Amazon is the ultimate online shopping destination that sells pretty much everything you can think of, ranging from books to furniture. The appeal of the digital superstore is simple: it's a one-stop shop with fast delivery options and many discounted items. To make the most of your Amazon shopping experience, follow these tips:
- Freebies: Take advantage of the free eBooks you can download from the Kindle store, and you don't even need a Kindle to read these books — you can read them off your desktop computer. If you're an Amazon Prime member, remember to borrow books from Amazon's lending library. The library has over 500,000 titles you can borrow.
- Used items: The online retailer has a good selection of used goods that you can buy from third-party sellers. Save on the item you want by checking out the used options. Be sure to pick the Amazon reseller carefully and factor in the shipping costs to the total.
- Consider Amazon Prime: If you buy a lot of items from Amazon, you should consider their $99 a year membership called Amazon Prime, which gives you free two-day shipping and access to freebies like the lending library and free streaming of movies, TV shows, and music. This would be worth your money if you find yourself often opting for the fastest delivery options or if it will cost more for you to go a brick-and-mortar store to buy the item.
- Share Amazon Prime: If the cost of Amazon Prime is too high, split the cost by sharing the service with others. You can add up to four "household" members by following these instructions. Amazon doesn't define what a "household" member means, so it's left up to your discretion.
- Free supersaver shipping: If you're not in a rush and don't have Amazon Prime, wait until your shopping cart has about $25 worth of goods so that you qualify for the free supersaver shipping. It will deliver your items in five to eight business days after the items are available for shipping.
- Subscription services: Constantly ordering the same items every month? To save money, you should consider ordering through the Subscribe & Save program, which will give you a discounted price and automatically ship the product to you on a regular schedule.
- Track the prices: If there's an item you want to purchase at a lower cost, use the site CamelCamelCamel to keep an eye on the price. You can set alerts that will notify you via email or Twitter when the price of the item drops.
- Shop the sales: There are many deals to be had in Amazon. Check out its Today's Deals page to see what items are currently on sale. The Goldbox Deal showcases one item that Amazon offers an extra discount on every day. There's also the Lightning Deal that offers coupon savings on an item for just four hours. Be sure to check out a section in the Today's Deal page that will take you to the best deals going on at Amazon. Also, when Friday comes around, there is the Friday Sale, which offers discounts on over a hundred items for just one day. Another place to find bargains on Amazon would be the outlet shopping page where you can score outlet deals.
- Take advantage of warehouse deals: Amazon has a section called Warehouse Deals where you'll see the open-box, like-new, and refurbished items at deep discounts. Amazon verifies that the items returned by other people are in working order before putting them up for sale as a warehouse deal.
- Mom and student accounts: Joining Amazon Mom will get you the same benefits as Prime, but it will cost you the same price. However, you get additional benefits such as 20 percent off diapers and wipes. If you join the Amazon Student program, you'll get Amazon Prime free for the first six months, then 50 percent off Prime membership after that.
- Price guarantee: If the price of the item drops after you purchase it, you can get refunded the difference as long as you report it within seven days of delivery. The price guarantee only works if Amazon sells and ships the item. To figure out if they are the seller of the item, you will have to look for this phrase "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com" on the listing.
- Trade-in program: If there's something you need to get rid of, consider Amazon's trade-in program. What's great about this is it's easy to look up the specific item you want to trade and you'll be able to see the price you'll get for it. It takes less effort to trade in the item and earn cash versus trying to list the item to resell it to others. Keep in mind that the items you trade in have to be in good condition, and if they don't meet Amazon's standards, they will be shipped back to you without charge.
- Coupons: Don't forget to check out Amazon's coupon page for even more discounts. RetailMeNot also has a nice list of codes you can enter when you're checking your items out.
Source: Flickr user schtumple