We’re gearing up for our third holiday season as Amazon sellers. Over the last few years, I’ve not only learned how to maximize revenue as a seller, but I’ve also learned lots of incredible ways for buyers to save money on purchases!
In fact, I still do most of my holiday shopping on Amazon because you can get such great deals. It’s a deal seekers paradise when you combine the details about how Amazon works on the inside with normal deal finding strategies. Now if only I could find a way to get an Amazon Echo in time for Christmas!
Here are tips and tricks to save money when you shop on Amazon this holiday season.
How to Save Money Shopping on Amazon
- Look Beyond the Buy Box. The buy box isn’t the lowest price! The “buy box” or the yellow box that says Add to cart, is usually how we purchase when we decide we want to buy an item. However, the box below that offers more buying choices, which are, sometimes lower priced. Various items rotate through the buy box and the item currently in the yellow box isn’t always the lowest price, although it’s usually (but now always!) within about 2% of the lowest price. Click on the link with the number of new or used items and you can see all the price points. If you shop using Amazon Prime, you can limit it to just the Prime units and select the lowest price from those.
- Comparison Shopping. When shopping online the Amazon 1Button App or Invisible Hand can show you the lowest price elsewhere. When you are viewing an item on Amazon, it will automatically show you if a different site has the item at a cheaper price.
- Amazon Price Matches. Amazon doesn’t price match on individual items for an individual buyer. However, they do have the option about halfway down the page to “tell us about a lower price”. If you submit a lower price at a competitor, check back soon. Amazon will often update their item to match the lower prices offered by a competitor. It’s a good option when you want to buy from Amazon for the customer service, but want the same price you see elsewhere.
- Multiple Listings. There are often multiple listings for the same item in different categories… all with different prices. Once you decide you want an item, search again for item title or ASIN and open up the search to all departments.
- Opt for Slower Shipping. With Amazon Prime, we get two free day shipping. However, have you noticed the new option for slower shipping? The new “FREE No-Rush Shipping” will get you your item in 5-7 days, but you’ll also earn a free $1 for eBooks, digital music and videos. If you are shopping early, it’s an easy way to earn free Amazon Instant Video Credits.
- Track Prices. Once I identify a product I want, I review the price trend in Camelcamelcamel or Keepa. You can also set price alerts and they will email you once the price drops.
- Price Adjustments. Amazon will adjust your price if they offer it for a lower price within 7 days. Just send them an email and they’ll refund the difference. I also use the price trackers above to let me know when the price is lower than what I bought it for so I can get a refund.
- Earning Cashback. Amazon gives cashback on purchases via Ebates, BeFrugal, FatWallet, TopCashBack and Mr. Rebates. It’s not for all the categories, but it does offer savings in some categories. I’m pleased they finally added the toy category!
- Buying from a 3rd Party. I used to be a little wary of 3rd party options on Amazon. However, now I realize that buying from a 3rd party via FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) still gets you the same customer service, the same fast shipping, and often times the same product from the warehouse. Many of the items are commingled at the warehouse anyways so you might as well opt for the lowest price. This applies to the FBA sellers, not the regular third party sellers. If you sort by Prime, you’ll see them.
- Limited Stock. You know the feeling you get when you finally find the item you are looking for and you see the message “Only 2 left in stock”. Makes you want to buy it immediately right? Well, it’s not quite true! There can be more than that in stock, with different sellers (sometimes at the same price, sometimes at a different price). I’m guessing it’s a marketing trick to make you feel like you need to buy right now to make sure you get the item you want. However, you should know that Amazon does go out of stock on many items during the holiday season and prices will inflate on those items.
- Free Shipping. You can get free Amazon shipping this holiday season using a Amazon Free 1 Month Trial, a Free Amazon student account, or a Free Amazon parent account.
- 5% Cashback. You can earn 5% cashback shopping at Amazon this holiday season with many of the quarterly rotating cash rewards credit cards. Be sure to register your card for the cashback first.
- Consider Used and Collectible Items. Amazon is slowly becoming a great place to buy used items too. My son really wanted to buy a SmartLab Programmable Rover. We were pleased to see an option for a used one that was almost half price. We got it two days later via Prime and it works perfectly!
- Lightning Deals. My favorite way to save? The Amazon Lightning Deals and Amazon Black Friday Deals! The prices don’t get much better than that! And new this year, they’re giving early access to the lightning deals for buyers with Amazon Prime.
What are your favorite ways to save money shopping on Amazon?