Amazon is the go-to platform for millions of online shoppers, and for a good reason. The internet behemoth has an unbelievable selection of products in almost any category you can think of. And thanks to its size and popularity, you can expect your most preferred manufacturers and brands to list their products on it. But it gets even better for those who know the ropes of the platform. Whether you love to shop on your phone or prefer your top-of-the-line Chromebook, here are 10 tips and tricks that will save you money and overhaul how you use Amazon.
Amazon Prime tips
Though not essential, Amazon Prime is one of the best ways to get the most out of the platform. So, it’s no surprise that our first tip is to get a membership. But there’s more.
Get an Amazon Prime membership
Joining Amazon Prime is one of the best ways to get more out of the platform. For a monthly or yearly subscription, Amazon Prime gives you everything from delivery benefits to shopping perks and digital content. Check out our Amazon Prime article to learn what this membership contains and if it’s worth it.
Get Amazon Prime for free or cheaper
The only thing better than getting an Amazon Prime membership is getting it for free or at a discounted price. At $14.99 a month or $139 a year, the service has many advantages. But you could get it for less. First-time Prime users get a free 30-day trial. So, if you haven’t already registered, you can take advantage of this during Prime Day to get all the benefits (including free shipping). If you like it, you can keep your subscription. Otherwise, cancel it before you’re charged.
If you’re enrolled in college or have a .edu email address, you could qualify for a Prime Student membership with several benefits. For starters, you get a free six-month trial instead of one month, alongside free two-day shipping on eligible purchases. You also get exclusive deals and discounts and unlimited access to Amazon services like Prime Video and Prime Photos. After the trial ends, you can keep your Amazon Prime subscription for half the regular price. That equates to $7.49 a month and $69 a year.
Qualifying EBT and government assistance recipients such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and Medicaid get a slightly larger discount. If you’re eligible, you only pay $6.99 per month after the regular one-month free trial. If you’re an adult with children, you can sign up for Amazon Family and get exclusives, such as 20% off diapers and baby food subscriptions. This is not to be confused with Amazon Household, which allows an adult to share their Prime subscription with another adult, up to four teens, and up to four children with varying levels of control based on each child’s age.
Amazon is great, but it’s even better if you can get the best deals on the platform. So, here are our best tips to save money on Amazon while shopping.
Find Today’s Deals on Amazon
You can find Amazon’s best deals for new products in the Today’s Deals section at the top of any Amazon page. Log in to Amazon.com and select the option from the top of the screen. If you use the Amazon shopping app on your budget Android phone or top-of-the-line Android phone, scroll down on the homepage to the Top Deal section and tap See all deals. It offers several daily deals on items across multiple categories.
If you’re a Prime member, you can choose to see only Prime Early Access deals or Prime Exclusive deals by checking the relevant options in the left sidebar. You can select other types of deals in the sidebar, including Lightning deals that only last a few hours or minutes. You can also set up alerts for available and upcoming deals on the app to stay on top of everything.
Take trips to Amazon Warehouse and Amazon Outlet
If you want to save even more money, check out Amazon Outlet and Amazon Warehouse. Starting with Amazon Outlet, this section aggregates overstock and clearance items for sale across several categories. Navigate to Today’s Deals and select the Outlet option to find items that have dropped in price due to large stocks.
Amazon Warehouse is similar to Outlet. But instead of overstock, it lists open-box, used, and pre-owned or refurbished products with big discounts. These deals mostly cut across tech products and gadgets. To find them, go to Today’s Deals and select Amazon Warehouse.
Amazon Warehouse items may be damaged, so check the quality (acceptable, good, very good, or like new) before buying.
It’s easy to focus on tips that help you save money. But sometimes, the best tips are the ones that help you better navigate Amazon and take advantage of the built-in tools to find the products you like.
Always filter the search results
Amazon has millions of products across several categories. Scrolling tons of product listings to locate a specific item is harder than finding a needle in a haystack. So, befriend the left sidebar on your desktop and tick boxes to filter the options.
If you have a Prime membership, it makes sense to start from there by ticking the box next to the Prime logo. Then, you can narrow things down with options like deals and product specifications. For example, when searching for “phones,” you can sort the results by the operating system, storage capacity, display, and camera resolution, to name a few.
Use the monthly payment plan where necessary
Almost everything can be financed if you go to the right place, and Amazon is one of these platforms. For products sold and shipped by Amazon, such as the Amazon Echo and items from eligible third-party sellers, you could be allowed to pay in installments over several months.
Anytime you shop on the platform, glance at the section under the product name and rating and above the specifications. If the item qualifies for installments, you’ll find the option there.
Checkout and delivery tips
After all is said and done, your package has to get to you. Otherwise, everything would have been for naught. Use these tips to get your items right on cue.
Use same-day or one-hour deliveries for urgent purchases
If you have an Amazon Prime membership and are in any of the eligible 8,000 cities, you can get free same-day delivery on qualifying orders above $25. Place your order before noon, and your package will arrive by 10 p.m., seven days a week.
However, if your orders are under $25, you’ll pay $2.99 per order for your item to arrive on the same day. In contrast, non-prime members pay $9.99 per order for same-day eligible items, regardless of the total cost of the items bought.
Amazon takes things further with one-hour and two-hour deliveries for groceries via Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods. This used to be in a separate Prime Now app, which the company has phased out. But the service has been incorporated into the main Amazon app and website.
Fill the cart with low-cost items if you don’t have Prime
One of Amazon Prime’s biggest perks is free shipping. If you don’t have a membership, you can still get your orders delivered without additional costs to you. However, there’s one caveat: You must check out with at least $25 worth of eligible items.
The next time you order a $15 item, find some filler goods to make up the remaining $10. Amazon has a ton of useful and cheap items that you can get. If you’re not sure of what other things to get, search for “add-on items,” and you’ll find more than enough to choose from.
Cards, rewards, and points
Discounts and promo sales are great, but there are other ways to save money while buying online. These include cashback and other rewards. Amazon offers points and credits, allowing you to get something back as you spend. Here’s how to capitalize on them.
Get reward points for qualifying purchases
Cashback is a great incentive for people who buy a lot of products. Amazon offers cards that let you earn rewards points whenever you purchase. With the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, you can earn 3% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
The percentages are converted to points (at one point back for every penny earned) and can be redeemed on Amazon at 100 points per dollar. You can also redeem your points through Chase in exchange for cash, gift cards, and travel.
Use no-rush shipping to get free credits
With physical purchases at brick-and-mortar retailers, you get your item on the spot and can use it immediately. But with online purchases, you need to wait anywhere from hours to days (or even weeks), so it’s no surprise buyers want the fastest shipping dates possible. That’s why Amazon tries to reward you when you dial down the urge and can wait a bit longer for your item to arrive.
If you’re a Prime member, and you choose the free no-rush shipping at checkout (instead of the two-day option), credits are applied to your account for use on future purchases. Plus, your package typically arrives within five days, making for a reasonable wait time. So, the next time you buy an item you don’t need urgently, use this option to eat your cake and have it, too.
Whether your goal is to save money, find great deals, or navigate the platform easily, arm yourself with these tips to transform how you shop on Amazon. And the best part is that they can be applied this very minute. Granted, some of these tips are restricted to Prime users. So, if you’re still undecided about making the jump, find out everything you stand to benefit from a Prime membership.