What makes something a “worst thing to buy on Amazon?” Is there even such a thing when Amazon consistently shows up with low prices, quick delivery, and everything in between?
The criteria varies, but if something tends to be cheaper elsewhere, or it’s lower quality than what Amazon offers, it’s time to stiff-arm Amazon.
1. Amazon’s laptop prices can’t shake a fist at Walmart’s.
Before you buy a computer on Amazon, visit Walmart’s offerings. Nine times out of ten, Walmart offers a lower price and this is true during the holidays, as well.
Acer Swift 3 14″ Laptop
Apple MacBook Air 13″
Samsung Chromebook 4 11.6″
2. Kirkland Signature, Trader Joe’s, and IKEA products will always be more spendy on Amazon.
It’s tempting to do this, especially if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s or an IKEA in your area. Or if you’re trying to shop Costco without a membership. But these products, usually offered by third-party sellers, are always more expensive on Amazon. Check it out:
Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes, 900 count
Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Potato Chips, 7 ounces
IKEA Micke Desk
3. Don’t bother with school supplies on Amazon.
While you can score Adidas or Under Armour backpacks on Amazon for at least 50% off, traditional school supplies — markers, glue, scissors, etc. — are a waste of time.
Especially since the places that have the best prices on school supplies all offer curbside pickup or home delivery now. There’s really no reason to deal with Amazon for these.
Watch for sales at Walmart and Target in August. These are the best times to stock up on bulk supplies for the year. Also, check the Dollar Store for items like calculators. Download KCL’s Back-to-School Stock-Up Price List to make sure you’re getting a good deal when you shop.
4. Brands like Nike and Birkenstock are sold by third parties, so your mileage may vary.
Before you buy a beloved brand from Amazon, make sure it says “Visit the [brand] store” (like “Visit the Apple store”). If it just has the brand listed, it means the items are sold by third parties. For example, “Brand: Nike.”
With third-party sellers, your mileage may vary on quality, and you won’t receive your items in the time frame you expect from Amazon as a Prime member. In fact, it can take up to a week to receive your items.
Reviewers for Nike Cushion No-Show Socks on Amazon are saying the product is inferior to what they’d expect from Nike. Socks are thin and don’t have the cushioning they are used to.
5. Skip Amazon when it’s time to shop for holiday decor.
Turn your eyes to Target when it comes time for holiday decor shopping!
The Saturday and Sunday after Black Friday, Target typically offers “$50 off a $100 purchase” on lights, trees, ornaments, stockings, gift wrap, and more. This is the best time to buy a pre-lit Christmas tree, because you can stack the “$50 off $100 purchase” promo with the sale prices.
Also, watch Michaels show up with consistent and low-priced artificial tree deals, too.
BONUS: Don’t buy Amazon makeup during ULTA or Sephora sales.
Stores like Sephora, Ulta, and even Macy’s have dialed in their prestige makeup promotions. Amazon, not so much.
Amazon makeup prices can hang with ULTA and Sephora on any old day of the week, but if you want to get prestige brands at the lowest prices possible, skip Amazon when you see ULTA’s or Sephora’s 21 Days of Beauty (typically early April) happening.
(Sephora hijacked ULTA’s sale for the first time ever in 2021. They offered the same deals as ULTA!)
ULTA (and Sephora!) 21 Days of Beauty deals
Final Price: $24.50
Compare to Amazon: $49
Final Price: $14
Compare to Amazon: $26