17 Amazon hacks you need to know
We all love shopping on Amazon - it’s easy to use, they sell just about everything you could ever want, and delivery is free (if you’re spending £10). However there are a few ways you can make sure you always get your Amazon purchase for the best price.
1. Track the price
It might seem like Amazon is always cheap, but if you play around on Camel Camel Camel you’ll soon see that prices can vary wildly. Camel Camel Camel tracks the price of any Amazon item in a graph - so you’ll know whether the price you’re seeing now is really the best offer they’ve ever had.
You can’t always trust RRPs and Amazon’s prices are known to fluctuate. So to see if you’re being tricked - just copy and paste the URL of your item into CCC - if it doesn’t beat the average price you can set up an email alert for when the price drops below a certain amount. Easy!
2. Get student discount
Did you know you can get between 5 & 10% student discount at Amazon? It doesn’t work on some categories (including electronics unfortunately) but once you’ve entered your NUS code at the checkout while making a qualifying spend it’ll automatically take off the discount for you every time you shop for a year.
3. Check for other Amazon discounts
Voucher codes for Amazon don’t come up very often - but when they do you can be sure that we’ll have added it to our Amazon deal page.
At the moment if you sign up to the Amazon fashion newsletter you’ll be emailed a 20% code to use on clothing and accessories direct from Amazon (not third party sellers). It’s one code per email account (hint hint), and once you have the code, it is valid for 30 days and works on a maximum of five items.
4. Get free delivery
The best thing about Amazon used to be its free super saver delivery on items direct from Amazon - but now there’s a £10 minimum spend [EDIT: as of 29/04/2015 this is now £20!!!]. It’s pretty annoying, but when delivery prices range between £1.49 up to over £5 it’s definitely worth avoiding.
Here are a few ways around it:
- If you live in a larger city or town then you might be close to an Amazon Locker, by selecting a Locker as a delivery option all orders fulfilled by Amazon can be delivered there for free - no matter how low the total is.
- If your total is £19.99 or similar then try adding a sim card to your basket- they’re only 1p and it’ll save you paying delivery charges.
- Get an Amazon Prime trial, the standard offer is 30 days of one day delivery, but you can get 3 months with Amazon Family (no proof of family needed) or 6 months with Amazon Student.
5. Get free one day delivery
As a student you can get six months of free one day delivery with Amazon Student which is usually £79 a year via Prime. It’s worth noting that Amazon Student isn’t technically Prime, you don’t get Amazon Prime Video or access to the Kindle lending library; just the one day delivery, which still isn’t bad for free.
It’ll also give you half price Prime (£39 per year) when your trial finishes, so remember to cancel before your time’s up if you don’t want to pay that. If you do decide to keep Prime, remember, once you’ve graduated, the price will jump up to £79 again.
You will need to verify yourself as a student either by entering your .ac.uk student email on the sign up page, or if you don’t have an ac.uk address, you can email email@example.com giving proof of enrolment.
6. Use your Prime membership to earn credit
There’s a little known trick where Prime or Amazon Student users can get £1 of Amazon Music or Kindle Store credit every time they order something and DON’T take advantage of one day delivery. The credit will only work on MP3 music, e-books or audiobooks, but if you’re not in a rush to get your parcel it’s worth doing.
7. Share Amazon Prime with up to four people
If you have Amazon Prime (not Amazon Student) you can share it with up to four other people in the same household as you by managing their Prime preferences and adding another household member. This only works on one day delivery, you will not be able to share the Kindle Lending Library or Amazon Prime Video with anyone else.
8. Don’t let Amazon trick you into spending more money.
Amazon have adverts that follow you around online and try and tempt you into buying. Unfortunately you can’t get rid of the ads completely without adblock - but you can stop them being personalised by updating your advertising preferences.
9. Search clever to get the best price
Don’t trust Amazon’s search results if you want to get the lowest price for an item. They’re geared towards making you spend as much as possible, which is why you might notice that arranging your results from low-high brings back a load of things you weren’t actually looking for, or not be that cheap.
You can get around this by searching on Google instead, or finding a product similar and looking at the ‘What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?’ section at the bottom of an item’s page. It often shows the same item at the low price you were looking for. An alternative is to use MSE’s Amazon Discount Finder to help you find what you’re after, but be aware that this only searches reduced items, so if there’s a similar item that has never been reduced, it won’t show up.
10. If the price drops on an item you bought within seven days of purchase you can get a refund for the difference
This is one of Amazon’s unpublished policies, but if it happens to you, just go into live chat and they should offer to refund you the difference.
11. Get cashback (sometimes)
It’s a rare occurrence, but you can SOMETIMES get cashback on purchases at Amazon. Top Cashback and Quidco occasionally give cashback on specific sections, so it’s worth a quick check if you’re making a big purchase.
12. Get refunded for late delivery
Keep an eye on expected package delivery times. If they are late, you can either get a refund of the shipping costs, or if you’re a Prime member, a one-month extension of your membership.
This is another unpublished policy, so it isn’t guaranteed, but it’s worked for us a number of times so your milage may vary.
13. Amazon ‘magic words’
There are some VERY cheap items available on Amazon if you know where to look. They usually come from Asia, they’ve got free delivery, and you need to know the ‘magic word’ to search for to get them to show up in your search results.
Each word has hundreds (often thousands) of miscellaneous cheap items, so have a search through to see if there’s anything you’re interested in.
Here are a few:
sheclub (cheap jewellery)
Elleclub (cheap jewellery)
Yazilind (cheap jewellery)
Qiyun (mainly jewellery)
Lingstar (mainly jewellery)
The downside of ordering from these sellers is that it’s going to take 2-3 weeks for your package to arrive, and the quality might not be amazing.
14. Amazon Warehouse Deals
Ever wondered what happens to unwanted items after people change their minds and send them back? Well, they end up in Amazon Warehouse Deals. These are usually items where the packaging is damaged, so they’re not suitable to be sold as new. They class them as ‘used’ which means big discounts for expensive products with a squashed box.
They’re covered by the same return policy as everything else on Amazon, so if your item really isn’t in working condition, you can send it back for a refund.
15. Amazon Lightning deals
Amazon Lightning deals used to only run on special occasions like Black Friday or Christmas, but now they’re on every day. Lightning deals are limited time offers where there’s a set small amount of products being reduced for a set amount of time.
It sounds more complicated than it is, but if it’s a 50%+ discount then it’s likely to go extremely quickly. Saying that, just because it’s on a Lightning Deal doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest it’s ever been, or that it won’t be cheaper elsewhere online, so do check around before hitting ‘buy’.
16. Subscribe and Save programme
If you’re shopping on Amazon and the Subscribe and Save option pops up, you should definitely opt for it. It gives you free delivery on that order, as well as a 5% discount on the normal price. Signing up to it sets up an ongoing subscription when they’ll send you another one at a regular interval of your choosing.
However you can cancel your subscription at any time, and they email you before they send out the next item, so there’s no reason to forget and end up with a lifetime supply of dishwasher tablets.
Just take the 5% discount and cancel after you receive it if you only want it once, I actually find that it’s quite helpful to get a regular parcel of something you always forget to buy.
17. Don’t Buy from Amazon
Flubit promise to beat the price on any Amazon item. No, really - they do! All you need to do is pop the Amazon URL of your item into their site and they’ll make you an offer on it over the next couple of days.
We have no idea how they do it, but the average saving is 10-15% and if the delivery is free on Amazon, it’ll be free on Flubit.
If you’ve got a bit of time, or you’re considering a big purchase it’s always worth getting a second price- it’s free to use and there’s no obligation to buy.
Another option is Beat My Price by Bespoke Offers. It works in a similar way, but you can even use it for beating the price of other major internet retailers, not just Amazon.