21 Little-Known Amazon Hacks Every Online Shopper Needs to Know
Get ready to save BIG.
Do good while you shop
On AmazonSmile, you can find the exact same offers you’d find on Amazon’s regular homepage, but with one little difference: A portion of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice. There are thousands of options to choose from, from animal shelters to homeless support to after-school programs. It links to your regular account, so no worries if you’ve already picked your items on the regular site. If you suddenly remember 0.5 percent could be going to your cause, you can hop right on AmazonSmile and your cart will be ready for checkout. Check out the complicated origin story behind Amazon’s name.
It’s easy to hit the minimum for free shipping
Amazon offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more, which is great—until you’re sitting there with a $23 item in your cart and don’t feel like doubling your order just to save a little on shipping. Luckily, Amazon offers “add-on” items for just that occasion. Instead of paying for some random pocket screwdriver you don’t need, you have your pick of products you’ll actually use. Just type “add-on items” in the search bar and browse around practical items like toothpaste, razors, snacks, and more. Best of all, if your order still doesn’t reach $25, you can keep the add-ons in your cart. Amazon will automatically save them for later so you can get free shipping the next time you hit the minimum. You can also fill your cart with $25 worth of only add-ons to get free shipping on the already-cheap items and save yourself a trip to the drugstore.
Buy used without the shady middleman
You probably knew that you could sell your own (and buy others’) used items on Amazon. But did you know Amazon itself sells used items? Head to Amazon Warehouse for returned, refurbished, used, and warehouse-damaged products. Like other sellers, Amazon rates each item’s quality as “Like New,” “Acceptable,” and more. And since you’re buying from a big name, you can probably trust that label more than the random seller with a 68 percent positive rating. There are millions of items to choose from on Amazon––check out 18 of the weirdest things you can buy.
Never forget to buy toilet paper again
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Set up a subscription for items you buy on the regular. If you always run out of basics like paper towels or coffee, the Subscribe & Save option will send you the product of your choice automatically every one to six months. You won’t need to run to the store for basics, but best of all, you’ll also get free standard shipping and a 5 percent discount. Add five or more products to your subscription, and Amazon will bump your savings up to a whopping 15 percent on every order. There’s no fee, and you can cancel whenever you want.
Find free apps easily
Opening a free-to-download app just to find out that any feature will cost you is frustrating. That’s why Amazon’s app store has an option to refine by “actually free” choices. They might not all be your top choices, but at least you know exactly what you’re getting.
Free books and music are easy, too
If you aren’t sure what to read on your Kindle next and don’t want to commit to a paid book, try these ways to read books online for free or head to the Amazon Best Sellers list. You can filter by paid and unpaid, and see the top 100 choices on each. There are tons of choices of free songs, too. And no, they won’t be some weird indie band you’d never listen to. You can add big artists like Blondie, Foo Fighters, and Chance the Rapper to your music library for free.
Hunt through extra savings
Sure, Amazon has plenty of sales and deals, but you can find even more at Amazon Outlet. The section sells overstocked items for as much as 75 percent off. You can find everything from colored pencils to bath scrub to laptops. Stock is limited, but you can see exactly what percent of items are left, and how long the deal will stand. Act quick if you see something you love! Just don’t shell out for these items you shouldn’t buy online.
Take the guesswork out of gift-giving
Picking a meaningful gift is way harder than it should be, especially when you’re buying for someone who claims they don’t want anything. Have your friends and family members keep a running wish list on Amazon to make it easy. With a simple search, you can find anyone’s wish list, or baby or wedding registry, by typing in a name or email address. But don’t worry—you can also make your list private if you don’t want everyone to see the title of every romance you plan to read.
Get great gift suggestions
A friend doesn’t have an Amazon wish list? No worries—the site also has a gift explorer to offer some suggestions. Hunt by gender, age group (for kids), interests, prices, and more for a bit of inspiration. No more hunting aimlessly through the depths of Amazon! You can also use Amazon’s Alexa to create lists. Find out 11 more things you didn’t know Alexa could do.
Amazon goes easy on college kids
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Kid heading to college? Students can get 50 percent off Amazon Prime—plus some extra deals just for students—by signing up with a valid college email. Plus, unlike regular Prime, which gives a 30-day free trial, Prime Student’s free period lasts six months. If they cancel before the trial is over, they won’t need to pay a cent—very helpful if you don’t want to go off-track with your college savings plan.