When I’m shopping for an item online, Amazon is usually the first place I go. It has just about everything but not necessarily at the lowest prices. In fact, I agree with money expert Clark Howard, who says that Amazon’s price tags are on the high end.
“Most of the time, Amazon’s not cheap anymore,” Clark said on his podcast. “It’s about convenience. So if you’re about the lowest price, Amazon ain’t it most of the time.”
How To Shop and Save on Amazon
If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper like I am, you know that finding the best price is as much a sport as it is a science. In these tips below, I’ll share some tried-and-true ways that may save you money on your next Amazon purchase.
1. Sign Up for Amazon Prime
Like me, you could decide to sign up for Amazon Prime. For $139 a year, the perks include exclusive deals that help you save money. Prime benefits include:
- Free, fast delivery on most items
- Prime Video streaming service
- Prime Music, which includes access to 2 million songs
- Whole Foods Market discounts
There are also deals available only to Prime members. One example: this Netgear range extender. As of September 2022, the Prime price was nearly half off its regular price and cheaper than the same item at Walmart.
If you choose to become an Amazon Prime member, make sure you plan to use all (or many) of the perks.
2. Share Your Prime Benefits
If your family members don’t have Prime, you can let them use your account so they can enjoy the benefits. Amazon Household shows you how to add another adult to your account. You can also add up to four teenager and four child profiles.
3. Look for Lightning Deals
Lightning Deals are limited quantities of items offered for less than the site’s regular price. Lightning Deals can be found on the Today’s Deals page as well as throughout Amazon.com. You can also join the Lightning Deal Waiting List if a deal expires before you can purchase the item you want.
4. Try the Amazon Trade-In Program
You can also save by trading in certain items in the Amazon Trade-In Program.
You can get an Amazon.com gift card in exchange for eligible items. Some of the things you can trade in include Amazon devices, games and phones.
I entered information about my used iPhone 8 to see how much Amazon would give me for it: $74.
5. Check Amazon Warehouse
If you don’t mind pre-owned or open-box items, Amazon Warehouse is a great way to get those things for less money.
Clark notes that Amazon doesn’t make Warehouse easy to find. He suggests you go to the site’s search bar and click on the “All” button and scroll down to Amazon Warehouse, which is near the top.
“A big chunk of the merchandise [on Amazon Warehouse] are items people bought on Amazon and returned. There’s nothing wrong with them; they just returned them, and they’re being sold open box for a lower price through Amazon Warehouse than they would be otherwise,” Clark says.
“The condition of the items will vary, and the merchandise is very heavily tilted toward electronics,” he says.
In addition to electronics, some of the merchandise available on Amazon Warehouse includes:
- Small kitchen appliances
- Pet supplies
- Grocery items
- lawn and garden items
6. Shop on Amazon Renewed
Similar to Amazon Warehouse is Amazon Renewed. which has pre-owned electronics and other things for sale at cheaper-than-new prices.
The only difference I have been able to find between Amazon Warehouse and Amazon Renewed is that the latter offers only “tested and certified” items. They typically come with 90-day windows of protection.
Thinking about buying refurbished electronics on Amazon? Read about my experience with Amazon Renewed.
7. Consider Using Subscribe & Save
Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program is a way to save money on things you buy regularly. The subscription service comes with free shipping.
And if you subscribe to five or more products and choose a single auto-delivery to one address, you get up to 15% off.
But Clark is not a fan of Subscribe & Save because it removes the process of comparison shopping, which is necessary to ensure you’re always getting the lowest price.
“How do you know that you’re paying the lowest price in the market? Once you set up Subscribe & Save, you’re not shopping anymore, and Amazon’s got you,” he says.
8. Look for Gold Box / Today’s Deals
Amazon’s Gold Box Deals are also known as Today’s Deals, the retailer’s bargains of the day. These deals cover all categories on Amazon.com, so it’s a good place to check to see if you can save money.
What kinds of items can you find on Amazon’s Today’s Deals page? It changes daily, but when I checked the page, among other things, there were earbuds, headphones, pet stain remover and a pressure washer — all discounted.
9. Check Out Amazon Family
Note: When you sign up, you’ll be required to enter some personal information to create a profile for your child.
10. Use the Amazon Rewards Card
The Amazon Rewards Card issued by Visa offers several ways to put money back into your pocket including 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods, 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1% everywhere else.
11. Delay Your Order
Slowing down your Amazon delivery can earn you rewards. At checkout, you can choose no-rush shipping, which means your order will arrive in six business days. Amazon will then credit your account with rewards you can use toward certain future purchases.
12. Check Amazon Coupons
One of the first places you should look before you start shopping on Amazon is the Coupons section. You may be surprised at how much you can save on regular items you use every day.
To use the coupon, click on the item and it will be “clipped” and applied to your purchase.
13. Browse Amazon Outlet
The Amazon Outlet is a great way to save money on discounted items. Think of Amazon Outlet as a clearance page. That means you may be able to find things that are out of season for cheap.
14. Earn Amazon Gift Cards
Want to go that route? Read Team Clark’s review of Survey Junkie.
15. Shop on Amazon Prime Day
If you want to save on electronics and more, Amazon Prime Day is an annual retail holiday that features plenty of sales. In addition to Amazon.com, you’ll find Prime Day deals at some other retailers as well.
16. Sign Up for Amazon Prime Student
Prime Student offers similar benefits to Amazon’s regular Prime membership but at a cheaper cost. Students can sign up for Prime and get a six-month trial as of this writing. After that, a Prime Student membership costs $7.49 a month or $69 per year.
17. Use Amazon Price Trackers
Amazon is such a huge site that there are Amazon price-checking websites you can use to make sure you get the lowest price.
Here are some top sites and apps where you can check Amazon prices:
18. Browse for Bargains on Woot
Woot started in 2004, and Amazon purchased the company in 2010. You can find special daily deals and limited-time offers on the site.
Clark says Amazon is utilizing Woot to sell its excess inventory.
“Amazon is using Woot as a way to move product off of new items that are in vast overstock in Amazon’s orbit,” he says. “If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get free shipping on the Woot items, but they don’t do two-day guaranteed delivery.”
“Also, Amazon has been doing something at Woot where on certain items, the Amazon Prime members get a lower price than other people,” he adds.
19. Check ClarkDeals.com
If you want to see the latest Amazon sales, the team at Clark Deals has the latest Amazon deals here!
20. Partner with Amazon Smile
This last tip isn’t really a way to save money, but it may help you feel better about spending it. Amazon Smile is a program that allows you to choose a charity; Amazon then donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible items to your selected charity.
Want to make sure you’re getting the best price before you buy on Amazon? If you’re like me and tend to keep items in your shopping cart for several days, Amazon can act as a price checker as well.
At checkout, Amazon can tell you which items have increased since the time you put them in your shopping cart. This information can inform your decision-making on whether you want to shop elsewhere for these items.
Here’s how my shopping cart looks and the price differences:
If you’re someone who does a lot of online shopping, Amazon is probably one of your favorite sites. But as a savvy shopper, you should try to save money with every purchase you make.
Bookmark this article so that the next time you’re on Amazon.com, you can use some of these strategies to save.
Want to know more about saving money when you shop on the web? Read Team Clark’s Online Shopping Guide.