Save Money

How to Save Money on Amazon – 15 Ways That Work in 2020

A cardboard robot stands in awe
Some links included here are from our sponsors. Please read our affiliate disclaimer for more information.

If you’re one of the nearly 200 million people who shop on Amazon every month, you already know the site offers consistently great deals on almost everything under the sun.

What you may not know is that you can maximize your savings by using a few simple tips, tricks and strategies.

This post lists 15 easy ways to save money on Amazon that can help you spend less and stretch every last penny of your shopping budget.

#1. Use Wikibuy to Check for Lower Prices

The first rule of shopping on Amazon is to remember that while the site does often have the lowest prices, it’s not the only game in town. You can frequently find better deals elsewhere with a little bit of digging, especially when you’re buying products sold by third-party sellers rather than by Amazon itself.

That’s why it’s helpful to use a free comparison tool like Wikibuy or Honey, which can help you check for lower prices at other merchants.

Wikibuy and Honey are just two of many browser extensions that do the work of price checking for you. They also search for coupons that apply to your purchase and test them to see if they’re legit, saving you not only money but also precious time otherwise spent combing through junk codes on coupon websites.

Honey is great for comparing prices between third-party Amazon sellers, but Wikibuy has a few additional benefits, such as loyalty rewards (called Wikibuy Credits, which you can redeem for gift cards) and price-drop notification emails.  

You can learn more about how Wikibuy works in our detailed review of the service.

Once added, you’ll see a green Wikibuy “W” followed by a period (W.) in the extension section of your web browser. When browsing on Amazon, the Wikibuy logo will appear next to the price, with a note telling you that Amazon either does or does not have the lowest price in the Wikibuy database at that exact moment (see the screenshot below).

Wikibuy Widget Page
Wikibuy will show if there’s a lower price for the product you’re browsing.

It’s a great way to avoid overpaying, and we think it’s a must-use for frequent Amazon shoppers.

Resources: Learn more about Wikibuy in our review or add the free browser extension.

#2. Use an Amazon Price Tracker

Have you ever ordered something on Amazon only to see the price drop a few days later? That price volatility is because both Amazon and its marketplace sellers utilize dynamic pricing that relies on artificial intelligence to try and find the optimal balance between supply and demand, automatically adjusting product prices in real time.

While a price tracker can’t completely eliminate buyer’s remorse, installing a price-tracking browser extension like CamelCamelCamel or Keepa can help you determine the overall price range for a given product, as well as give you valuable insight into the optimal times to make a purchase.

For example, you might see that the price of an item typically drops by 10% near the end of the month, or that it goes down on the weekends. Identifying these patterns, and holding off from purchasing when it makes sense, can save you significant amounts of money.

Here are two price trackers worth checking out:

CamelCamelCamel.com. This price tracker app (known as The Camelizer) works on Chrome and Firefox. When you’re on an Amazon product page, simply click the camel logo in your browser to pull up a chart of how that product’s pricing has changed over time.

The Camelizer breaks out Amazon prices, third-party sellers of new goods, and third-party sellers of used goods, so that you can compare the three product classes appropriately. You can change the length of time of the graph and set price notifications to alert you via email when an item falls below a certain threshold.

Here’s what the graph looks like:

CamelCamelCamel Graph
CamelCamelCamel’s price history for a Macbook Air.

Keepa: Keepa is very similar to CamelCamelCamel. The chart is a little easier to use, since it’s embedded within the Amazon page as opposed to a dropdown box, and it’s also compatible with Opera and Edge.

#3. Take Advantage of Amazon’s Discounts and Promotions

There are many great money-saving features built right into Amazon. Knowing about these programs can save you solid chunks of money, especially when it comes to household items and grocery staples.

Amazon Coupons

Just like regular coupons you’d clip from the paper, Amazon promotes certain products (which rotate periodically) via coupons. Most Amazon users know that when a coupon is available for an item, a prompt to “clip” it will appear below the price. But fewer people know about the site’s coupon portal, where you can browse the full list of discounts available at any given time. If you’re willing to brand swap, starting here can be a great way to cut down your order total.

Prime Pantry Multi-Item Discount

Prime Pantry was once a bonus feature available to Prime members that cost an additional $4.99 per month, but it’s now included as a standard benefit of Prime membership. You can save 5% when you purchase five pantry items, 10% on 10 items, and 15% on 15 items. The discount is good for any Prime Pantry products, so you’re free to mix and match. And you get free shipping on orders of $35 and more.

Subscribe & Save

The Amazon Subscribe & Save program allows you to schedule automatic recurring deliveries for items you purchase regularly, and gives you between 5% and 15% off the retail price for each shipment.

Here’s the thing: you can change the frequency of your deliveries to as little as every six months, and you can cancel your subscription any time — even immediately after placing your order.

Note that when you choose to Subscribe & Save, the first shipment doesn’t automatically go out the day you place the order. However, you can click on “change” next to the delivery date and opt to receive the item ASAP (as shown in the screenshot below).

Change the Amazon Subscribe and Save Delivery Date
Click change in “First delivery on […] change” to open this option box.

We love Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s a great way to get a discounted price on everyday items that need to be replenished.

But second, you compound your savings by avoiding the need to pay a premium for these items at drugstores or gas stations when you forget to buy them and run out.

TIP: When you want to cancel your subscriptions, just click “Accounts & Lists” and then choose “My Subscribe & Save.” Hover over the subscription you want to cancel, and click “Edit.” Click “Cancel Subscription,” and then “Confirm Cancellation.”

#4. Shop Amazon’s Sale Sections

Like most brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon has a clearance section (several, actually). Check out these lesser-known areas of the website to discover some killer deals.

Amazon Warehouse Deals

Items in this section have been returned or refurbished and are sold at a discount. Often they’re like new, but are open-box or lack the original packaging. All Warehouse items have been inspected and graded, and Amazon’s 30-day return policy still applies — even on less-than-perfect items.

Amazon Outlet

Just like a typical outlet store, these products are overstocks that are offered at deep discounts of up to 50% (and occasionally more). They span all categories and are available from both Amazon, and third-party sellers.

Amazon Bargain Finds

These are deals that cost just $15 or less (including shipping!). This section contains a lot of jewelry and clothing, but spans multiple categories

Today’s Deals

There are several daily deal types on Amazon, and you can view them all on this portal.

  • The “Deals of the Day” section includes single (or closely related) items that are discounted for a 24-hour period.
  • “Savings and Sales” is a selection of discounts and promotions all across Amazon.
  • “Lightning Deals” are single items that are discounted for a specific time period, or until a determined amount of discounted stock runs out.

#5. Take Full Advantage of Your Prime Member Benefits

Many Prime members aren’t aware of just how many benefits are available, and taking advantage of the included services below may allow you to cut subscriptions or costs elsewhere. For example, if you don’t watch a lot of TV, having Prime Video might mean you can live without a Netflix subscription.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Prime Video offers thousands of TV shows and movies, including original content and new releases. It also has one of the better collections of foreign films among streaming services.
  • Amazon Music has over 50 million songs available for streaming. However, Prime members only have access to about 2 million of those without upgrading to an “Unlimited” plan ($9.99 per month). Still, if you’re someone who doesn’t dig too deep into the music archives, 2 million tracks is probably more than sufficient and negates the need for an Apple Music, Spotify or Pandora subscription.
  • Amazon Drive offers 5 gigabytes of cloud storage space free with Prime membership, as well as unlimited photo storage. This should be more than sufficient in most use cases, potentially allowing you to downgrade or cancel your Dropbox, Box or iCloud subscription.
  • Prime Reading is a rotating library of over 1,000 e-books and magazines. Some e-books even have Audible narration, so users can switch between the Kindle and audiobook versions without losing their place. This benefit can be shared among household members.
  • Grocery delivery: Time is valuable — whether you use it for making money, relaxing, or putting in quality time with your family. Save more of it by getting groceries delivered. Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods both offer free delivery for all orders over $35.

Get $15 in Amazon credit (off of orders of $25 or more) when you back up your photos using the Amazon Photos app. This offer is good for Prime members only. Check here to see if you’re eligible.

#6. Opt In to Amazon Family

Amazon Family is included with Prime membership, although you have to opt in to the program. It provides unique benefits, especially for families with children. Check out these perks for Amazon Family members.

  • Personalized deals sent to you via email: These include exclusive deals and coupons, along with product suggestions and parenting tips. You can set your children’s ages in your account for personalized product recommendations.
  • Up to 20% off diapers and baby food subscriptions. Once you’re an Amazon Family participant, click “subscribe now” on applicable items. You must have five subscriptions arriving to one address on the same day to take advantage of the discount (which unfortunately excludes baby formula).
  • 15% off baby registry completion discount. If you have a baby registry with Amazon, you can get a 15% discount on any items that you buy after the baby gifts stop coming in (or a 10% discount without Prime membership). The discount is good for purchases of up to $2,000, between 14 days after you create the registry and 60 days before your baby’s arrival date.  
  • Free baby box. Valued up to $35, Amazon gives you a welcome box for your newborn once you (or gifters) spend $10 on items from your baby registry. Once your registry is eligible, click the “claim now” button on the left side of your baby registry screen.

#7. Save 20% on Wedding Registry Items 

If you create a wedding registry on Amazon, you can save 20% (or 10% without Prime) on any unpurchased gifts on your list. This discount is good for a one-time order of up to $1,500 (or $1,000 for non-Prime customers).

The registry completion discount will be sent to your email within seven days of your event. You then have up to 90 days after the wedding to use your discount.

It’s worth noting that this offer is only good for items sold by Amazon and does not apply to products offered by third-party sellers.

#8. Shop With Free Amazon Gift Cards

Paying with a free gift card is the best way to pay! Here are several easy ways to earn free gift cards to Amazon.

  • Fetch and Ibotta: Both of these free apps allow you to scan your receipts from major retailers and earn cash-back or gift cards. They’re among the easiest ways to save money on the things you’re already buying.
  • Swagbucks: There are many ways to earn through Swagbucks, including surveys, online games, internet searches, and shopping online. Use your points for Amazon gift cards, or to get cash via PayPal. Also, keep an eye out for “sales” on gift cards, where you can get a better exchange rate for your points.
  • Survey Junkie: This highly-rated market research company will pay you to take online surveys, and you can redeem your points for Amazon gift cards.
  • Dosh: Dosh is a great source of passive cash-back, as you simply link a debit or credit card and then earn points when you shop at participating retailers. You can also shop through Dosh’s mobile app or internet portal to take advantage of bonus offers.

#9. Get Cash-Back Every Time You Use the Site

Take your Amazon savings to the next level by stacking coupons and sales discounts with additional savings from these cash-back portals.

  • Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, offers a percentage of your purchase as cash-back at dozens of online retailers, including Amazon. The percentage fluctuates, and Amazon frequently runs bonuses, offering high cash-back incentives in certain categories for a limited time. Rakuten pays cash-back quarterly via PayPal or check.
  • TopCashback works similarly to Rakuten and is also free to join. Cash-back posts in just seven days, but you have to wait until the retailer’s return period has closed to redeem it.
  • Cashback Monitor is an offer aggregator that shows you which rewards sites currently provide you the most cash-back at a given time. It includes travel points/miles as well as credit card points, Swagbucks points and more.

Further reading: Starting your online shopping at Cashback Monitor is a great habit if your goal is to maximize your savings. You can learn more about how the site works, and how to use it effectively, in this review.

#10. Use a Cash-Back Credit Card

Using a cash back credit card can be a fantastic way to squeeze more value out of your Amazon purchases. The optimal card for Amazon is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which offers a whopping 5% cash-back on all Amazon and Whole Foods orders.

If you do use a cash-back credit card, be sure to pay off the full balance each month. The cash-back you earn will pale in comparison to the interest you pay on a credit card balance.

Related reading: Five realistic ways to save money by consolidating credit card card.

#11. Pay in Five Interest-Free Installments

To make paying for large purchases easier, Amazon has an installment plan that allows you to make five interest-free payments over 120 days. If you need to make a large purchase that you can’t pay for in cash, this can be an excellent alternative to using a credit card and paying to carry a balance.

Note that you can only have one installment plan per product category in place at a time. For example, you could have a payment plan for a laptop and a desk, but not a laptop and a desktop computer.

Payment plans are subject to Amazon’s approval. Your Amazon account must be at least a year old and in good standing to qualify. And if you’ve ever had a payment declined on the site — for example, because your default credit card expired — you’ll be ineligible for the program for 12 months.

#12. Get Amazon Prime Membership for Less

Amazon Student offers Prime memberships at a discount for college students with a valid .edu email address, and those with Medicaid or SNAP EBT cards also qualify for reduced fees (just $5.99 monthly). This price is good for up to 48 months, and you must re-certify every year.

#13. Avoid Buying Junk With Fakespot 

Without the benefit of being able to touch and feel products, it can be difficult to separate the great deals from the cheap junk on Amazon.

Fakespot is a website and browser extension to help you spot counterfeit products sold under seemingly legitimate Amazon listings.

The app also analyzes product reviews on Amazon and other sites, so you can get a sense for whether that five-star rating comes from actual customers.

#14. Try Before You Buy With Prime Wardrobe 

A big drawback of shopping for clothes online is the cost and hassle of returning items that don’t fit. Often, people end up wasting money on return shipping, or keep items they might not actually wear simply because of the cost and hassle of sending them back.

Prime Wardrobe, which is free for Prime members, helps you avoid that by letting you try on items before you actually pay for them.

After you place a Prime Wardrobe order, you have seven days to decide if you want to keep one, none, or all of the items you chose.

Best of all, shipping is free both ways.

#15. Get Free Products to Review

Did you know that Amazon sends out free samples? Sign up to opt in and periodically receive samples of products based on your shopping preferences.

You can also try to score an invite to Amazon Vine, a program that gives top reviewers free products in exchange for their honest online reviews.

Those selected to participate in Vine are usually active reviewers who consistently have their reviews rated “helpful” by other customers.

If your goal is to join the program, start reviewing everything you purchase on the site — from bell peppers to ball pumps — and make sure you’re providing commentary that helps other people better understand whether they should purchase the product.

Strategies That No Longer Work

Below is a list of strategies for saving money on Amazon that no longer work. RIP to these well-loved programs and tactics.

  • Discount search code: This used to be a brilliant hack for finding deep discounts on products. You would search for a particular product (say, water filters), and then add “&pct-off=30-70” to the end of the search result URL. Doing so would bring up a list of all water filters that were 30-70% off their retail price.
  • Paribus: Paribus, which is owned by Capital One, checks for price drops after you purchase an item and requests a refund when the price goes down. Paribus actually works great, but since Amazon discontinued its price protection policy, the service can only negotiate a refund on shipping in the event that an item with a guaranteed delivery date shows up late. But if you’re a Prime member, you’re probably not paying for shipping anyway, so there’s nothing to refund.
  • Amazon Move Discount: Amazon used to offer a 10% discount on purchases up to $200 before, during, and after your move to a new location. While they honor previously issued coupons, they have discontinued this program. However, the offer is occasionally renewed, so if you plan to move, check to see if they have restarted the promotion.

Frequently Asked Questions About Saving Money on Amazon

Does Amazon offer promo codes or coupon codes for use at checkout? 

No, but by using a price tracker or price comparison app and combining some of the cash-back strategies listed above, you can get a good deal even without scouring the net for codes.

Does Amazon offer price matching or a price protection guarantee? 

Unfortunately, Amazon does not price match or offer any kind of price protection. That’s why you should consider using a site like CamelCamelCamel to review the price history of products — especially when making a big purchase, where a few percent either way could lead to significant savings or expense.

Does Amazon ever give away free gift cards? 

No. While Amazon does issue gift cards as refunds for merchandise or as Amazon Associates payments, they will never email you out of the blue with an offer for a free gift card. Offers of this nature are always a scam.

In Amazon Trade In a good way to save money?

As a rule, Amazon’s trade-in program seldom gives you the best price possible for your items. Depending on what you have, you may be better off selling it yourself on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

Is Amazon Prime actually worth the cost?

This depends on your personal situation. If you utilize the benefits and save money on things you would buy under normal circumstances, then definitely. But if the discounts and cash-back strategies discussed in this article entice you to spend money on things you don’t need — or if you don’t use Amazon that often — then probably not.

Many of Amazon’s perks are available to everyone, regardless of their Prime status, so think about how much you shop on the site and what your overall shipping costs would be without a Prime membership.

You may end up better off avoiding the monthly or annual fee and paying for shipping a la carte.

How to Save Money on Amazon — Final Thoughts

With a little know-how, you can get serious discounts on Amazon’s already great prices.

While some of these savings methods are mutually exclusive — you can’t double-dip and earn cash-back from Rakuten and Honey at the same, for example— many of them can stack.

For instance, you can scan for lower prices with Wikibuy, clip an Amazon coupon, subscribe and save, get cash-back through Rakuten, and use a gift card or a cash-back credit card. And while doing so certainly takes a little bit of extra effort, consistently combining these methods can have a huge impact on your overall spending.

As I’ve written elsewhere on the site, initiative is one of the keys to frugal living. It takes time and commitment to utilize these strategies, but they can free up funds to apply to other areas of your budget, like your emergency fund or some other high-priority financial goal.

That, in turn, can give you more freedom to live the life you want — whether that means spending more time with your family, taking more vacations, starting your own business or anything else.

My advice is to think about saving — on Amazon or elsewhere — as part that framework; as not just something you do passively, but as a part of a strategic effort to improve your overall financial situation so that you can get more of what you want.

*Paribus and Wikibuy compensate us when you sign up for each service using the links we provided.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *