Millions of people love shopping on Amazon.com. If you include yourself in those ranks, you may be interested in learning these money-saving tips and tricks.
Track Prices and Get Price-Drop Alerts
Several services let you track prices of products on Amazon. You can use these to compare the current price to historical prices. Some of the trackers can also send you an alert when the product’s price hits a target point (even without creating an account). Check out CamelCamelCamel, TheTracktor, and PriceZombie. The tracking and notification services are sometimes available at other stores as well.
Amazon often offers low prices, but it doesn’t always have the lowest. The official Amazon price-match policy only includes televisions and price matches from select competing retailers. If you’re shopping for something else, there are reports of other ways to get a price match. Send a note to Amazon about a lower price using the “tell us about a lower price” link available on some products, and then wait a few days for the matching price.
Price Drop Matching
For products sold directly by Amazon, if the Amazon price drops within ten days of your purchase you may be eligible for a refund. Start an online chat with an Amazon customer service representative, send an email, or make a call. You may need to share your order identification number.
To automate the process slightly, you can use a price tracker to notify you if the price drops below what you paid. Alternatively, Paribus.co connects to your email and Amazon account and will automatically request refunds on your behalf (and take a cut for the service).
“Subscribe” and Save
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program lets you sign up to automatically get deliveries of home and kitchen products. Subscription delivers come with free standard shipping, and there’s an additional discount of 15 percent of your entire order if you get five or more subscriptions at once. This may be a good option if you want to receive a delivery of toilet paper, peanut butter and jelly, or baby wipes every one to six months – you pick the interval.
If you’re making a one-time purchase, you can still save 5 percent by choosing the Subscribe & Save option before adding the item to your cart. As long as you cancel the subscription – which you can do online for free – before the next shipment you’re in the clear.
Hit The Free-Shipping Threshold
When you’re about to check out and realize you’re just shy of reaching the $35 free-shipping threshold, it can be frustrating. One option is to look for an inexpensive add-on item, low-priced items that can only be added to orders of $25 or more.
To save time in the future, create an add-on item wishlist with products that you might need or want. Then you can quickly look through the list before placing an order.
Prime for College Students
Amazon Student gives Prime-type benefits to students for less. You get a six-month free trial that includes free two-day shipping, unlimited photo storage, access to Amazon Prime Video, and all the benefits of a standard Prime Account. After the trial period ends the membership costs $49 a year, and after four years the price automatically increases to the standard $99 a year. The one difference between the Student and standard Prime accounts is that you cannot share the benefits with household members.
To qualify for Amazon Student, you must be enrolled in a course at a college or university. You can either share a picture of your student ID, a transcript with your name and the school’s name on it, a tuition bill, or an official letter of acceptance.
Amazon’s Warehouse Deals section offers open-box and used products. Orders qualify for Prime and free shipping, and the purchases are backed by a 30-day return policy, although the products’ warranties are often voided.
When you’re browsing Warehouse Deals you’ll see that the items are rated based on their condition: acceptable to like new. Like new products have aesthetical damage to the packaging, acceptable products might have dents, show wear and tear, or be missing a manual.
Amazon Prime membership comes with extra benefits for those that have children. Diapers are 20 percent off if you use the Subscribe & Save option, and there are exclusive Amazon Family coupons and products. Expecting parents-to-be can get a 15-percent discount on items in their baby registry, along with a free welcome gift. For an extra $2.99 a month ($4.99 for those without Prime), Amazon FreeTime Unlimited offers thousands of ad-free and in-app-purchase-free books, games, shows, educational apps, and TV shows.
Some authors make their books available for free to Kindle users. You can easily browse and download the top 100 free books overall, or pick a subject area and see the top 100 free books within it. Even if you don’t have a Kindle eReader, there is a desktop app available for Windows and Apple computers.