Is it wrong that I went to Amazon to stock up on diapers and baby formula and ended up with 30 different shades of blue polish, too? Amazon is a happy land where shoppers can find everything they need (groceries) and want (ankle boots and maybe a cute little handbag). Those impulse buys can be budget killers, but here’s some good news: Deals are easy to find in this fabulous universe. It’s all about knowing where to look.
Here’s how to work Amazon like a pro:
- Use the “Special “ link in each department. The “Special Offers” or “Sales and Specials” link in select departments shows rotating deals within each Amazon category, like “Grocery,” “Baby,” “Beauty,” and more. Here’s a sampling of recent offers: 33 percent off diaper bags, 50 percent off select OPI nail color, and deep-discount “manager specials” for multi-pack food items.
- Use “Buy More and Save.” Discount a product by 15 percent and add free shipping. That’s the magic behind Amazon’s long-standing “Buy More and Save” policy. However, Amazon has recently trimmed the savings to 5 percent and free shipping, unless the product had the previously locked-in 15 percent discount. But it all adds up, and consider this: the bigger savings can be to carefully consider any existing “Subscribe and Save” deliveries you get. If you cancel now, you won’t get the 15 percent discount back.
- Take advantage of freebies. Amazon sometimes will add a free promotional item to an order, like the recent addition of a free Kind bar (retails for around $2) to select grocery purchases. But their freebie items are sneaky. They can’t be obtained by the typical “Add to Cart” button in the top right of the page. To get the free item, scroll to the middle of the page and click the “Add Both to Cart” button next to the description of the item you wish to buy and the free item you’ll receive.
- Use Auto-Coupons. Amazon has one-click discount coupons for various products, which can be found here.
- Check Daily Deals. Look for magical words like “Lightning Deals” and “Gold Box Deals” and enjoy some sweet savings by going here.
- Read user comments. Use shoppers’ candid experience and opinions to make better buying decisions. Recently, I saw what I thought was an amazing deal on a case of coconut water—a nearly 50 percent discount! I was ready to buy, but I’m glad I checked the “Comments” section near the bottom, where an individual said Amazon previously discounted the product to 65 percent. So I waited and was able to eventually pick up the product for the 65 percent price when it cycled around.
- Go direct. When making a big purchase that Amazon fulfills through a third-party vendor, check that vendor’s site to comparison shop. Amazon sometimes adds an additional “third party vendor” free. For instance, I found an awesome swing set for my son “fulfilled” by Amazon online but available through a direct vendor site. A quick new Google search resulted in my buying directly from the site at a $30 savings.
- Focus on free shipping. Amazon’s “free shipping” option with a $25 purchase is hard to resist. But hitting that $25 mark can be tricky. This site can help you find potential filler items to hit that $25 goal.
- Sign up for fashion news to save 20 percent. Free returns on shoes and handbags and rotating merchandise are key incentives for shopping fashion on Amazon. Need another? 20 percent off purchases just for signing up for their fashion e-newsletter.
- Get cash back through ebates.com. Members get 3 percent cash back through most Amazon purchases and up to 20 percent back on magazine subscription purchases when ordering through this site. New to ebates.com? Earn a $10 gift card with your first $25 purchase through their site.
So what’s better than receiving those brown shipping boxes with that grinning Amazon logo on your front porch? Easy: the satisfaction that you saved a bundle on what’s inside. Bring on the nail polish.
This is a guest post by Audrey in Texas
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