14 Hacks to Save Money on Amazon
Shopping on Amazon can be a great approach to saving money in the most convenient way possible. Before you click that order button, read our tips below to find out how to save on your next Amazon purchase.
If you’re like 80 million other Americans, you shop on Amazon at least a few times a year. In fact, if you belong to one of the roughly ⅔ of all households in the country, you’re likely to even be an Amazon Prime member.
The popular website–known for its two-day shipping, and now same-day delivery, options–offers everything from toilet paper and diapers to big screen TVs, food, clothing, and more. If you want it, chances are high that you can buy it on Amazon. With the website giant making it easy to purchase everything you need in one place, often with one click, it begs the question: Are there ways that you can save money when shopping on Amazon?
You’re in luck, because there certainly are. Below, we’ve laid out our favorite 14 Amazon hacks, all of which can save you a pretty penny every time you shop online. Let’s take a look.
1. Get a Prime Membership
If you already shop on Amazon but don’t have a Prime membership, it’s worth looking into. Yes, you’ll pay $99 annually (or $12.99 a month, if you’d rather go that route), but the savings can be substantial.
On shipping alone, you can expect to save approximately $5-$12 per order. Members receive complimentary two-day shipping on most items sold from Amazon, with some items even being offered with Prime one-day or same-day delivery (also for free). If you want expedited shipping, a Prime membership can save you even more, giving you options like $2.99 one-day delivery.
Prime members also enjoy a number of other perks, outside of just saving on shipping. For instance, you can access a large library of movies, shows, and music through the website, your phone, or even your smart TV. Instead of getting a movie on-demand or at Redbox, I often browse Amazon Prime’s library through my Firestick. I always find interesting shows, new releases, and movies worth watching, without paying a penny.
2. Save on a Prime Membership
If $99 a year sounds too pricey, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to save money on your Prime membership.
If someone else in your home already has a Prime membership (or is considering one), ask if they’d want to go halvsies. Prime members can share their membership with another adult in their household, free of charge.
If you’re a student (or anyone with a .edu email address), you can get a free six-month Prime membership. Once that trial is up, you’ll get a 50% discount on a Prime membership, which will give you access to discounted textbooks, school supplies, and anything else that is sold on Amazon.com.
3. Discounted Gift Cards
Ok, now that you have your Prime membership and can get free shipping, it’s time to save on the things you actually buy. The first way to do so is by utilizing discount Amazon gift cards.
You can snag discounted gift cards to sites like Amazon through websites such as GiftCardGranny.com. Since Amazon is a popular option, you won’t save as much as you would buying gift cards from other stores; however, you can easily trim anywhere from 1-5% off of your total spending price by buying a discounted gift card to start.
Another way to get discounted gift cards is through your credit card rewards program. Some cards will allow you to redeem your cash back earnings for gift cards, often offering a bonus redemption. For instance, you can occasionally get a $25 gift card for only $20 worth of rewards.
Since your rewards are technically free money anyway, this is like a double bonus!
4. Use a Cash-Back Site
If you shop online (through Amazon or any other store), you can use cashback websites to net you even more on the things you’re already buying. Companies like Ebates and Swagbucks will offer you as much as 10% back on your Amazon purchases, just for clicking through from their site.
This is a great way to save money on your Amazon purchases, as well as everything else you buy online. The cash back can add up quickly!
5. Use the Amazon Credit Card
If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you may want to consider applying for the Amazon Rewards Signature Visa. This nifty card will not only snag you a $50 Amazon gift card just for signing up, but you’ll earn cash back on every single thing you buy through the site.
For purchases made at Amazon.com or Whole Foods, you’ll get 3% back. Restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores earn 2% back on every dollar spent, and you’ll earn 1% back on everything else. If you upgrade to the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa, you’ll bump that up further and earn 5% back on your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
Want to redeem your earnings? Easily apply them at checkout the next time you buy something on Amazon.com, or even cash them in for a statement credit.
6. Use a Card With Price Protection
Not to be confused with purchase protection, some cards offer a great perk called Price Protection. This feature allows you to file a claim if an item you purchase with the card drops in price during a certain time frame (30-90 days, depending on the product).
Amazon product prices change all the time. If you utilize a card with price protection every time you shop on the site, you can easily take advantage of the lower prices that may come around after you buy.
Want to make the process easier? Use an app like Sift to track your purchases and the listed price, alerting you to eligible price drops. The app will even facilitate the claims process for you!
7. Track Prices With Sites
Don’t have a card offering price protection? Then use a site like CamelCamelCamel to track your planned purchases and alert you to price drops.
Simply enter the product name or URL in the search bar and set up a price alert. Say you want to buy a certain DVD player but refuse to pay more than $60 for it. You can set up a $60 alert on CamelCamelCamel, and they will email you as soon as Amazon drops the price to $60 or below.
The website can be used to track all of your repeat or planned purchases, ensuring that you pay exactly what you want to pay for each item.
8. Be Flexible
If you’re willing to be a little flexible in your purchases, you can easily save some dough on Amazon.
Many products on the site are posted with various options. Whether this means opting for a different pattern, another color, or even an alternate size, you can usually find a cheaper price (by at least a few dollars) if you’re willing to be a bit flexible.
9. Sneaky Shipping
Even if you’re a Prime member, overnight shipping often comes at a premium. Ranging anywhere from $2.99 to $10.99 per item, expedited shipping options on Prime products can get your order to you in a snap, but they’ll do it for a price. Oh, and if you want your entire order to arrive ASAP? You’ll pay the upgraded shipping fee for each and every item in the order. Or will you?
Some Amazon shoppers have reported a potential shipping hack, where you can upgrade only one of the items in your cart to overnight shipping, leaving the rest with default shipping. When Amazon packs your shipment, there’s the chance that they save themselves the effort (and cost) of a second box/postage by sending everything to you expedited.
Now, this isn’t a guaranteed method, but it is worth a shot. If you would like for your order to arrive a bit sooner, you can give this a try. Who knows… for only $2.99 more, you might see your entire order arrive the next morning.
10. Get Credits for Slower Shipping
Not in a huge rush for your item? Going out of town and won’t get to open the box for a few days anyway? Then consider the no-rush shipping option that’s often offered to Amazon buyers.
When checking out on a Prime item, you’ll often have a few options: standard Prime shipping, expedited shipping, and a no-rush option. If choosing the latter, you can expect your item to arrive later than the usual Prime two-day service. However, in exchange for the slower speed, you’ll see your account credited with a dollar amount.
This credit can usually be applied to Amazon Pantry purchases or even media downloads. It’s easy to save quite a bit of cash on your next order by building up some of these no-rush credits.
11. Take Advantage of Lightning/Daily Deals
Every single day, Amazon offers special deals on select items. Whether you’re looking for toys, electronics, household goods, clothing, craft supplies, or anything else, you can find a daily deal to match.
These deals, offered on the Amazon Daily Deals page, are available for a limited period of time each. There’s often a limited number available at the promotional pricing, so once they sell out, you’ll have to pay the “normal” price.
Some deals, called Lightning Deals, are offered for even less time. Luckily, you’ll usually be able to preview these deals before they go live so you can plan your purchase.
12. Take Advantage of Amazon Prime Day
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can take advantage of Amazon Prime Day. This exciting sale day, often held in the summer, means flash sale after flash sale of exciting deals and discounts.
Members can preview the deals before they go live, snagging incredible bargains like 33% off a Roomba or $0.99 magazine subscriptions (and everything in between).
13. Use Coupons
Did you know that Amazon offers coupons? Simply visit the Amazon coupon page to see which offers are currently available. You can search by product, by category, or just browse the newest discounts available. You can then “clip” the coupons, and they’ll be applied to your cart when you go to purchase the item.
This is an easy way to save dollars by buying online, in addition to the money you’re saving in gas by not trekking out to the store.
14. Subscribe & Save
There are some things that we buy on repeat. Diapers, paper towels, vitamins, contact lens solution, and even ketchup–all of these are consumables that we buy time and time again. Well, if you’re willing to subscribe to those items (saving yourself the time and energy of remembering them at the store when you run out), Amazon will reward you in price.
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program can save you as much as 15% per item, simply for scheduling future shipments in advance. You can set the frequency of the shipments and cancel at any time. The more items you subscribe to, though, the more money you’ll save on the shipment as a whole.
Considering the number of people who shop on Amazon.com every single day, it’s no wonder that folks are always looking for ways to save money. While some of these Amazon shopping hacks can take a bit of effort and finesse, they also grant you a great way to get the things you need (fast!) while also trimming the final bill down a bit.
What’s your favorite way to save money when shopping on Amazon? Sound off below!