Amazon has at least one thing in common with the jungle that inspired its name: It’s absolutely massive. The e-commerce giant sells hundreds of millions of products every year. But don’t let that scare you – it’s easier than you think to save money with these Amazon shopping hacks.
1. Join Amazon Prime
If you use Amazon on the regular, an Amazon Prime membership can save you some serious cash on shipping. Prime members get free 2-day shipping, among some other perks, including Kindle books and streaming access to movies, TV series, and Amazon music. Membership costs $12.99 monthly or $119 annually, so it’s only a good option if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper.
If you want to give Prime a test drive, you can sign up for a free trial — something that could help you save big if you sign up before the annual Prime Day in July or in November prior to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Fun fact: If you’re a student, Prime costs less than $7 a month, and your first six months are free.
I am also a big fan of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which allows you to earn up to 5 percent cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. This is a great option for frequent shoppers, but like with any retailer card, only use it if you can pay it off each month as the APR is pretty high.
2. Go ‘Outlet’ and ‘Warehouse’ Shopping
Love outlet shopping? Check out Amazon’s! The site has a whole outlet section of discounted overstock items from just about every category, including furniture, electronics, clothes, and groceries.
Amazon Warehouse sells gently-used items at bargain prices. When customers return items for whatever reason, Amazon staffers inspect them, make any necessary repairs and package them for resale. Basically, you can score a sweet deal on something that’s pretty much as good as new. Plus, you can make a return within a month if you find any reason not to keep your purchase.
3. Let Your Browser do the Work
Install the free Amazon Assistant browser extension, will alert you to better prices on Amazon as you shop on other sites. Conversely, install one of a handful of browser extensions that allow you to earn cash back when you shop on Amazon. My favorite at the moment is Rakuten.
4. Have Old Gift Cards? Use ’Em!
Think back: Has anyone given you any prepaid credit cards as gifts lately? Check those balances. It’s not uncommon to spend most of a Visa or MasterCard gift card and then forget about the minimal balance that’s left over. Believe it or not, you can transfer those balances to Amazon as a gift card: Just click “reload your balance” or start the process of buying an Amazon gift card. When you’re prompted to select an amount, choose “enter amount” and pay with your prepaid gift card.
5. Back to Basics
Amazon sells off-brand versions of many common products through its AmazonBasics label. If you’re looking for any everyday item — running the gamut from yoga mats to headphones — check to see if there’s an AmazonBasics version for less money.
Here are some great AmazonBasics:
6. Shop for Furniture
Amazon also recently launched two of its own furniture brands, Rivet and Stone & Beam. You can snag stylish mid-century modern chairs, sofas and accent tables for less than some of the leading brand names.
Check out these great home decor items on a budget while you’re at it:
7. Take Things Slowly
Good things come to those who wait. When checking out, Prime members can select “no rush shipping” instead of the default free two-day shipping option. You’ll get your order within six days, but you’ll also receive some sort of bonus, like a credit towards an e-book, or Prime Now, which is Amazon’s two-hour delivery service for more than 30 cities. On that note, Amazon also offers $10 off your first order with Prime Now — a great way to save on your grocery bill and avoid a trip to the store.
8. Subscribe and Save
Do you have certain items you buy on repeat — pet food, paper towels, sparkling water and the like? Amazon’s Subscribe & Save store offers discounts on thousands of items that customers are likely to keep reordering. You can subscribe for a product you use regularly, set a date for delivery and specify frequency — anywhere from monthly to every six months. You can save 15% on auto deliveries if you subscribe to five or more products delivered in a month.
9. Add the Fam
Amazon Family offers deals on family-oriented products and provides newsletters with parenting tips and recommendations. You can also save as much as 20% off diapers, baby food and other essentials, and get a 15% discount on baby registry items.
10. Look for Promos
Like most retailers, Amazon periodically offers deals and sales. The easiest way to check on discounts is to select “Today’s Deals” at the top of the homepage. If you’re shopping in Food & Grocery, select “Today’s Deals” at the top of the page or “Sales & Deals,” when you scroll down a bit.
Related post: How to Save Money When You Shop
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