10 Ways to Save Money on Amazon

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Julie Clopper)

We all love shopping on Amazon. It’s convenient and it has literally everything you could ever want, from Fiestaware to formal wear. And the lightning-quick speed in which they deliver is obviously a huge bonus.

But if you’re not careful, the convenient nature of Amazon can make you a little trigger happy (that one-click shopping feature is dangerous), and you could end up spending a ton of money without even realizing it.

So how do you capitalize on Amazon’s convenience and service without breaking the bank? Read on for our favorite tips and tricks.

1. Become an Amazon Prime member.

This might seem like an obvious one if you’re already a member. If you’re not a member, listen up: It makes total sense to invest in an Amazon Prime membership (it’s $119 a year). Not only do you get free two-day shipping (which will pay for itself after a handful of orders), but you also get access to a ton of other perks like special Prime Day deals, Prime Now (one- to two-hour same-day delivery from stores in your area), Prime Music (free streaming from a library of two-million songs), deep discounts on baby items like diapers through Amazon Family , and access to Prime Video (so you can watch the critically acclaimed programming everyone around the office is always talking about).

Sign up: Amazon Prime, $119

2. Re-order staple items with Subscribe & Save.

There are recurring household items that you always need to have on hand (paper towels, garbage bags, aluminum foil, dish soap, and the like), and Amazon’s Subscribe & Save feature allows you to set up recurring orders of these types of items. This way, you’ll never run out of toilet paper again. And by signing up, you unlock extra savings on stuff you need to buy anyway.

3. Check out Today’s Deals, Warehouse Deals, and Amazon Outlet.

Like any good retailer, Amazon runs frequent promotions that will save you money if you know where to look. The “ Today’s Deals” section is always a good one to pay attention to, and perusing Amazon Outlet and the Warehouse Deals section is also a good bet. Amazon Outlet boasts a wide range of products that are on sale at a discount, and the Warehouse Deals section goes even further, offering steep discounts on gently used products.

4. Play the waiting game.

Amazon really, really wants you to buy that [insert product here]. So much so, that if you express interest in a product via the “save for later” feature, you’ll get an Amazon alert if the item’s price drops while you’re mulling over your possible purchase. Sometimes playing hard to get pays off.

5. And wait for shipping.

If you’re a Prime member (refer to our first point!) and you don’t need your order right away, you can select free no-rush shipping, which either earns you rewards on future purchases or gets you discounts immediately. You’ll get your order within six business days and you can use your rewards on eBooks on your wishlist, movies on Amazon Instant Video, groceries , and more.

6. Take advantage of the coupons.

Coupons aren’t just for those extreme money-saving geniuses. Amazon offers clip-able digital coupons for a whole host of household products including groceries, pet supplies, cleaning products, and even makeup, which you just might be tempted to put on for your next dinner party.

7. Let automatic trackers do the work for you.

If you don’t have time to do exhaustive research on the pricing history of an item you’ve had your eye on (who does?), automatic online price trackers like CamelCamelCamel will do the work for you. With CamelCamelCamel specifically, you can install a browser extension to track the price history of items while you’re shopping in real time, or sign up to get price alerts on a specific item you want, but refuse to buy until it drops to a certain price (we’re looking at you, covetable-but-expensive Le Creuset cookware and Wüsthof knives).

8. Buy from third-party sellers.

One of the reasons why Amazon seems to have everything you could ever want to buy is because they rely on individual sellers to keep their stock flush. For items that you don’t really need to purchase new (cookbooks and small appliances, for example), buying from a third-party seller can really save you some cash. (The only downside? Free Amazon Prime shipping doesn’t usually apply.)

9. Use the Amazon app.

Keep the Amazon app on your phone and the next time you’re at, say, Target, you can compare the price of something before you buy it. The app makes it super easy, too: You just have to scan the barcode or take a photo of the item and the Amazon listing comes right up. Then, you can either see if that store will price match or you can just buy the item online.

10. Donate some items through Amazon.

This one will be a little harder to track the savings in your wallet, but hear us out. Amazon has partnered with Give Back Box, and this means you can fill an empty Amazon box with a bunch of things you no longer need (three of your seven whisks, tea towels that don’t match your kitchen anymore, old mixing bowls, etc.) and mail it back for free. The donations go to local charities. And you get a tax write-off to use in April.

Bonus: Get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

This is listed as a bonus item because we realize a new credit card isn’t, well, in the cards for everyone. It is worth pointing out, though. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can apply for an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. You’ll get a $70 gift card to Amazon as soon as you’re approved. And you’ll get five percent cash back when you shop on Amazon and at Whole Foods. Plus, two percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores — and one percent cash back on other purchases.

What do you do to save money on Amazon?