cash.
To learn about all the best ways to save money on Amazon purchases, we spoke with money-saving experts and Amazon representatives. Here are 14 ways you can save every time and make the most out of your Amazon shopping experience.
1. Become an Amazon Prime member
If you’re not already a Prime member, you’ve probably at least heard about all the great perks of being an Amazon Prime member. When you sign up for Amazon Prime, you’re essentially paying up front for benefits that save you money in the long run. This includes exclusive discounts on eligible items, free and fast shipping, free grocery delivery with Amazon Fresh, one free book every month, early access to Amazon sales events, special family-oriented offers through Amazon Family to the tune of “up to 20% off subscriptions to diapers, baby food, and more, and a 15% Baby Registry completion discount,” according to the site.
Amazon Prime costs Rs 1500 for membership (though there are also cheaper monthly plans and discounted membership options for students or those with a valid Medicaid card), so how much you usually spend on Amazon would be the best way determine whether or not it’s worth it. Sara Skirboll, Shopping & Trends expert for RetailMeNot, says a Prime membership is essential if you think you’ll place at least 15 orders a year. That’s at least one order per month — taking a closer look at your Amazon history might help you decide what’s best.
2. Score free shipping by bundling items
Don’t have Prime but don’t want to pay for shipping? When your order includes at least $25 of eligible items, you can receive free 5-8 day shipping. Eligible items include anything labeled “Free Shipping” on the product detail page that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon. This might mean grouping together purchases you wouldn’t normally and generally, being putting a little more effort in planning out your purchases. But for free shipping? It’s worth it.
3. Get Amazon credit for selecting slower shipping times
If you are a Prime member, Amazon rewards you when you select free, no-rush shipping instead of the standard two-day shipping. By choosing slower shipping speed, a special discount is instantly applied to your order, and a promotional credit gets applied to your account for a future order once your current order is shipped.
4. Clip Amazon coupons for extra savings
Yes, Amazon Coupons exist! “Many of these special coupon codes can be found in the ‘Special Offers’ section on specific product pages,” says Morgan. “You can also find loads of clippable coupons on Amazon to save on groceries, household items, and more.” Simply click “Clip Coupon” and the savings are automatically applied during checkout. Current coupons include 30% off clothing and up to 20% off home and kitchen.
5. Set an alert to get the best price possible
Camelcamelcamel.com tracks prices on Amazon as they change over time. Instead of manually tracking, you can also set target prices for products. If and when the price dips, you’ll get an email alert so you can swoop in. “I was able to save $240 by having [Camel] email me when the price dropped,” says Grayson Bell, from Debt Roundup.
6. Or, let your cart track prices for you
If you’re considering some pricier items that you don’t need right away, consider putting them in your cart on Amazon and clicking the “save for later” button. Amazon will alert you if there have been any price decreases (or increases!).
7. Set your household staples to autopilot ordering
Amazon’s Subscribe & Saveprogram works just how it sounds: You select various items you need on a regular basis (think: laundry detergent, coffee pods, baby care items and more), set your quantity and schedule, and then get up to 15% off and free shipping automatically.
“The discounts are small, and in some cases the prices may not be any better than we could get elsewhere. However, the time we save by not having to re-purchase diapers, soap, and toiletries is worth it,” says Julia Scott, the blogger behind Bargain Babe. “Before my monthly shipment, Amazon emails me a reminder so I have several days to cancel any items I don’t want.”
8. Take advantage of daily deals
Look carefully at the top of your Amazon.com page. See a little tab that says “Today’s Deals?” Click on that and get ready to save. There you can find Deals of the Day (items discounted for one day only) and Lightning Deals (items discounted for a few hours or until the set stock runs out). You can also use an Echo device to learn about the latest deals by asking, “Alexa, what are my deals?”
“Many products are discounted to the lowest prices they’ve ever been, with some items discount by 70% or more,” says Collin Morgan, of Hip 2 Save. To make sure you never miss a deal, you can take advantage of the Watch a Deal alert on the Amazon App. “Simply click ‘Watch this Deal’ on any item and receive a notification to your mobile phone when the deal is about to start,” an Amazon.com representative tells GH.
9. Know that you can score deals on digital items
“Customers can shop Digital Deals, which offer great deals on digital items like apps and games,” an Amazon representative tells GH. And if you’re a Prime member, you can enjoy exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books.
10. Buy overstocked products at steep discounts
Amazon Outlet takes a bit of digging around to find, but once you do find it, prepare to save. The Outlet is a dedicated section of Amazon where you can find markdowns on overstock and clearance products. It features categories like clothing, beauty, home and furniture, and even products under $10.
11. Save on unique items on Amazon’s secret bargain page
On Amazon’s Bargain Finds, you’ll find a selection of clothing, accessories, novelty items, and home decor for an average of $2 to $19. An Amazon representative describes it as a “wide selection of seasonally relevant products that are priced even lower.” Consider this the place to go for stocking stuffers and gag gifts.
12. Trade in stuff you bought, but no longer need
Have no use for that book you bought back in October? The Amazon Trade-In program lets you swap eligible items (think: books, electronics, video games, DVDs, and more) for an Amazon.com gift card. The process even includes a free, pre-paid shipping label.
13. Shop used products at a discount
Amazon Warehouseis where returned, warehouse-damaged, used or refurbished products go to be discounted. Sometimes, that just means a box is missing or torn. “I got my wife a camera lens that had a damaged box, but the lens was in perfect shape,” says Bell, who nabbed the lens at a 35% discount.
14. Get refurbished items for way less
Amazon Renewed offers pre-owned, refurbished and open-box products. An Amazon rep tells GH, “By shopping Amazon Renewed, customers can score products from top brands that work and look like new, but are more affordable.” Each item on Amazon Renewed has been carefully evaluated by suppliers and is backed with a 90-day warranty. To ensure the best and safest shopping experience possible, the experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute advise that you really read through this warranty, be mindful of any fine print on the product, and understand the return policy.