If you are anything like me, you are always looking for the next great deal and the best way to save money. Internet sites are one of the places that used to be a complete mystery to me. I could never figure out how to get the most bang for my buck. It’s taken me a few years and lot of hunting, searching and tired fingertips but now I’m here to share my top 6 ways of saving money while shopping on Amazon.
Number 1: AMAZON PRIME
I know what your thinking. Why should I spend $99 to sign up for Prime? How is spending that money now going to help me in the long run? I used to have the same mind set. It took us years of shopping on Amazon to even consider Prime. Then we ended up taking advantage of their trial period. I highly recommend before you dive into a membership, you do the trial. You can get a 30-day free trial of Prime every 12 months!
Now the biggest advantage when it comes to Prime is FREE TWO DAY SHIPPING. Regardless of time frame, though I have to say once you have that instant access to anything you order, you will never want to wait for another delivery again.
If you take a look at Amazon’s website you will notice one really important thing. They raised the purchase price you need to get free shipping. You now have to spend $49 every time in order to get free shipping. When I go on to order something for $10 I don’t want to have to find another $39 worth of products I wasn’t planning on spending to get the bargain price. In reality I’m no longer saving money by doing that.
The next advantage you get is access to the Prime Streaming Library. This content can be accessed through computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TV’s, all streaming devices and of course the Amazon Fire Stick. You get access to original content, older shows, and movies. The list goes on an on. When you think about the same content you get from other streaming services that you pay for monthly, that covers the cost of it right there.
The next benefit of Prime is the Kindle library. By joining Prime you has access to thousands of books which you can borrow at no cost to you! Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app onto any smartphone, computer, or tablet and read from there. This is literally giving you free books, on a device you already own. There is no reason to not try it!
For those of you in college there is also the option of Amazon Prime Student. This allows for you to get the same benefits of Prime for half of the membership cost! Amazon will need to verify your student status and your lower cost membership will be good for 4 years or until they can no longer verify your still a student. The program also comes with a 6-month trial period, which is perfect for those who are looking to test out the benefits (streaming is not included during this specific trial) of Prime during a very busy Holiday shopping season.
Number 2: Subscriptions
I’m sure you’ve seen the links for Subscribe and Save. These are typically grocery type items that are bundled together (think big box Warehouse style) and then are all shipped to your house. This includes items like Diapers for the baby, goldfish for the toddler, and toilet paper for everyone. Plus when you partner those discounts up with some of their add on items which are typically items bundled up but need to be added on to an order of $25. You can save your weekend shopping at those big box stores for hanging out with the family, because all of it then gets shipped directly to your house.
Also, keep your eyes peeled while shopping in the subscribe and save section, typically on the right hand side near the add to cart button there is a “click coupon” button. This button gives you a discount on your already lower price. Prime members save here as well! Diaper subscriptions specifically get an additional 20% just for being a Prime member.
Number 3: Daily & Lightening Deals
Daily deals change (you guessed it) every day. When you log onto your Amazon page you will see a toolbar that will give you a few different categories to peek at first. By clicking on Today’s Deals (or this link) you will automatically be taken to a page that will list the top Daily Deals as well as the Lightening Deals. While these may not be too exciting just yet, the closer and closer we get to the Holiday shopping season the more of them there will be.
Daily Deals are typically a category of specific items, made by one manufacturer that has a specific discount on all different levels of the product it’s highlighting. This is similar to the clearance aisle in your local large retailer. While not all of the products are on clearance, if you look through and check back frequently you can find some really great deals.
Lightening deals are time released, inventory controlled deals that only have a certain number of items in stock and can only be accessed and ordered in specific time frames. Once you place an item from a Lightening deal into your cart you have 10 minutes to finish your shopping and grab it. The discounts on these items are typically very high percentages off and they frequently sell out quickly so you have to be aware of what goes on sale when. This is especially true for the week of Thanksgiving when Amazon likes to start their Black Friday sales. The best prices are typically found in these deals. Also, as a Prime member you can gain early access to some of these deals. Typically Prime members get access 30 minutes before other shoppers do.
Number 4: Preorders
Everyone understands the basics behind pre-orders. You put money down, you order the DVD, video game etc and then when it’s released you go to the store and they have a copy reserved for you. Amazon does this as well. But the best part is that their pre-order price, is typically the lowest price you will find on the actual item. If that price goes down before it ships they will refund you the money automatically. They also will ship the item to you and have it arrive the day it is released. No more traveling to stores to pick it up. You come home, open the package and your item is in hand and ready to go. Prime members also save here with up to 20% the purchase price on Video Game preorders.
Number 5: Add Ons
Amazon frequently has what’s called Add On products. These are products that are typically in a smaller form of a bundle or have had their prices reduced to crazy low. The one thing about them is that you will need a purchase of $25 in order for the add on item to ship. While sometimes this isn’t always possible, if you already have the $25 in your cart it never hurts to search for the occasional add on. While it’s not necessarily something you may have been looking to purchase at the time, the deals are often too good to pass up once you find them.
As an example, if I am on Amazon shopping for a Baby shower, I have my cart filled with all the little here and there items and have already hit my $25 or $49 (for free shipping) and I come across an add on of 6 packs of Boogie wipes for $3.49 (actual deal). I know that I can put one of those packs in the basket of goodies for the mom to be, and my two boys will go through the next five between now and New Years. Add on items are the items you will use and will go through for an incredibly low price.
Number 6: Your Cart
I learned this trick a long time ago. When I first started shopping on Amazon I was impressed by the prices, by the fact I didn’t have to go out into the cold on Thanksgiving night to get the best deals. I love that everything shows up at my door even though it means a large box of goodies for my poor mail carrier who delivers them all come Christmas time. But the best trick I have for finding amazing prices, unless the item is already on incredible clearance, or is a lightening deal, is to put it in your cart and wait.
Wait? Who waits anymore right? I know it’s crazy. But seriously, the prices on Amazon are constantly changing and while there is a chance that by placing that item in your cart could mean it goes up a few cents or dollars more, if you don’t need it right away, or if your holiday shopping super early because that’s when the sales start. I highly recommend waiting on the bigger items. Things such as video games, movies, toys and electronics all seem to fluctuate around this time of year. My rule of thumb is that if I put it in my cart at close to retail (10-20% off) I keep it there. I give it a week or two and if it drops to 30-50% I purchase it.
If you decide to not wait on that purchase and it is made from Amazon LLC directly, you do have a 7-day period in which you can let them know the price has gone down and they will honor it. It’s a very simple process of just entering a Live Chat with one of their representatives, providing your order number and they will be able to process a return directly back to your payment method or if you wish onto a gift card that will apply to your account instantly.
There are lots of ways to save money on Amazon; their prices are typically some of the lowest in the marketplace. It’s why they are so good at doing what they do. But hopefully a few of these tricks and tips will help you while shopping and give you a hint of the best places to look before checking out. If you have any tips or tricks that you use, feel free to comment below!