How to Maximize Your Savings at Amazon.com

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How to Maximize Your Savings at Amazon.com

Envelope with Top Secret displayed
Secret Sales at Amazon. DNY59/Getty Images

If you shop online, chances are you have shopped or at least browsed Amazon.com. What began in 1994 as an online bookstore has grown into a massive e-commerce website.

Amazon's success is attributed to expanding into several categories and product lines, increasing its partnership with brands and retailers, keeping prices competitive, and consistently offering new innovative strategies to lure customers to come back.

However, every company has a weak spot and one that seems to plague Amazon is its inability to communicate clearly to customers about all the numerous money-saving programs available. To help muddle through Amazon's promotional maze, here is a list of the different money-saving programs available. 

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Daily Deals, Amazon Outlets, and Open Box and Used Products

Amazon Screen Shot
Amazon

.The "Daily Deals" section, referred to as the "Gold Box" page, is a grouping of the different deals available each day. You can access the page through the Daily Deals link located on the top-left of the Amazon homepage. (See image)

As you scroll down the page, you will see several different promotional sections:

  • "Deal of the Day" and the "Bonus Deal of the Day" on the top of the page, each displaying a deeply discounted product. Deal of the Day products go on sale for around 50-70 percent off and the Bonus Deal of the Day are often discounted at 70 percent or more.
  • The "Lightning Deals" are limited-time discounts (usually for a few hours) on a smorgasbord of products. The deals in this section include how long the displayed prices will remain and the percentage of how many have been sold. Curious shoppers can also take a peek at future deals and past deals.
  • The Savings and Sales From Across Amazon section is next, and these are the best deals on products from all over Amazon. The deeply discounted deals are mostly available for more than a day. It is not uncommon to see items priced with 80 percent off.
  • Scrolling further down the page, you will see the "Digital Deals" which can be both short-term and long-term discounts on select Amazon digital products including eBooks, videos, music, games, and software.
  • Next comes the "Top Coupons" section with various products sold on Amazon that also have a coupon available. Shoppers might find coupons for animal products, furniture, travel accessories, toys and more. To view the value of a coupon click the "Clip Coupon" button located under the product listing.
  • And the last section is the Open Box and Used Product page. The link to this page is on the top navigational bar on the Gold Box page. This is where shoppers will find big markdowns on open-box items like TVs, laptops, tablets, home audio, kitchen & dining, home goods, outdoors, and more. This is a popular shopping section for serious bargain hunters to visit.

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Earn Free Products Through Amazon Vine Voice

Amazon Vine Voice Logo
Amazon.com

Vine Voice is a neat program and one of the most secretive because it is by invitation only. The program was launched in 2007 to get customers to write top-quality product reviews that were unbiased and most importantly, reviews that shoppers could trust. In return,  Vine Voice reviewers develop followers, and although they do not get paid, they do receive free products to review.

There is no way to join Vine Voice because it is by invitation only and based on various criteria, including writing skills, and how many Amazon shoppers found the reviewers past reviews helpful. If you shop a lot on Amazon.com, get busy writing reviews that have value, and then start watching you email box for an invitation to join Vine Voices.

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The Perks of Amazon's "Make an Offer" Program

Make an Offer Amazon Program
Make an Offer. Amazon.com

"Make an Offer" is an Amazon feature that allows shoppers to make an offer to buy an item for less than the current price in select categories including: Sports Collectibles, Entertainment Collectibles, Collectible Coins, Fine Art, and Historical & Political Memorabilia

How "Make an Offer" Works

Shoppers submit an offer to purchase an item for less than the current price. Amazon then contacts the seller by email with the offer and sends a copy of the email to the shopper. Sellers have 72 hours to email their response. They may choose to lower the price of the item to match the shopper's offer, reject the offer, or negotiate an alternative price.

If the shopper and the seller have agreed upon a price, and the shopper decides to purchase the item, they then click the link in the email to add the item to their cart. The steps to place an order are the same as placing any other order on Amazon.com.

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Amazon's AutoRip Program

Amazon AutoRip Introduction Page
Amazon

"AutoRip" was first introduced in January 2013. Shoppers that complete a qualifying purchase of a physical AutoRip album (including CDs, vinyl, and other formats) get a free MP3 version of that album added to their music library.

To purchase AutoRip Music:

  • Sign into Amazon using the same username and password you use to sign in to Amazon Music.
  • If you don't have an Amazon Music account, you can create an account for free after you purchase your AutoRip album. AutoRip is available to U.S. customers only.
  • Find eligible albums which appear with an AutoRip logo on the album product page.
  • Place the album you want to purchase in your cart and checkout.

The MP3 version of the album will be added to your music library. Typically this happens right away, but if you buy an AutoRip album as a pre-order, the MP3 version of the album is added to your music library on its release date.

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Complete This Album is for Music Lovers

Woman listening to Ipod
Cultura/Sofie Delauw/ Getty Images

"Complete This Album" is a nice money-saving offer for anyone purchasing digital music from Amazon. Shoppers who have previously purchased one or more songs off an album from the Amazon Digital Music Store have the option to buy the rest of the songs on that album, at an adjusted price. 

Amazon reduces the price of the album by the amount the shopper paid for the songs they already purchased. The adjusted price displays on the detail page, together with the number of remaining songs they will be received with the order.

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The Perks of Joining Amazon Student

Overhead view college student studying with laptop grass
Hero Images / Getty Images

Amazon Student is a membership program created especially for college students.

How it Works

Amazon Student members receive six months of free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime on eligible purchases. When the trial period end, students can continue getting the two-day shipping with an automatic renewal of $49. 

Other Perks

  • Receive exclusive deals and promotions and eligibility into sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests.
  • Get a $10 credit for referring friends via email and social networks, with no limit on the number of referrals made.
  • Get free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos and store photos securely and access them from anywhere
  • Get unlimited instant streaming of movies, TV shows, and music.
  • Get free two-day shipping on textbooks and tons of other stuff.

Want to see what college students are saying about Amazon Student before you sign up? Visit the Student Forum at Amazon.com.

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The Perks of Joining Amazon Mom

Mother holding baby's hand
Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

Amazon Mom is a Prime membership program created especially for parents and caretakers of small children.

The program is open to anyone, whether they are a mom, dad, grandparent or caretaker. New members are eligible for a 30-day free trial that includes a free trial of Amazon Prime in addition to Amazon Mom exclusive benefits. 

Prime Benefits Provided During the 30-Day Free Trial:

  •     Free two-day shipping on millions of items.
  •     Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows.
  •     Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists.
  •     A Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Other Amazon Prime benefits, including the ability to invite up to four household members to share your Prime shipping benefits for free.

Amazon Mom Exclusive Benefits During the 30-Day Free Trial

  • 20 percent off diapers with a Subscribe & Save subscription. This discount includes a 5 percent Subscribe and Save discount plus a 15 percent Amazon Mom member discount. The maximum discount on diapers is 20 percent, regardless of the number of Subscribe and Save items arriving on the monthly delivery day.
  • A 15 percent baby registry completion discount for 30 days before the child’s arrival date, and can be redeemed on eligible items from the Amazon.com baby registry.
  • Access to Amazon Mom exclusive discounts and deals.

Benefits After the 30-Day Free Trial

At the end of the 30-day free trial, Amazon Mom members will continue to receive the Amazon Prime and Amazon Mom Free Trial benefits listed above for $99 a year.

Eligibility

Any customer who has ever received Prime shipping benefits through Amazon Mom or Amazon Student is ineligible for the Amazon Mom free period.