When you shop online, you use coupon codes for almost every site EXCEPT Amazon. Do those codes exist? And how can you get even better prices at the web’s biggest superstore?
Secret Coupon Codes?
Every time I buy something at Amazon, there’s this little box that comes up during the checkout process that says, “Add coupon code for discount.” But no matter how many times I’ve looked, I’ve never found a percentage-off code on any of the good coupon sites like RetailMeNot or CouponCabin. Sure, it looks like they have those secret codes, but when you actually click on “Get Deal,” a new window pops up stating “No Coupon Required!” So I called the folks at Amazon and asked where to get one of these mythical codes. It turns out that while they do offer them, they are incredibly rare, and usually product-specific. For example, they recently offered $35 off Quicken – if you have the code – and the code was right there on the same page.
So don’t beat yourself up the next time you see the code box and you don’t have one; the Amazon code it is a unicorn. Of course, if you’ve seen a unicorn yourself, please share it on our Facebook page.
That said, there are some other, excellent ways to save:
One of the best ways to get discounts on items you frequently buy is to subscribe to it, which can save you up to 15% and get you free shipping. Not all products are available for this deal, but with tens of thousands of items listed, from diapers, to shampoo, to pet food, it’s definitely worth browsing Amazon’s Subscribe& Save page.
Secrets of Free Shipping
· You’ve probably seen the pitch to join Amazon Prime. Membership costs $79 a year for free two-day shipping, but depending on how often you shop, this mayor may not be a deal. On the other hand, you can share a membership with up to four family members or co-workers, and if you can split the cost, this can really be a huge savings. Plus, there’s nothing to keep you from signing up for a free, one-month trial when you have a bunch of purchases to make – like around the holidays.
· Amazon Student gets you the same deal – free 2-day shipping – with no annual fee, as long as you have an email address that ends in .edu.
· Amazon Mom offers the same free 2-day shipping, plus extra discounts on baby and toddler items like diapers and wipes. Despite the rather sexist title, you can even join as a dad. This membership is currently available as a free, three-month trial, after which you can expect to pay the same $79 a year as Amazon Prime members.
It’s no secret that prices fluctuate like crazy online.Tracking sites like CamelCamelCamel will show you the trends, and they’ll track prices and alert you to drops, or you can just put an item in your cart and save for later. Every time you log in from then on, you’ll get a notification about the price changes. Or, if you like window-shopping, you’ll often get the best deals by becoming a frequent browser. Within every category on Amazon (Clothing, Electronics, Grocery, etc.), search for “Deal of the Day.” There are also sites that curate the best deals.They are a little fly-by-night, but one I saw recently is called promocodes9.
Bonus Tip: Finding Really Cheap E-Books
Search “Kindle Books Under $2,” and you’ll often find a curated list of the best cheap and sometimes free reads. You don’t even have to have a Kindle to read their books; if you have a smartphone, use the Kindle app– or you can just read the e-books on your computer.
[Related: Best e-Reader for Under $100 ]