Because most shoppers are creatures of habit, both Amazon and Amazon experts say there are things consumers may be missing that could make life easier.
As you’re scurrying to try and make holiday gift giving as seamless as possible, here are seven tips that ConsumerAffairs found that could come in handy if the clock is running out or you’re all out of ideas as to what to buy your friends and family.
Maximize the use of “gift lists.” Rather than guess what your grandkids want or call your friend’s partner to find out what they’ve been wishing for, Amazon suggests either searching for your loved ones’ Amazon Wish Lists (aka gift lists) or suggest they make one.
These lists also make it simple for gift recipients to keep track of who purchased which gifts. And if someone wants to return or exchange a gift, a Gift List gives them a 90-day window to do that.
Amazon expert Arishekar N says the most important use of having a list on Amazon is that you can share it with others, and in a special wish list guide, shares the 1-2-3 steps on how to do that
Use Amazon’s search feature to refine your options. But, if grandma or your BFF doesn’t have a wish list, Amazon’s search engine is smart enough to give insightful answers to queries that a shopper might use.
To see it in action, just type in “gifts for … (whoever you’re shopping for, e.g., grandma or a whiskey lover)” In the main search bar. Once you get those, you can narrow your options down further.
Use the Amazon Assistant browser extension to find even more deals. Amazon Assistant is a fairly easy-to-install extension for all the major web browsers (e.g., Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge).
“With it, you can watch for product comparisons that save time and money, access shortcuts to popular Amazon hubs right in your browser, and get notified when deals that you're watching go live with desktop notifications,” reminds PocketLint’s Maggie Tillman. “It also lets you get information about orders and deliveries.”
Amazon’s gift wrappers may be better than yours. Not everyone was born to be a great gift wrapper or has the time to do it, especially when gift exchange time come. Amazon offers a gift bag wrapping service with a notecard that could take care of that.
When ConsumerAffairs looked at the added cost for things like headphones and packing cubes, the added cost for gift wrapping was in the $3.50-$4.99 ballpark.
Look for the digital coupon codes. “One of the biggest ways to save money on Amazon is also one of the easiest. The retailer has a tendency to offer digital coupon codes on thousands of products. At times, the coupon will apply automatically during checkout,” said Tom’s Guide’s Louis Ramirez .
Ramirez says the trick is to look for a tiny radio box layered below the Amazon price, the Prime “free returns” logo, and next to the orange “Coupon” banner.
“Click the box and the coupon will be automatically applied at checkout. It’s such an easy trick, but it’s also very easy to overlook,” he said.
Consider “Amazon Family” for new families. Amazon Family doesn’t get much attention, but it’s perfect for new, Prime families. Not only does it have deals on your standard fare parenting items and household necessities, but it also holds regular sales on baby products and can come up with some ideas for age-based product recommendations.
Plus, if you use Amazon Family for your diaper subscription, you’ll get 20% off.
Consider a digital gift. If you’re really up against the clock, think about what “digital” items your giftee is into. On top of the traditional gift cards – which Amazon has in every shape, color, and brand – think a little further outside the digital box.
And if they’re someone you’d splurge more than $100 on, an Amazon Prime membership might go a long way because Prime has more than just delivery pluses. It has free gaming, free music, free reading of some Kindle books, and of course, movies via Prime video. Note: Some books are available only through the Kindle Unlimited program.
Watch the Amazon "shopping channel." If you traditionally go to HSN or QVC for product sales, have you ever considered Amazon’s platform that does the exact same thing?
Not only do the retailer’s presenters give you the complete background and some show-and-tell about the products they’re demoing, but as far as ConsumerAffairs could find out, everything they show is also on sale – with some at big discounts for shoppers who buy them by a certain time.