Tips On How To Save Money On Amazon
Brad Tuttle of Money.com, late last year, wrote about simple strategies on how to save money when shopping on Amazon. If you’re like us, you probably signed up for Amazon Prime for its free shipping for members. Brad Tuttle suggests that if that were the case, then we might not be saving as much as we thought we were on our purchases.
Now, I must admit, that perk of not paying for deliveries was what won us over. That, plus the fact that most of our deliveries are sent within one or two days. And now that we’ve got an Amazon warehouse a few towns from were we live, sometimes, we get our purchases delivered within 24 hours! So, what’s not to like? In today’s “I want it now” world, that alone is worth the price of admission.
But we’re also keen on saving money. And that’s what got me interested in what Mr. Tuttle had to say. So here now are his tips on how to save money on Amazon!
Discounts on Prime
A standard Amazon Prime annual membership fee is $99. That’s $8.25 a month. Doesn’t look that expensive, right? Still, $8.25, or $99 for the whole year, is not small change. This becomes abundantly clear if you’re buying habits do not justify such an expenditure.
If you are a heavy user of Amazon only during certain holidays, like say, Christmas, does it make sense that you’re paying for a yearly membership for something that you only use a couple of times a year?
Well, Amazon has seen this problem and came up with a solution. The company came up with options to its standard $99 membership. You can purchase a one-month Prime membership for $10.99 during the month that you expect to order heavily from them, and avail yourself of the free two-day shipping during that one-month holiday shopping spree. One thing to remember, though, is to cancel the membership once you’ve completed your shopping!
Amazon also offers membership discounts to college students where they are free for the first six months, then pay only 50% of the membership fee after that. They also give discounted memberships for people with low incomes, or $5.99 a month memberships for those who receive government assistance.
Be sure to always watch out for discount programs or promos from Amazon.
Introducing The Prime Rewards Credit Card
If you shop at Amazon often, and you’re an Amazon Prime member, you may qualify to apply for their new Prime Rewards Card. Once approved, you’ll receive a Visa gift card worth $70. The card also gives you 5% back on your Amazon purchases.
The rewards are in the form of credits for use on your Amazon purchases. They are not cash back rewards.
Since it’s a credit card, you may be tempted to pay the lowest amount due when you get the bill. This may not be the best thing for you to do. It’s better to pay your bill in full, if you can do it, because whatever rewards you got on your purchases will be offset by the interests you’ll end up paying each month you’re paying off that bill. In fact, when all’s said and done, you may end up paying more!
Keep Track of Prices
Another strategy you can employ is to always monitor Amazon’s prices. Their prices do not remain the same and can change at anytime. So you often won’t know if you’re getting the best deal. It’s worth your while to always check the prices of the items you want to purchase. Buy them when they’re at that price that you are willing to buy them at.
Now, as you can probably see, that will take some work, monitoring the prices of these products. There is, however, an independent website that does this tracking for you by tracking Amazon’s pricing history. It’s called CamelCamelCamel.com You will need to specify a price threshold, and when the prices drop to that level, you will be alerted.
It takes out all the work from your hands and frees you up to do more shopping!
A Little Patience Goes a Long Way
The biggest perk of membership is that free two-day shipping. That’s what you’re paying the big bucks for. But hold on! Is it really that much of an important option for you that you’re willing for pay almost a hundred dollars a year for it?
Consider this. Amazon is willing to grant credits on some items to Prime members who are willing to forego the free two-day delivery and accept the standard, slower delivery time of one week, more of less. Or, if you wish, you can give up your Prime membership, altogether, avoiding the annual $99 fee, and qualify for the standard shipping time of one week on most purchases of at least $25.
It really depends on you. Do you absolutely have to have those orders within two days! And during those holiday shopping season when you may need that free two-day shipping guarantee, you can avail yourself of that $10.99 monthly membership that I discussed earlier in this article. Again, don’t forget to cancel the membership after the season’s done.
One snag though, if you do give up your Prime membership, you will also lose access to all that video and movie content that goes automatically with Prime membership. So, think about it.
At the End of the Day, Always Shop Around
A 2016 study found that on some non-Amazon sites, 60% of the items tested were actually cheaper than their counterparts on Amazon! Well, it means you need to shop around! Amazon is great, but it’s not the only vendor online for a lot of the items you’re looking for.
This is the most important strategy of all if you want to save money shopping. Actually shop around and compare the prices. Case in point. We’ve been covered by one particular car insurance company for much of the last ten years. And we were satisfied with their service. In fact, we were assured they were the cheapest in the state, and we get refund checks of a couple of hundred dollars at the end of each year from them.
Two week ago, our daughter leased her first car. So we got her a quote from another insurance company. Expecting her rates to go sky-high, due to her age and this being her first vehicle purchase, we were surprised to see that her monthly premiums will only be $87! After we had quotes done on the rest of our cars, and their price came to about half of what we were paying our old company, we decided to switch.
At the end of the day, nothing beats actually shopping around, when it comes to saving money!