Amazon Online Shopping Tips

“How can I save more when shopping on Amazon?”

amazon online shopping

With Amazon online shopping you can save hundreds a year on many of the products you would normally buy at your local retailer. Why pay for something at your local retail when you can find it for half the price on Amazon?

Over the past decade Amazon has become one of the largest online retailers and has accomplished this by offering free/affordable shipping and providing price competitiveness. Similar to how Walmart successfully provided competitive pricing to local retailers.

The main difference is that Amazon offers a much larger inventory of products and often sells them at far more competitive rates.

Here are some of the areas we will cover:

    How to Save by Using Amazon

    Getting Free or Cheap Shipping

    Buying New or Used Products

    Avoid Overseas Shipping

    Other Tips


How to Save by Using Amazon

Online shopping in general has become a common practice for many internet shoppers and Amazon has become the store of choice for the majority.

When I try to explain to people how much you can potentially save with Amazon online shopping I often use the HDMI cable example. HDMI cables were once $30-$60 in most major retail stores. Even today they are still marked up. However after doing some simple searching they can be found for as low as $3.50-$8 with free shipping.

amazon vs best buy

The HDMI example highlights a few things:

First: It shows how Amazon can reduce spending on items many people wouldn’t think to first check and see if the product is sold cheaper online. I can’t count the times I’ve seen others fall into this mistake of not taking the time and investigating the items before you go out and buy them.

Personally when I know that something is needed, be it a HDMI cable, can-opener, rechargeable batteries or anything, I try and always check on Amazon first as they can potentially be bought cheaper from there.

Second: It exhibits how many retailers take products that are cheap to produce and mark the prices up to increase their profits off that item. Simply put, if they take a product that costs $2 to make and sell it for $15, they can make much more.

With Amazon there is less of a middle man hiking up the prices. Often items are sold directly from the manufacturer or from resellers who have less overhead and charge less.

Third: Lastly but most importantly, this shows how much money can be saved that otherwise would’ve been wasted. Imagine saving $20 or more on items. Would you like to have an extra $20? That $20 can go towards paying a bill or you could put that money into your personal savings. In this way just mere Amazon online shopping can save you on your bills too.


Getting Free or Cheap Shipping

With Amazon online shopping there is a free shipping program for orders over a certain price point. This program can be used to gain free shipping on qualifying products that you’re ordering.

How this program works is that Amazon will ship qualifying items for free on orders placed over their allotted amount. So if you buy one item over $49 you can get free shipping. Also multiple qualifying items that cumulatively add up to over $49 you will also net you free shipping.

As Amazon points out:

Order with Free Shipping by Amazon

Orders including $25 or more of eligible books qualify for FREE Shipping. All orders of $49 or more of eligible items across any product category also qualify for FREE Shipping. With free shipping, your order will be delivered 5-8 business days after all of your items are available to ship, including pre-order items.

To place an order online, do the following:

  1. Add at least $25 of eligible books (in which case all other eligible items in the order also ship free), or at least $49 of all other eligible items to your Shopping Cart. Any item with “FREE Shipping” messaging on the product detail page that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon is eligible and contributes to your free shipping order minimum.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To place the order using the shopping cart:
  1. Proceed to checkout.
  2. Ship your items to a single U.S. address in one of the 50 states.
  3. Select Group my items into as few shipments as possible as your shipping preference.
  4. Select FREE Shipping as your shipping speed.

Also Consider The Following

It should be noted that most of the products sold on Amazon often qualify for this program. You can find out if it qualifies or not on the product page. It will often be noted next to the product pricing if the product is eligible for free shipping.

Depending on how many products you ordered, shipping could run between $2-$10. So why not get something else with that cost difference and get free shipping?

If your order is $2-$10 away from meeting the $49 requirement you might want to consider buying another item to push your order past that $49 threshold. As not meeting the $49 requirement would force you to potentially pay for shipping on your order.


Buying New or Used Products

buying used items on amazon

When interested in a product on Amazon often that very item is being sold used by fellow Amazon users. Very similar to shopping on Ebay but without an auction format.

Now there are many risks and benefits to buying used products with Amazon online shopping. Often you will find that in most cases you can save more buying the item used. The question then remains, “Should I?”

When you check the used listing for the product Amazon gives a complete list of sellers who are selling that item used. From there Amazon provides a complete seller history for that person.

This allows you to see if they are reliable or risky. In many cases small businesses sell used or refurbished products on Amazon. In such cases you can generally tell who they are as they can have over 10,000 product reviews.

It comes down to risk vs. reward. If the price difference between new and used is minor you should always buy the product new.


Avoid Overseas Shipping

One of the frequent mistakes I see people make is when they unknowingly order something from overseas. Especially from China where it can take weeks to arrive.

Buying from overseas can be a decent way save money. Rather than buy the product from a reseller who is in the country and up-sells the item

So technically if you can wait the excessive amount of time it takes then there isn’t much of an issue. However much of that can be avoided if you look for another seller on Amazon who is closer.

avoid overseas shipping

You can find another seller by clicking the “New” link on product pages (as highlighted in the picture above). The link will take you to a page where it lists sellers and where they are shipping from.

Then just find a seller who can get you the product within an adequate time frame.


Other Tips


Check Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” – Amazon has a “Today’s Deals” link at the very top of every page. You would be surprised how many good deals show up daily.

Always Read Reviews – I cannot count the times I avoided a bad product by reading reviews.

Cross-Check Other Stores for Better Prices – Always check the prices other websites or stores are offering for your item. Sometimes you can find cheaper items elsewhere.

Make use of Search Options – When searching for a product try to make use of the options to narrow your search. I often use the price option to set my budget and see what items fall into my budget range.

Use the Amazon App – The Amazon app has tons of amazing benefits. Alerts, price checking, scanning items, and reading reviews are just some of the benefits.



Final Word: Amazon Online Shopping

Amazon online shopping has truly taken aim at traditional shopping. What Ebay revolutionized, Amazon perfected. They have not only normalized online shopping, they have successfully targeted most major retail chains.

There is much money to be saved when shopping on Amazon. If you just follow some of these basic tips you can really see a difference in how cheaper things can be.