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9 Easy Ways to Save Money Shopping on Amazon


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With its vast inventory, including everything from personal care products to furniture to pet supplies, it seems like you can buy nearly everything your heart desires on Amazon.

And thanks to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service, many Amazon customers can now skip the grocery store and do all their food shopping online.

Even better, it’s easier than ever to find amazing deals on Amazon’s mammoth website. But there are many tools and strategies you can use within the site itself or on other websites to help you save even more money when shopping on Amazon.

On-Site Strategies to Save at Amazon

With a bit of time, patience, and know-how, you can save a lot of money on top of Amazon’s already low prices.

1. Amazon Prime

According to Statista, the number of worldwide Amazon Prime members reached 200 million as of 2019, 112 million of whom live in the United States.

Prime’s cost continues to creep up, but so do the benefits. You can see a full run-down on Amazon’s site, but some of the hottest perks of Prime membership include:

  • Free Two-Day Shipping. Prime members get two-day shipping on most products and free shipping on Subscribe & Save orders. In some locations, Prime members qualify for free same-day or even free two-hour shipping.
  • Unlimited Movie and TV Streaming. Enjoy over 20,000 movies, 2,000 TV shows, and 300 hours of Amazon originals through Amazon Prime Video. You can also watch news channels and pay to subscribe to additional channels, like HBO, through Prime Video.
  • Music Streaming. Access music for free through Amazon Music Unlimited. Non-Prime members have access to over 2 million songs. For a monthly fee, Prime members get unlimited ad-free streaming of over 75 million songs.
  • Read Free E-Books and Magazines. Always have a book on the go for your Kindle, tablet, or phone through Prime Reading. You can also join Kindle Unlimited for a monthly fee to access over 2 million books and magazines with unlimited downloads.
  • Early Access to New Books. Download one free book per month before it’s released to the public through First Reads. Members choose their book from a selection of books that Amazon editors curate.
  • Early Access to Lightning Deals. Take advantage of limited-time daily deals that only last while supplies do. Most Lightning Deals are discounted by at least 20%, and many deals are 50% to 70% off or more.
  • Try Before You Buy. Try on clothing, shoes, and accessories through Prime Wardrobe risk-free. Apparel ships for free, and you only pay for the things you decide to keep. You can return everything else with the free shipping label that comes in the same box.

If you’re not yet a Prime member, it might pay to do a quick search for a coupon. Amazon sometimes runs promotions for $20 or more off Prime membership. You might also get a discounted membership rate by waiting for Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.

Also, students pay about half the regular price for their Prime membership. You can also save 50% on your membership if you qualify for certain government financial assistance programs, like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). You can view a full list of eligible assistance programs on Amazon’s website.

2. Subscribe & Save

One of the best ways to save money on household essentials is to use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program.

With Subscribe & Save, you get additional discounts when you sign up to receive regular deliveries of products you use all the time. Most Subscribe & Save products grant a 5% or 10% discount. But Subscribe & Save users save up to 15% when they subscribe to five or more items shipped to a single address.

Some products also have Amazon coupons, allowing you to save even more, and shipping is free for Prime members. Non-Prime members sometimes pay shipping costs, but only for the first order, so it’s still an effective way to get a discount on essentials and avoid recurring shipping costs.

Everything from paper towels to toothpaste to bottled water is eligible for Subscribe & Save. Families with children can also sign up for Amazon Family to receive 20% off regular deliveries of kid-related products like diapers, baby food, and children’s vitamins.

Amazon sends you an email before your order ships so you can review your subscription and remove or delay any products you don’t need to restock. You can edit, pause, or skip deliveries without paying fees. Just note that ordering five or more products to the same address is key to getting the lowest price. If you can’t find five products you need, ask any family members or neighbors if they want to add something to your subscription and pay you back.

To save even more money, read our article on Amazon Subscribe & Save hacks.

3. Amazon Warehouse Deals

Amazon Warehouse is one of the online retail giant’s best-kept secrets. You can find some fantastic deals if you don’t mind buying used, previously shipped, or refurbished.

When customers return purchases or shipping companies damage boxes during shipment, Amazon routes those products to the Amazon Warehouse return center. Amazon also sells refurbished goods — typically electronics from their Trade-In program — in their Warehouse store. Qualified suppliers inspect and test all merchandise, which they back with a 90-day warranty.

At the Amazon Warehouse, you can find exceptional deals on goods like:

  • Baby products
  • Books
  • Clothing, shoes, and jewelry
  • Computers and tablets
  • Digital cameras
  • Furniture
  • Home and kitchen products
  • Kindles and other Amazon electronics
  • Software
  • Televisions
  • Unlocked smartphones

Products have four possible conditions: like-new, very good, good, and acceptable. When you shop for warehouse deals, listings clearly indicate the condition grade and provide a short condition description, which mentions things like minor cosmetic imperfections or damaged packaging.

Considering the 90-day warranty and the fact that you can find products that are as good as new, Warehouse Deals are a safe and reliable way to score a deal at Amazon.

4. Amazon Outlet

Another option for scoring significant discounts on Amazon is to shop through Amazon Outlet. This section lets you buy overstock products at serious discounts. Think 30% to 50% off most products.

Additionally, Amazon Outlet has dozens of categories, including:

  • Amazon brands
  • Automotive
  • Baby
  • Books
  • Beauty products
  • Bestsellers
  • Electronics
  • Groceries
  • Home and furniture
  • Kitchen
  • Pet supplies
  • Tools and home improvement
  • Toys and games

You can also filter for outlet deals that are eligible for Prime or have free regular shipping. There are usually several thousand products with overstock deals, so bookmark this section of Amazon to check whether what you want is on sale before paying full price.

5. Amazon Credit Cards

Amazon has a few different types of credit cards, and using them on the site can be an easy way to save and even earn money on purchases you’re already making.

Amazon.com Store Card

The Amazon.com store card is available for Prime members with credit approval. The store card is like any department store card. You can only use it on Amazon. Card features include:

  • A $10 free Amazon gift card upon approval
  • 5% back on all Amazon purchases (given as points redeemable only at Amazon) and 6% back on Amazon purchases during Prime Day
  • No annual fee
  • 25.99% annual percentage rate (APR)
  • Special six-month interest-free financing on any purchase of $150 or more
  • Special 12-month financing on any purchase of $600 or more
  • Special 24-month financing on select purchases of $800 or more

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card is a Visa card that allows you to earn Amazon points everywhere you shop. It also provides many other great benefits, such as:

  • 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods
  • 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores
  • 1% back everywhere else
  • A free $50 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • 14.24% to 22.24% APR, depending on borrower credit score
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel accident insurance and emergency assistance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement and baggage-delay insurance
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranty protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty protection by one year on eligible warranties of three years or less
  • Purchase protection that covers new purchases for up to 120 days against fire or theft with a $500 per-claim limit

Cardholders can also enjoy the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, which provides the best rates and possible free room upgrades at over 900 luxury hotels worldwide.

You need an Amazon Prime Membership to open a card, but the free Amazon gift card covers almost half your membership cost. When you consider the cash-back rewards this card offers, you can realistically cover the cost of your entire Prime Membership each year and then some as long as you shop Amazon regularly.

See our Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card review for more details.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’re eligible for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card, which is basically a souped-up version of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card.

Perks of this card include:

  • 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods
  • 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores
  • 1% back everywhere else
  • A free $100 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • Exclusive Prime card offers that grant up to 25% off on select products
  • 14.24% to 22.24% APR, depending on borrower credit score
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

You still enjoy the same travel, auto, and warranty perks as the non-Prime card. The $100 gift card almost covers your entire membership cost, and 5% back at Amazon is better than most cash-back credit card rates. If you’re a serious Amazon shopper, this card can pay for itself quickly.

See our Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card review for more details.

6. Prime Insider Newsletter

Each week, Amazon publishes its Prime newsletter, which provides a run-down of current member benefits and exclusive Amazon offers for Prime members. Subscribing to the newsletter lets you find insider ways to save even more money and be the first to know about members-only sales.

7. Amazon Trade-In Program

The Amazon Trade-In program allows you to trade in thousands of products for Amazon gift cards. You can trade in things like:

  • Bluetooth and Echo speakers
  • Books
  • Cellphones
  • Gaming consoles and video games
  • Home security devices
  • Kindle e-readers
  • Streaming media players
  • Tablets
  • Wireless routers

How much you earn through the Trade-In program depends on the merchandise you’re trading in and its condition. However, Amazon accepts some devices, such as Kindles, even if they’re not working.

Another perk of the program is that it’s easy and free. You simply answer a few questions about your trade-in’s condition, and Amazon gives you a quote for how much you might earn on the trade-in and a prepaid shipping label you can print.

When submitting a product, you also select whether you want Amazon to return it or pay you a lower value if it finds the condition is lower than you stated in your submission. Amazon processes returns for free, so opt for a return if you want to avoid getting paid less than your initial quote. You can always try selling the product on other online marketplaces like eBay or resubmit the product for Amazon Trade-In if you change your mind.

Once Amazon receives your trade-in, you get your Amazon gift card within 10 days. You might also be eligible for a significant discount on the purchase of an upgrade. For example, if you send in an old Kindle, you receive a gift card in addition to a 20% discount off the purchase of a new one.


Off-Site Strategies to Save at Amazon

In addition to all the money-saving strategies on Amazon’s website, plenty of external tools and sites can help you save even more.

8. Price-Tracking Tools

Prices change all the time at Amazon — sometimes significantly so. For instance, a Sony A6000 camera went from $648 to $798 in a matter of days. The price of a My K-Cup reusable coffee pod for Keurig coffee makers was cut in half overnight, only to go back up to almost its original price the next day. That’s not unusual.

Using a price-tracking tool can save you a great deal of money if you have the time and patience to wait out the ups and downs. There are several great price-tracking websites you can use.

Honey

Honey is a price-tracking shopping extension that lets you track prices for Amazon products and goods on other websites, including Anthropologie, Target, REI, Nordstrom, and PetSmart. You can compare Amazon sellers of the same product to find the best deal and add items to your Droplist to receive an alert if the price falls below a certain amount.

Honey also automatically applies online coupon codes at thousands of stores, helping you save money and time since you don’t have to dig for coupons. You can also earn cash back in the form of Honey Gold for shopping at certain retailers. You can redeem Honey Gold for free gift cards to companies like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

CamelCamelCamel

Visually, CamelCamelCamel is a stripped-down version of Honey’s price-tracking tool. It looks like someone created the site in the early days of the Internet and never changed it. But the website is easy to use and offers some helpful tools to help you find the best prices on Amazon.

As with Honey, you can enter an Amazon product or URL and quickly create a watch list. The website notifies you every time there’s a price drop. But the site also has price history charts, which allow you to see the price fluctuations of any product over the past several years. If you have time to wait, you can use these charts to anticipate when a product might drop to a new low and purchase it then.

Another notable feature is CamelCamelCamel’s Popular Products page, which lists the most popular products other users are purchasing and their current low price.

9. Rewards Websites

Several rewards websites offer cash-back rewards when you use their portal to access Amazon.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks lets you earn gift cards and cash for things you do regularly, such as shopping online, watching movie trailers, or taking online surveys. Amazon is one of the gift card options you can redeem, and you can also cash out through PayPal.

There’s some debate on whether or not rewards sites like Swagbucks are legit or a scam. The consensus is that they can be worth your time, and they’re a relatively easy way to earn some extra money to spend at Amazon. But you’re not likely to make a significant side income with Swagbucks.

MyPoints

MyPoints gives you shopping points for accessing websites through their portal, and you can redeem those points for gift cards at retailers like Amazon. You can earn up to 15 points for each dollar you spend when using their portal, which is approximately 1.5% cash back.

As with Swagbucks, you can also earn points for watching videos, taking surveys, and reading emails. Plus, you receive a $10 Amazon gift card when you sign up and make your first purchase of $20 or more within the first 30 days of becoming a member.

Drop

You can easily earn Amazon gift cards using Drop. Drop is a bit different from other rewards programs in that the app is linked directly to your credit and debit cards. Once you link your cards, you earn points for shopping at dozens of Drop partners.

Many offers pay around 1% to 2% cash back, but Drop also has some special rebates that pay $50 to $100 or more worth of points. These offers usually involve trying new services, like streaming packages or subscription boxes, but there are also plenty of standard cash-back offers for everyday shopping.

Giving a rewards app sensitive financial information can be risky, but Drop says they use bank-level 256-bit encryption.


Final Word

Amazon continues to grow at lightning speed, and for good reason. Why spend time and energy going to the store when you can find what you need quickly and easily from the comfort of home? Amazon makes shopping less of a chore and offers excellent prices on most products. But you can rack up even more significant savings with these strategies.

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