Amazon has become a juggernaut in retail, and while the prices usually tend to be pretty competitive, we often trade slightly higher prices for the convenience of having it arrive straight to our door. There are, however, some clever ways to save money on Amazon that many people shoppers don’t utilize, including one big trick that can save HUGE money and which I almost guarantee you’ve never heard of.
In this article, we’re going to cover a few ways you can save money shopping on Amazon, which we will tackle in order from smallest savings to largest savings, so be sure to read to the end. I promise that they go beyond simple things like use Amazon Outlet or scour the web for Amazon coupons that 9 times out of 10 don’t work.
And I don’t know about you, but I almost never find anything I want when browsing Amazon’s Lightning Deals or Deals of the Day — I use Amazon precisely because it is so easy to buy obscure or specific things without having to search high and low in a store.
Ever since I started living abroad, I would always have to put together big lists of things to buy on Amazon (and elsewhere) on any visit back to the United States. You’ll almost always find cheaper prices in the United States for any retail goods except for the cheap Chinese junk, so it pays to wait.
But I’ve been using Amazon a lot more lately thanks to their new Global Shipping program where I can get items delivered to me here in Colombia for FREE. In fact, it’s even cheaper than buying in the United States, because I don’t have to pay sales tax. Crazy!
That won’t apply to most people though, so let’s get into a few clever or little known ways to save big when you shop Amazon.
Cash Back Portals
There are a few cash back shopping portals that you can join which will let you simply click through the portal to Amazon before you make any purchases and then you’ll get rewarded with a percentage back after the fact. One that I have used is Swagbucks, which has a quick and free sign up and will save you cash back on your purchases from many online retailers.
Of course, these programs can and should be combined with other ways to save or earn, like the travel credit cards that I always encourage readers to get. This way you earn free points or miles for travel on the full price and get a bit of a return from the portal.
Amazon Prime Credit Card
The Amazon Prime Credit Card is a good choice if you already have an Amazon Prime Membership. The annual fee for Prime will get you access to free shipping and other cool benefits like Prime Video (you’ll need to use a travel VPN overseas) and access to some free reading materials with their Prime books.
There are some other prime benefits but those are the main ones that make it worth your while.
Anyway, you can also apply for the Prime Credit Card which will give you 5% back on all Amazon or Whole Foods purchases, as well as bigger reductions on certain promotional categories from time to time. You’ll be able to redeem the 5% as a direct cash back or apply them toward future purchases on Amazon.
This card is great for frequent Amazon customers, but if you’re a traveler, you’ll certainly reap more with these travel credit cards. In contrast to some other conventional advice, I think credit cards can be an important part of living frugally and saving money — so long as you know how to use them and pay them off!
Okay, now for perhaps the strangest but biggest discount on Amazon… And one I guarantee that 95% have never heard of, let alone considered… How about getting your items with a 15-33% discount?
The reason you can get steep discounts with Purse.io is that you’re actually shopping with cryptocurrency on Amazon. Before you dismiss this option, please read ahead, because you don’t need to be an expert in crypto — I’m certainly not!
The basic idea is that you add the items you want through the Purse.io browser extension and then you can name your own discount, between 5% and 33%. Then you load up enough cryptocurrency in Purse for the transaction. Yes, you can shop with Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin on Amazon.
“Earners” will pick up your order in due time (their inventive is often because they want to spend Amazon gift cards). When they accept the order it goes through Amazon’s gift registry so they never see your address, and the funds are held in escrow until the item arrives.
I’ve used Purse.io a few times now — particularly as an “earner” because I needed to get rid of some old Amazon Canada gift cards that I’ve never been able to use, and have found the service to be awesome! Purse.io will step in if there are any problems or disputes, but everything has been smooth sailing so far and users can review one another. The service is a win-win… Shoppers save big and earners earn crypto in exchange for gift cards that they can’t or won’t use. Some also use it as a way to essentially buy crypto with a credit card (like using the Amazon credit card to get a discount and receive crypto in return, albeit at mark up).
If you’re going to go this route, I would strongly recommend funding (and earning, for that matter) in Bitcoin Cash, rather than regular Bitcoin) because of the high transfer fees associated with Bitcoin.
If you need the items faster, set a lower discount like 5%, but if it isn’t time sensitive, you can go for a 33% discount and wait longer for it to be filled. The discounts with Purse.io can actually be a lot higher in dollar value simply due to the fact that crypto has tendency to increase in value over time.
If you’re totally new to cryptocurrency and want to give it a shot, I’d recommend by starting with a new account on Coinbase (new users can get $30+ worth of free crypto just for learning about cryptocurrencies) and then transferring over some Bitcoin Cash to the Purse.io wallet.
The savings with Purse.io might be enough to make you sign up, but it is also fun to learn about the world of digital currency and blockchain which poses some exciting possibilities for the internet going forward. This is a relatively low risk way to learn more about crypto thanks to the large discounts. I know people always say that blockchain and crypto is the way of the future, but sites like Purse.io prove that it is already part of the present as well.
Saving Money on Amazon
So there you have it, three ways to save money on Amazon.com on your next purchases. The first two will help you save about 10% if you combine them and take advantage of Prime free shipping. While the last option can help you save up to 1/3rd of the retail price on Amazon. Obviously, you should start small with Purse, but those savings have the potential to add up into the hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on how often you use it and the items you buy.
It also offers a great way to turn any old or unwanted Amazon gift cards into cold, hard, crypto, particularly if you find yourself with gift cards from a foreign Amazon that you may have earned online (which is what happened to me). If it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t have found this site, and I would till be stuck with a few hundred in Amazon Canada gift cards collecting dust.
Do you have any clever ways to save big money on Amazon? Let’s hear about it in the comments below.
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