More consumers turn to Amazon to do their online shopping than anywhere else. According to a report by eMarketer, a market research company, Amazon’s share of e-commerce sales in the U.S. was expected to be a colossal 43.5% in 2017. EBay’s sales were the next highest with a share of 6.8%.
If you spend a lot of money shopping on Amazon every year, you might be missing out on opportunities to save. To help you maximize your savings potential, we’ve put together a list of nine savings hacks you can use when shopping on the website.
9 Amazon savings hacks you can use every day
Amazon is already a low-cost leader in online shopping, but using these nine hacks can help you squeeze even more savings out of your everyday purchases.
1. Use the warehouse
Amazon Warehouse is like a massive online clearance rack with many of the same items you can get on the main website. Here you’ll find a flurry of close-out sales, open-box discounts, and marked-down refurbished products.
“There’s a bad connotation with refurbished,” said Tracie Fobes, a personal finance expert and blogger for Penny Pinchin’ Mom. But she believes there shouldn’t be.
“Refurbished means an electronic has to go through a rigorous process to be checked before it can be sold,” she said. “It’s cleaned and everything is checked to make sure it works properly.” In some cases, you might even get a warranty.
2. Check the price history
One way Amazon encourages shoppers to buy now is by showing you a retail price and a discounted price. For example, here’s a smart TV that’s listed at $599.99 but offers a $200 discount with a final price of $399.99. Why wouldn’t you jump on that?
But if you visit Camelcamelcamel, a price-tracking website, you can see that the TV hasn’t been listed at $599.99 since it first debuted on the site almost a year ago. What’s more, the price has recently been as low as $369.99.
In this scenario, it’s likely that the price will drop again. So if you can wait to replace your current TV, you could save an extra $30.
3. Take the bribe to delay shipping
If you’re a Prime member, you automatically get free two-day shipping. But to save costs, Amazon offers incentives to delay your shipping a few days. In the past, I’ve been offered free shipping on Amazon Prime Pantry orders and a $1 credit for digital purchases and e-books.
It’s not a lot of savings, but if you don’t need your shipment until the no-rush delivery date, it’s still nice. I’ve gotten several 99-cent video rentals and Kindle books with no-rush shipping credits.
4. Abandon your shopping cart
If you’ve ever left something in your Amazon shopping cart, you might have received an email a week or two later reminding you that you never completed your purchase. If you wait a little longer, you might be offered a discount if it’s a third-party seller.
“It doesn’t often happen on Amazon, but there are rare instances where they want you to buy, so they’ll throw a discount your way,” said Fobes. “It’s always worth a try if you don’t need something right away.”
5. Flag late shipments
If you’re a Prime member, your two-day shipping benefit is guaranteed. If you ever get a shipment late, report it to Amazon. You might receive some form of compensation, such as a partial refund, a credit for future purchases, or a complimentary one-month extension of your Amazon Prime membership.
To automate the process, consider using the Paribus app. Once you connect your Amazon account, Paribus will track your shipments and automatically contact Amazon if one comes late. The app also tracks your Walmart.com purchases if you paid for guaranteed shipping.
6. Use all your Prime benefits
Arguably the biggest benefit you get from Amazon Prime is the free-shipping feature, especially if you shop a lot. But it’s far from the only valuable perk you get with membership.
“So many people look at the shipping, but Amazon Prime is so much more than that,” said Fobes. “You have photo storage, video, music, you can get early access to lightning deals. There are just so many perks that the $119 [annual] fee just goes far beyond the free shipping.”
For example, you don’t need to pay for photo storage if you can get it with Amazon for free. Also, you can get access to free books, magazines, and audiobooks with Prime Reading. Take some time to explore the perks you get with your Amazon Prime membership, and consider how they can save you in other ways than shopping.
7. Get the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
It’s usually best to stay away from store credit cards, but the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card is a rare exception. The card offers:
- 3% cash back on Amazon purchases
- 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% cash back everywhere else
You can use your cash back as a credit on future purchases. Avoid this option, however, if you have issues with overspending.
“You have to have the money in your bank account at the time you use the card,” said Fobes. “Don’t think you can just pay it back when you get your paycheck. Your paycheck is never a guarantee, and you don’t want to accrue interest.”
8. Trade in your used stuff
If you have any used items that you no longer want or need, consider trading them in for Amazon gift cards. Amazon will even search your order history for eligible items and let you know what you might get if you trade in.
A few things to consider before you try to trade something in, though:
- The item must function perfectly.
- There can’t be any cracks or major scratches or other blemishes.
- You can’t trade it in if it’s not listed on the trade-in page.
To make sure you get the best return, however, compare the price Amazon offers with other ways to sell stuff online.
9. Go wild with coupons
The Amazon coupon page offers deals in most of its categories. You can filter by popularity, expiration date, and discount percentage, or you can search for a specific brand. While this might take a few extra minutes, you can save a lot over time if you make it a practice to check the page every time you shop.
Avoid getting carried away
Saving money when you’re shopping online can be exciting, but it can get out of hand if you allow it to. If you end up buying something that you don’t need because you got it at a discount, you still spent more than you would have if you hadn’t been offered the discount.
As you explore these savings hacks, focus on using them only on purchases you would have made with or without the savings opportunity. And if you use a credit card, make sure to pay off your balance in full each month. By doing these things, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also avoid spending money unnecessarily.
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 0318/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
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Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
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Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
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