Who isn’t trying to save a buck here or there these days? One of the biggest moves consumers have made in the last couple of years is moving their shopping online.
For one thing, they don’t have to hassle with going to the store. For another, they don’t have to spend money on gas to get to a store. The retailer that’s gained the most out of that is Amazon because, by and large, it checks all the boxes for ease of shopping.
But, besides taking advantage of seldom used Prime membership benefits, are there other ways that Amazon shoppers can find little-known, often hidden deals and sales on the world’s largest online store? Yes – several powerful ones according to one of ConsumerAffair's trusted shopping detectives, RatherBeShopping’s Kyle James.
Look at all colors when shopping for shoes and clothing
James says – and ConsumerAffairs has verified – that some items are less expensive for certain colors and certain sizes, probably because those aren’t as in demand as the other variations.
The big score is on shoes and apparel, but James says that prices on things like Bluetooth speakers, YETI products, headphones, baseball and golf hats and cell phone cases also work like that.
“It should be noted that this Amazon hack works best when using their smartphone app,” he said. “Otherwise you’ll have to select every color individually to see what the corresponding price is. In other words, it will take forever, so be sure to use the app and get a quick view of all the different colors and prices.”
Check Amazon’s warehouse before paying full price
“Ever wonder what Amazon does with all the stuff that gets returned to them? They sell it in the “Amazon Warehouse” at a greatly reduced price – that’s what!” James said. “If you’re not familiar with Amazon Warehouse Deals, they’re items that they classify as pre-owned, used or open box specials and the savings are big.”
And by “big,” he means BIG! Like 40-60% off big. And most of those items aren’t cheap to begin with, either, so getting close to half-off can cut the price considerably on computers, kitchen, home improvement, vacuums, cameras, video games, and even unlocked cell phones.
'Renewed' is not a bad word if you’re saving 50%
Another little James hack is going to Amazon’s Renewed section to shop. Again, it’s pure heaven for discount-loving electronics buyers with things like smartphones and computers available anywhere from 20% to 50% off.
Yes, you can call these "used," but many times they're things people buy, don't want, and simply return for a refund. One impressive thing in that regard is Amazon’s candor about the condition those products are in.
The company rates them from “premium” to “acceptable,” detailing everything from cosmetic damage visible from a distance of 12 inches up to the capacity of the battery compared to a new version of the same item. Plus, Amazon backs each of those products with a 90-day to one-year “satisfaction guarantee” depending on the condition of the item.
Do you really have to have it in two days if waiting a little longer will save you money?
In the old days, many thought that Amazon sorted products by the best deals or by popularity, but that’s not true anymore.
“As a matter of fact, third-party sellers often beat the Amazon Prime price,” James says. “You might not get free two-day shipping, but in most cases you’ll still get free three to five-day shipping.”
To get behind the curtain of Amazon’s price and find the third-party sellers' prices, James suggests clicking on “Available from these sellers” on the product page.
This will bring up a list of sellers and any shipping charges so you can check for a better deal.
'Clip' Amazon coupons
Amazon has coupons? Yep. They’re hidden, but there’s a whole bunch of ‘em, that’s for sure. And they cover everything under the sun. Health and Personal Care, Grocery & Gourmet, Beauty, Automotive down to Pet Supplies and Toys & Baby items.