14 Money-Saving Amazon Tricks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

These tools, tricks, and strategies will save you serious cash when shopping on Amazon.

Saving money on the things you always buy on Amazon is easier than you think. Experts agree that the best way to spend less is to use a few somewhat hidden tools. You can score major discounts on Amazon products you use every day and special purchases when you make the most of your Amazon Prime benefits, clippable coupons, and browser extensions. Heck, you can even find hundreds of things you can buy on Amazon for less than $1 if you study this list of nearly secret tips and tricks.

Sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial

If you haven’t jumped on the Amazon Prime bandwagon yet, you’re falling majorly behind. That goes double if you shop frequently at this mega online retailer; you could be losing out on lots of savings by not subscribing to the yearly program. Not only do you get free two-day shipping on many items, but you will also enjoy a handful of additional free things on Amazon, including free Prime Video streaming, free access to thousands of e-books, free streaming music, and other benefits. As a bonus, you can do a free trial to get started. Another perk: Through the settings page for “Amazon Household,” up to two adults and up to four teens and four children can share a single Prime account.

Look for coupons

Believe it or not, there are always coupons for Amazon floating around the site—you just have to be on the lookout. Stay alert for little orange coupon flags (they’ll appear beneath the price on a product’s Amazon page) or head to the Amazon Coupons page to browse coupons for products in various categories. You’ll find discounts on everything from supplements and cleaning supplies to leggings and other must-have goodies. Keep in mind: As with paper coupons, these eventually expire.

Collecting coupons is easy: Simply click “clip coupon” and add to your cart. The discount will be automatically applied when you check out. When you find a coupon outside of Amazon—say, on coupon site RetailMeNot—you can always add a promo code at checkout.

Shop major savings events

Did you know Amazon offers some of the best Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday savings? It’s true, and it’s one of the best times of the year to save up to 80 percent on best-selling Amazon products. Amazon Prime Day is the other savings hero to look forward to each year—sometimes twice. Prime Day is brimming with deals on just about everything that the site offers, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find brands that aren’t offering at least 10 percent off on these days.

Use the Subscribe & Save option

Perhaps you always use Amazon to refill your pantry. After all, it has the olive oil you love, so why make shopping more stressful? Some people are hesitant to use Amazon’s subscription option when filling their shopping cart, but they’re missing out on big savings. Use this underappreciated function to schedule automatic delivery of eligible items, from necessities to some of the strangest things on Amazon. That alone will save you money, but you can get additional savings (up to 15 percent off) by opting to receive five or more products in a single auto-delivery.

For things you purchase regularly, like laundry detergent, set the delivery frequency to monthly or bimonthly. For products you use less often, choose a longer replenishment interval, like every six months. You can always skip a shipment or cancel the subscription down the line.

Check out Epic Daily Deals

When you’re on the hunt for a hairdryer after yours bit the dust, you probably don’t pause on Amazon’s home page to see the deal of the day. This could be a missed opportunity, as Amazon changes the selection every 24 hours. Visit the Epic Daily Deals page to see lightning deals (limit discounts for a short period of time), coupons, and other limited-time offers for hidden-gem Amazon products.

Choose no-rush shipping for added rewards

Amazon Prime members who choose free no-rush shipping instead of free two-day shipping can actually earn rewards and perks for future Amazon purchases. Sometimes the site even offers immediate discounts and rebates. The rewards are typically credited to accounts after purchases ship. If you’re not in a rush to receive your item, this can be one of the best ways to rack up rewards without putting in any extra effort. Start shopping by checking out these Amazon products with perfect reviews.

Consider the Amazon Student perk

Amazon offers major savings for college students, starting with a six-month free trial of Prime Student. It offers many of the perks of Amazon Prime. Once you’ve made it through the first half of the year, you’ll be upgraded to the traditional Amazon Prime membership but at half-the-cost—until you graduate. Win-win!

Explore cash back offers

Earning money by spending money sounds contradictory, but it’s possible with a credit card that offers cash back. Amazon’s rewards Visa gives 3 percent cash back, while its Prime rewards Visa will give you 5 percent back on your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Plus, the Prime card will get you 10 percent back on select items on Amazon. It’s a good option if you spend most of your money at Amazon or Whole Foods.

Use the Amazon Assistant browser extension

Here’s a cool Amazon hack you may not have heard about. The Amazon Assistant browser extension allows you to see related items while you’re browsing on Amazon or Google. It shows you the best offers, ratings, and reviews and will give you an update—in real-time—as a price drops or changes. You can also save as you browse, regardless of whether it’s a product on Amazon or not, giving you a one-stop shopping basket for everything you’ve set your eye on.

Compare, compare, compare

You probably don’t think twice before buying hand soap off of Amazon since it’s fast, easy, and reliable. But like you would with any other purchase, it’s important to compare prices on other sites to ensure you’re actually getting the best deal ever. Typically, when you browse a particular product, Amazon will show you similar items on the same screen. Some may be sold by the same brand and have the same specs but feature a different scent or color, which is sometimes significantly cheaper. As you’re browsing, be sure to read the reviews to be sure you’re not about to waste your money on a poorly made product. And while you’re at it, check out these funny Amazon reviews.

Check third-party sellers

When you’re making a big purchase—say, a washing machine or a new part for your car—you probably shop around for a few quotes before whipping out your credit card. So why not apply that same logic to Amazon? As Karl Quist, the president of PriceBlink says, Amazon can be a little tricky and misleading since it doesn’t always show the cheapest price on its product pages.

“Sometimes there are third-party sellers that offer the product for a lower price than what is shown on the main product page,” he explains. He suggests looking for a message that says “available for a lower price from other sellers” on the bottom right of the page. According to Quist, many of the lower-priced alternatives still qualify for Prime two-day shipping. Before you commit, look for these signs an Amazon seller can’t be trusted.

Save on child and baby items with Amazon Family

The Amazon Family program offers Amazon Prime members competitive deals on baby registry items and essentials. Items like diapers, wipes, and other gear are offered at prices meant to stand up to retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Buy Buy Baby. For time- and cash-strapped parents, this can be a lifesaver.

Share your Prime membership

You don’t have to sign up everyone in the family for a Prime membership. In fact, a single paying member of your household can add up to ten additional names to the account for free. Just head to your Amazon Household page and invite other family members to share your Prime benefits. They don’t have to live at the same address, and each person’s purchases can be kept private. Once invited, your parents can buy all the Amazon’s Choice paper towels their kitchen can handle.

Trade the old for the new

Though technically you won’t get cash in your pocket, per se, you can trade in your old tablets, phones, TVs, video games, and books for newer upgrades or Amazon credit. The Amazon Trade-In Program is easy to access and a productive way to organize your workspace and home.

Sources:

Popular Videos

Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.
Lindsay Tigar
Lindsay Aurora Tigar is an experienced digital editor and blogger in NYC. Her blog, Confessions of a Love Addict, has a large following around the world, thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a year. A book project based on her blog is under development and represented by theJames Fitzgerald Agency.The New York Post named her New York City's most eligible single in January 2014. She was also selected as one of New York's most desirable singles by the lifestyle dating website, Rachel & Chris, and has partnered with several popular dating blogs to create viral content. She is part of the HerCampus Blogger Network and spoke at their summer conference in New York on "How to Be a Powerhouse Blogger." She's a social media and digital media guru with big followings on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.She freelances for several sites, including Shape.com, eHarmony.com,AskMen.com, Engagement 101 and more. She's also the resident dater forWomen'sHealthMag.com, writing weekly about her dating adventures in her 'Dater Diary' column.