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Smart Tips to Save Money on Amazon

Amy Finley
Woman online shopping using a tablet

Using Amazon to shop is not only convenient, but can save you money on a wide variety of items if you use smart shopping strategies. Try these money-saving tips and tricks to cut costs on everything from big purchases to everyday essentials.

Shop With Subscribe and Save

Some people don't even consider Amazon's Subscribe and Save program because they think they'll be locked into long-term subscriptions, but the program is extremely flexible; you can change, skip, or cancel your subscriptions at any time. If you add five or more eligible items to your order, you'll receive a 15 percent discount on all items (fewer items save between 5 and 15 percent), plus free shipping. Prime members can save 20 percent on diapers and many baby products as well.

Stack the Deals

You can combine coupons and sale prices with your eligible items, allowing you to save even more. This is one of the best ways of saving on Amazon, because you can combine deals like 30 percent off brand coupons with your Subscribe and Save discount.

Check Prices

Check the prices of the products you're purchasing to make sure they aren't inflated before you subscribe. You'll receive the price shown when you add the product to your Subscribe and Save list. Each month you continue to subscribe to the same product, check that the price hasn't increased.

Buy in Bulk

Buy bulk packages of things like toilet paper, paper towels, or laundry detergent, then skip or cancel your order until you need more.

Save With Prime Pantry

Another program great for purchases like food and household goods is Prime Pantry. Unlike Subscribe and Save, you don't get recurring orders; just fill your Prime Pantry box each month. Many items are specially priced for the program or come with coupons, so it's easy to get good discounts. They frequently have a list of promotional items, and when you select a certain number (typically five) you'll get $6 off your order. Membership is $4.99, but includes free shipping on orders over $40 (other orders pay $7.99 for shipping).

Find Coupons

The coupons on Amazon's website are easy to use: digital coupons are typically offered by the manufacturer, and all you need to do is click on 'Clip Coupon' to add it to your account. These are available for both household goods and items like electronics. Some websites, like Jungle Deals, focus specifically on the latest Amazon coupons.

Watch for Codes

You can also find Amazon coupon codes good for certain items, brands, or categories. This might be for a 20 percent discount off a certain brand of shoes or a money-off discount the first time you order with the mobile app. Register to receive email alerts (you can even customize these to your preferences) to get these right in your inbox, or find them on the Amazon website.

Shop Through Cash Back Shopping Sites

Some cash back shopping websites, such as RetailMeNot, offer promotional cash back deals on certain Amazon categories when you shop through their link. This can be a flat money-back amount or a percentage of your purchase.

Use Price Comparison and Tracking Tools

Since Amazon prices can fluctuate frequently, savvy shoppers should utilize digital tools for comparing prices and tracking specific items, such as:

  • Camelcamelcamel.com: Specifically designed to track Amazon prices, this free tool shows historical pricing and provides alerts when prices drop.

  • BuyVia: This free app compares prices from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and others to help you get the best deals.

Trade In Used Items

Amazon will allow you to trade in certain categories of items for gift cards. They must be in good condition, and the amount of the gift card depends on age and wear. Items like smartphones, games, books, and e-readers are eligible. To see if your item is eligible and how much you can expect in the gift card, visit the Amazon Trade In page.

Get Credits for Samples and Dash Buttons

Amazon also features individual samples, sample boxes, and Dash buttons you can purchase and receive Amazon credit back for the same amount. The credits may have restrictions. For example, the sample credit may be only good toward specific brands or categories; Dash credits are good toward the button's brand.

Pay With Credit Cards

There are three ways you can save with credit cards on Amazon.

  • If you link your preferred payment method with a service such as Drop, you can earn reward points with your Amazon purchases. Use accumulated rewards points on gift cards.
  • If you link certain credit cards (such as Discover) to your Amazon account, it will display any available cash back points you have available. You can then use these to pay for your Amazon purchase.
  • The Amazon Rewards Signature Visa Credit Card is a no-fee credit card from Chase that gives 3 percent back on all Amazon purchases.

Take Advantage of Pre-Orders

When you place an order for a physical or digital item that is eligible for Amazon's Pre-Order Price Guarantee, Amazon will give you the lowest price on that item from the date you placed the order to its release.

Consider Amazon Prime

Delivery man handing box to woman

While Prime members pay $99 per year or $12.99 per month for their membership, the service boasts many money-saving features, including access to streaming services, select e-books and digital items, music, and unlimited photo storage. Prime members also get free two-day shipping and early access to promotional deals. If you don't need items right away, No Rush Rewards offers give you promotional credits toward music, video, apps, e-books, and Prime Pantry items. On the fence? Get a free 30-day trial to decide.

Save on Shipping

Even if you don't get Prime, you can save with free shipping on most items available on Amazon. Eligible items ship free with an order of $25 or more.

Look Out for Sales and Deals

While it's always smart to cross check prices, Amazon frequently offers sale prices on all categories on their site, from digital items and computer equipment to clothing and cookware.

Deal of the Day

Deals of the day are discounted items in a certain category that are available at the lower price for one day only.

Lightning Deals

Lightning Deals are price cuts on specific items and are only available for a limited time and in limited quantities.

Sales

Regular sales and clearance sales are often available in many categories. Find them under Today's Deals and filter according to the type of product you're looking for.

Refurbished and Outlet Items

Also available at Amazon are sections for certified refurbished items, outlet deals (overstock items at marked down prices), and warehouse deals (used items available through third-party sellers on Amazon).

Upcoming Deals Alerts

Set up an alert on the Amazon app so you don't miss out on great deals. Just click on the 'Today's Deals' tab, and then choose which deals you want to be notified about.

Look at All Your Options

Unlike many other retailers, Amazon sometimes has different color choices or options in the same product at different prices. Compare prices to see if you can get the item you're looking for at a lower price. Armed with this and all the above tips and tricks, you can save big on many Amazon purchases.

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Smart Tips to Save Money on Amazon