As our world continues to move toward all things online, powerhouses like Amazon have filled this need to buy and ship products with ease.
From small household necessities to clothes and accessories, sporting gear, and even furniture, just about any product can be searched, reviewed, compared with other like items, and ultimately purchased on Amazon to arrive just about as quickly as in-person shopping.
We all like to save a little money when we can, without sacrificing quality, but is it possible to save money when shopping on Amazon beyond their already reasonable pricing?
The short answer is yes.
Let’s look at how to save money on Amazon with some crucial tips and tricks that you may not have heard of yet.
How To Save Money on Amazon
For a low monthly subscription fee, joining Prime is the most cost-effective savings tool that Amazon offers customers. Included in your Prime membership are these savings and potential savings that all start right away when you sign up:
- Free delivery – which is sometimes faster than regular shipping
- Two-day shipping on medicine, plus additional savings on related items just for Prime members
- Exclusive Prime deals and discounts, plus early-bird access to Prime deals to scoop up items with even better savings
- Extra savings when ordering Whole Foods grocery items
- 5% cash back on Whole Foods purchases when the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card is used
- Access to Amazon Prime movies and tv shows, bringing 1000’s of shows to your screen or tv
- Free games and in-game loot for gamers
- Free access to Amazon Music which is also ad-free
- Thousands of free books on Amazon Books, including Audible books
You can try Prime for free with a 1-month trial or utilize one of these other ways to get Amazon Prime for free (or at least cheaper).
Buy at least $25 worth of eligible items, and your order will ship free to the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii usually) or Canada, even without Amazon Prime. Items that are eligible for this savings are ones that are fulfilled and shipped directly by Amazon, so check on the product detail page for each item to learn shipping details.
“Subscribe” To Save
Set up regularly scheduled deliveries of the items you use most or need all the time. Shipping is always free, regardless of being a member of Prime, but shipments that are set to subscription status will save 15% if at least 5 eligible products are included in the order.
Categories included in subscriptions are:
- Baby Care
- Pet Supplies
- Health & Wellness
- Personal & Beauty Care
Free Amazon Gift Cards
Many companies give out free Amazon gift cards for activities you might already be doing or won’t mind completing.
You can earn free Amazon gift cards by filling out surveys or answering questions with sites like Ipsos I-say, Swag Junkie, or Swagbucks, just to name a few. A few survey companies like Nielson and Harris have been around a long time, and now you can use them to earn free gift cards.
Amazon Rewards Card
Apply and be approved for an Amazon Rewards credit card, and you will automatically earn a free $50 to spend at Amazon. Then, earn points to redeem at Amazon with these types of purchases when you use the card:
- 3% of purchases back when used at Amazon and Whole Foods
- 2% of purchases back when used at select restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% of purchases back when used on utilities, rideshares, and all other purchases
Other money-saving perks of the Amazon Rewards card (rather than giving you points or cash directly), like hotel upgrades, free travel insurance, and no international transaction fees, are among the many offerings that come free.
Instead of trying to sell your used technology devices, utilize Amazon’s trade-in program to earn gift cards.
Thousands of items are listed as possible trade-ins, and after answering a few quick questions, you can start the trade-in process.
You will be prompted to print out a mailing label to send in the trade-in. For some kinds of devices like phones, you will be directed to a physical location to trade in the device once an associate examines it and makes an offer on the spot.
Your payment will be in the form of a gift card or Amazon credit, and some items come with a limited-time promotional credit as well.
For techies that love to have the latest and greatest devices, this is a perfect way to upgrade, recycle old technology, and earn some money towards new products at the same time.
If, for some reason, your device is not accepted in the Trade-In Program, check out Amazon’s recycling program, which will save you the time and money to find an appropriate home for it.
Select Amazon purchases may result in a small payment for a real, unsolicited review left by authenticated buyers. Randomly chosen reviewers that have already purchased a product and completed a review may be selected to receive a small compensation as part of Amazon’s Early Reviewers Program.
Since participation in the program is not visible at the point of purchase, there is no real way to find out if the product is going to be eligible for a review and subsequent compensation. But since Amazon already authenticates all reviewers as legitimate buyers, the reviews given are reliable. The payment you might get as a result is just a little bonus to use on future Amazon purchases.
Who knew that taking a few minutes to endorse an item or complain about it could earn you free Amazon money?
It’s also a good idea to read the reviews of a product before you buy it. You can save yourself from the hassle and expense of buying something that doesn’t work or isn’t right, and needs to be returned.
Become a seller on Amazon to earn money from your used but still in good condition products. All products sold on Amazon have a notation if it is new or used. Used items will also list the condition of the product.
These are the used item categories that Amazon allows for resale:
- Kindle/Amazon Fire product and accessories
- Major appliances
- Music and instruments
- Office products, computers, and software
- Sports equipment
- Pet supplies
- Home improvement & garden items
- Video games, videos, Blu-ray, and DVD’s
- Books, cameras, cell phones
Price History Tracking
If you’re not in a rush to receive a certain item, use a price-tracking app, like Camel Camel Camel, that will connect to your Amazon list and alert you when a price drop occurs, or there’s a flash sale or other discount available.
Additionally, you can see the history of a product’s pricing to determine if there is a best time to buy, saving you money on items that you can hold off on.
Amazon’s Assistant for Chrome is an excellent money-saving tool that does the work for you. Once set up and linked to your Amazon account, this browser extension alerts you about deals, best pricing on products you are looking at on Amazon or other sites, and holds comparisons for you.
Honey is another browser extension that does pretty much the same as Amazon’s Assistant, but Honey will take the money-saving one step further by searching the web for coupons or discounts that can be applied in real-time as you check out. It will also help you find deals when you’re online shopping with other retailers.
Like the old grocery store coupons that were clipped and used at checkout, Amazon has a coupon area where you can search for products you want to buy. Amazon makes it easy by categorizing the items and listing the percentage or dollar amount off with the coupon.
As you add items to your cart, the coupon will automatically be added. Savings upwards of 50% or more are available on some products, meaning you can save big on items you already were going to purchase.
Amazon Daily Deals
Amazon Daily Deals were once relegated to only a few days a year, but now Amazon has special deals or limited-time discounts every day.
Upcoming deals are also listed so you can plan ahead. You can also put an item on a watchlist if a deal is upcoming but not yet available. Many times, these spot deals sell out, so setting a watchlist alert is a great idea for that hard-to-find gift or treasure you have had your eye on.
These deals have a countdown, so you can see if it is about to sell out, too. It’s a fun feature to see how popular the item is in real-time.
Deals can provide huge savings, and some are also eligible for free shipping sometimes as well.
As you can see, if you’re wondering how to save money on Amazon, you have several different options available. The best part is, you can stack some of these options together to save even more!
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and more. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a free library of career & job search resources.