Ways to Save Money

Addicted to Amazon? 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Order

April 7, 2015
by Kristen Pope
Contributor

Now offering same-day delivery in select major cities (not to mention their media-frenzy-inducing proposed drone delivery program), Amazon is becoming a staple for more and more households every day.

We’ve already covered a number of ways to save on your Amazon purchases including using discounted gift cards, answering surveys and a few other ideas. You’ve also probably heard all about Amazon Prime. But did you know Amazon has specific, lesser-known programs and sections that can help you save money?

Check out these programs and site sections to find deals and discounts on Amazon purchases.

1. Amazon Outlet

While some people love outlet shopping and hitting row after row of stores, hunting for the perfect marked-down merchandise, overstock items and close-out deals, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Instead, find these deals all in one place with Amazon Outlet, which offers up to 70% off everything from jewelry to electronics to sporting goods.

Within Amazon Outlet, Gold Box features a time-limited “deal of the day” as well as a number of “lightning box” limited time deals. All these deals have a countdown clock to encourage quick purchases, and the lightning deals even have a “percent claimed” indicator to let you know if they’re just about to sell out. You can also see “upcoming” and “missed” lightning deals so you can plan your future purchases or lament the ones that got away.

Want even more savings? Subscribe to Amazon’s Daily Deals email to learn about each day’s opportunities to score a great bargain.

2. Amazon Student

If you’re a student, you’re eligible for a six-month free trial of Amazon Student, which includes free two-day shipping on textbooks and other items. You’ll also get unlimited photo storage through Prime Photos, exclusive student-only deals, and the chance to earn $10 for referring your friends. (Yes, this free trial can help you make money!)

After the free trial, the membership automatically turns into a paid membership at $49 per year that offers virtually the same services as Amazon Prime. In addition to the benefits you were already enjoying, you’ll be able to access more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes, more than a million songs and hundreds of playlists, and one free Kindle book per month. Be sure to cancel if you don’t want to pay.

The student membership period is limited, though, and after four years or graduation (whichever comes first), your next renewal will bump you out of the program and auto-renew at the full Prime membership rate of $99 per year. In addition, you can’t share the benefits of membership with other household members (as you can with Amazon Prime).

3. Amazon Mom

Busy parents will appreciate Amazon Mom. And it’s not just for moms — any parent, grandparent or caregiver can sign up and try it out free for 30 days.

Participants receive 20% off diapers (with a subscription) and 15% off items in your Amazon baby registry as well as the benefits of Amazon Prime, including free two-day shipping, streaming movies and TV, music and the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. You can share access with up to four people in the same household, so you can take turns planning your next shipment of diapers and wipes.

After the free trial ends, Amazon Mom will cost you $99 per year. One caveat to note: If you’ve ever received free Prime shipping benefits through Amazon Mom or Amazon Student, you aren’t eligible for the free trial.

One blogger, The Unexpected Dad, did some comparison shopping to test whether Amazon Mom was worth the cost for his family. Here’s what he said:

Compared to regular Amazon prices and Wal-Mart online prices, Amazon Mom subscription discounts in conjunction with savings on 2-day shipping, will easily make up for the $99.00 annual subscription costs in less than 3 months.

Purchasing the same items in-store at a local Target, I’m looking at a savings of $10.00 / month, so it would take 10 months to make up the $99.00 annual fee, saving a total of $20.00 a year.

Could Amazon Mom help you and your family save money on diapers and other item for your child or children?

4. Subscribe & Save

If you find yourself purchasing the same items month after month, such as diapers or household goods, this is the program for you. Sign up with Subscribe & Save, choose your items and a delivery schedule, and receive up to a 15% discount on your subscription orders plus free shipping.

Subscribe & Save is free, which makes it a great way to save a little money just by planning ahead for your next order. You can easily change your delivery date if your schedule changes, and skip a delivery if you’ll be out of town.

For the best deals, sign up for five or more subscriptions for your delivery day. Pick non-perishable items you need on a regular basis. Here’s a list of eligible products, which includes everything from toilet paper to fish food to breakfast cereal and batteries.

5. Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse features returned, open-box items, including those damaged in the warehouse, used and refurbished products. The offerings range from a 55-inch, 4K Ultra-HD Smart LED TV with a couple of bad pixels and a few scratches to a shower curtain with a few minor cosmetic imperfections.

Amazon ensures each item is in working condition (though none are in “new” condition), and your purchases are eligible for Amazon Prime or free shipping if they meet the requirements (which typically require a purchase of $35 or more). If anything’s wrong with the item, the standard Amazon return policy applies, and they also offer the option to purchase a warranty from a third-party company for certain items.

You’ll see a thorough description of each item’s condition. For example, a package of six Keurig water filter cartridges was marked as in “used: very good” condition and the details noted that the cartridges come in their original packaging, though that packaging is damaged. A fitness heart rate monitor notes that it will come repackaged with a small cosmetic imperfection on the front and small scratches on the sides.

Your Turn: Do you use any of these programs to save money on Amazon?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We would have shared them with you anyway, but a true “penny hoarder” would be a fool not to take Amazon’s money. :)

Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

by Kristen Pope
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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