Thursday, October 14, 2010

How To Save Money With Amazon is definitely one of my favorite stores of all time.  They have pretty much anything that you could ever imagine, and often their prices are better than what you could get anywhere else.  Now, I am all about supporting your community and buying local, but right now, with the season of life that my family is at, we need to try to stretch our dollars as far as they can go, and shopping local is not always the best choice for that.  I hope that someday we will be financially comfortable enough (Ha! We'll see if that ever happens lol) that we can always buy local, but right now shopping through Amazon saves me a lot of money.  Here are some ways to save money with Amazon:

  • Amazon does not charge tax for most states- I recently bought a new laptop and I think that not paying any tax saved me between $70-$90 depending on where I could have bought it locally. (the larger cities in our area have higher tax rates than the town I live in).  I really wish that when you purchase something, that the shelf price would include tax.  It is easy to forget how much extra tax will add when you purchase something- it can significantly increase the total price you are paying.
  • Since I use Swag Bucks, I earn Amazon Gift Cards every month which I can apply toward my total.
  • There are two ways that you can get a free subscription to Amazon Prime.  I have the free one year subscription for being a student.  This allows you to never have to pay shipping fees- no matter what your order total is.  You also get your items shipped to your house in two days with no charge to you.
  • Amazon has Gold Box Deals.  After you are signed into your account click on the gold-colored chest icon at the top of the page.  There you will find several special deals that are personalized for you, as well as the current lightning deal, and gold box deal of the day.  You are supposed to purchase a personalized gold box deal within 1 hour of viewing it, but I have found that they are usually available all day to you.  Your personalized deals will change everyday and they are actually an extra discount on the item (usually around an extra 5% off) just for you to purchase.
  • Amazon's prices change periodically.  Sometimes this can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing if the item you wish to purchase increases in price.  When I have my eye on something that I may be interested in purchasing, or something that I know I will end up having to buy sooner or later (such as ink for my printer), I add the item to my cart.  You can put it in as save for later if you would like, so it isn't in your cart ready for purchase.  Then, when I go to Amazon and click on the button to view my cart it will stat right at the top of the page any price differences -up or down- for my items from the last time I looked at my cart.  This is very helpful for me because if I added printer ink to my cart and see that the price dropped $5, I know that I should probably go ahead and purchase it then because chances are the price will raise back up soon.  
  • You can buy books and other items from private sellers on Amazon.  This can really save you a lot of money if you really want to own a book, instead of checking it out at your library.  Search for the item you are interested in and click on the link on the right side of the page that says More Buying Choices.  You can often find books for as low as $0.01 each.  You will have to pay $4 in shipping for each of these books, but this can be a huge savings if the list price of the book is $10-$15.  Make sure you note what the seller of that items says in the comments, and what the condition of the item is listed as.  Sometimes it may not matter to you if the cover has a tear or has a little writing inside and sometimes it will.
  • If you are in the market to purchase books through Amazon, consider checking other editions of that item.  When you go to a specific items page, it may have a box below the price with other formats.  You can click to see more formats and possibly find an older edition of that item for a much lower price.  For example:  I recently decided that I wanted to buy one of my Nutrition textbooks to have as a resource at home.  The current edition of this book costs:  $154.00!  Even used items for this specific textbook start out at $122.00.  I checked on other editions of the book and got one that was 3 years older shipped to my home for only $8.00!  When I got the book, I thoroughly looked through it and I believe almost the only difference is that the pictures have been updated with more modern-looking people in the illustrations.
  • Many books and Home and Garden items are eligible for a 4-for-3 promotion through Amazon.  If you buy 4 of these eligible items, you will receive the lowest priced item totally free of charge.  This discount will be reflected at checkout.
  • When you look at a specific item's page, always check to see if it says Special Offers Available right by the price.  If it does, scroll down and view what the special offers are.  Sometimes this may be the 4-for-3 promotion, and sometimes it may be a variety of other promotions that could end up saving you more money.
  • Sometimes Amazon offers an additional discount on items if you sign up for their subscribe and save program for that item.  This works for many items in their grocery department, and for items like diapers and wipes.  You will see this option right under where you would click to add the item to your cart.  If you choose this option to save the additional 15-30% off your order, you do not have any obligation to actually continue to have it sent to you.  To cancel a Subscription like this you go to your account- then click on the Manage Subscribe & Save Items under the Orders section.  Once there, click to cancel your subscription. 
  •  Anything I missed?

1 comment:

  1. I love Amazon, too. Hmmm...did you know that you can cash in coins at the Coinstar machine and get an Amazon gift card for free (that is, you aren't charged the 8 cents or so for money counting)? I like to do this, then look for things that qualify for free shipping. It's like getting stuff for nickels and dimes!