20 Amazon Shopping Tips and Tricks You Must Know
Whether or not you’re a regular Amazon shopper, there are a ton of tips and tricks that you can use to make your shopping experience much more convenient. Many of them can save you quite a bit of money too!
Here are 20 of the most essential tips and tricks for getting the best deals.
1. Stay Alert
On Amazon, you can also choose to be alerted about out-of-stock items that have become available again. Additionally, you can send alerts to your phone when you set up an alert under “Shipment Updates via Text” on your account. That way, you’ll get a text message any time there’s an update or issue with your shipment.
If you’re a die-hard bargain hunter, you can also use a third-party site like CamelCamelCamel or SlickDeals to get alerts every time there is a price drop on an item you are watching. This is an especially nifty trick after you’ve bought an item: if there is a price drop within 7 days of your purchase, you can get a refund of the price difference.
2. Save on Pre-Owned Items
Check Amazon Warehouse Deals every day for a new set of deals on open-box and secondhand products. You’ll have to browse through a fairly chaotic assortment—for example, you might see deodorant, wedding bands, and complete Two and a Half Men DVD sets all in the same row—but a diligent search might yield an item you’re in the market for at a discount of up to 70% or more. Most deals on Amazon Warehouse are time-sensitive, though, so be prepared to act quickly.
3. Do Your Research
Price comparison might seem like an obvious tip, but it can pay off big time for frequent shoppers. Before you make an order, do a quick Google search for the item you’re looking for and check out the competition. If there’s a better deal on it elsewhere, chances are Amazon’s price may eventually drop to the same price or even lower.
4. Customize Your Email Subscriptions
Stay informed on new products and sales in any product categories you’re interested in by turning on Amazon’s regular email updates. You can specify the frequency and content of your updates by going to your account’s “Email Subscriptions” on your account.
5. Beat the $25 Minimum for Add-On Items
If you’re ordering discounted add-on items, you usually have to spend $25 or more. One way to get around this is to add some pre-order items to your shopping cart, which you’ll then be able to cancel until a few hours before the item’s release date.
6. Pay It Forward
If you have charities you’d like to give regular contributions to, Amazon provides a convenient way for you to get your generosity on. Simply go to AmazonSmile.com before shopping and you’ll be given the choice of a charity to give to. Every time you do this, 0.5% of your purchase will go toward the charity of your choice.
7. Build Your Wishlist On-the-Go
If you have an iPhone that runs on iOS 7 or later, you can add items to your wishlist within a matter of seconds. Just open the Amazon app and choose “Flow” under the “Search” option. Then, scan an item with your phone’s camera and Amazon will add it to your wishlist.
8. Earn Video Credit, Just by Being Patient
If you’re willing to make the investment, Amazon Prime can earn you some pretty unique benefits. A recently added feature is Prime’s $1 video credit. Essentially, if you choose the standard 5-7 day shipping option when ordering an item, you’ll receive a $1 video credit for the streaming video platform exclusively for Prime members. With enough purchases, you’ll be binge-watching Orphan Black in no time.
9. Earn Rewards with Your Credit Card
If you regularly shop on Amazon with a credit card, check whether your credit card company has a partnership with Amazon. There are various credit card companies that do, and with a qualifying card you can accrue reward points everytime you shop.
10. Share Your Prime Perks
Share the perks of Amazon’s premier shipping and video services with the people closest to you and spread the love. Under “Manage Prime Membership,” you can share your free two-day shipping perk with up to four of your family members.
11. Keep an Eye on Shipping Times
All of that waiting can pay off: if your package isn’t delivered within Amazon’s given timeframe, you’re eligible for a refund of the shipping costs. If you’re a Prime member, you’ll even get a one month extension of your membership.
12. Look Out for Flash Deals
Amazon has Deal of the Day and Lighting Deals features that provide excellent discounts for various items. Check out the offers daily when you enter the site, or set up email notifications for these deals in your account settings to stay in the know.
13. Don’t Be Afraid to Dial
Online shoppers can sometimes have hesitations about seeking answers the old-fashioned way, that is, over the phone. If you have a specific question that isn’t answered in the FAQs, however, it can save you valuable time to call a customer service representative, and time is money. Since Amazon’s site doesn’t exactly make it easy to find their customer service number, you might want to store this one in your contacts: 1-888-280-3321.
14. Use Subscriptions for Repeat Purchases
If you have regular, recurring orders from Amazon, like a favorite household product, you may be able to get a discount on it. Check out Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program, which allows you to set up subscriptions for qualifying items, usually at a discount.
15. Take Advantage of Student Discounts
If you’ve got a valid .edu email address, you can sign up for 6 months of free Prime membership through Amazon’s student discount program. The student version of Amazon Prime doesn’t quite come with a full package of features, but you’ll still be able to get free two-day shipping on next semester’s reading list. After the 6 month period is up, you can then get a full membership for $39 per year, half the normal cost. Just make sure to hit “Cancel” once you’ve graduated, unless you’re willing to pay the non-student price for another full year of membership.
16. Give Everlasting Amazon Gift Cards
Did you know that Amazon gift cards never expire? Since Amazon has so much to offer, this is pretty much the best gift card to give. Plus, if you have a prepaid debit card that has a small balance that needs to be used up, you can pay that balance towards the gift card so that it won’t go to waste.
17. Look Up Previously Visited Items
Can’t remember the name of that Vietnamese graphic novel you came across the other day? Fortunately, there is a “Browsing History” section on your account that will display all of the items you’ve viewed, so you can spare yourself the Post-It notes.
18. Enjoy Your Library from Anywhere
If you buy a digital copy of a movie or an episode of your favorite show, you can watch it anytime from any browser or mobile device by going to “Your Video Library” in Amazon Instant Video. You’ll never have to worry about paying for an in-flight movie again!
19. Turn Off Personalized Ads
Are you creeped out by personalized ads? Adjust the “Advertising Preferences” for your account to make the advertisements you get a little more randomized and a little less 1984.
20. Make Some Money Back
Of course, Amazon isn’t just for buying things. Below the “Add to Cart” button is a link that says, “Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon.” Click on this link and you’ll be able to set yourself up as a vendor and start earning back some of that hard-spent cash. Although Amazon will take a portion of each sale, selling to other users can be a convenient way to get rid of stuff you don’t need if you’d rather not make “Garage Sale” signs.
With these tips in mind, you’ll get the most out of your Amazon experience and do the least amount of damage to your wallet. Happy shopping!