How to Shop on Amazon: The Ultimate Guide for Finding Deals and More

With over 300 million active customer accounts worldwide, Amazon has become the go-to online marketplace for everything from books and electronics to furniture and groceries. But with its vast selection and constant deals, Amazon can also feel overwhelming for shoppers.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through expert tips for finding the best deals, navigating Prime benefits, researching products, streamlining purchases and more on Amazon. Whether you’re an avid Amazon addict or just an occasional shopper, these actionable strategies will help you shop Amazon like a pro.

Crafting Your Amazon Shopping Strategy

Before you start browsing and adding items to your cart, take a moment to craft a smart Amazon shopping strategy. This will help you get the most of your time on Amazon while avoiding impulse purchases.

Set a Budget

Having a clear budget prevents you from overspending in the heat of the moment. Estimate how much you plan to spend for the month on Amazon. Be sure to factor in a buffer for surprise expenses.

Make a List

List out everything you need or want to buy on Amazon. Include household essentials, gifts, appliances, books, etc. A list keeps you focused and less likely to impulse buy.

Compare Prices

Use tools like CamelCamelCamel to view historical pricing data on Amazon. You may find some items cost less during certain times of the year.

Check Reviews

Read user reviews to ensure you choose quality products that will meet your needs. Sort by most recent reviews.

Use Amazon Coupons

Check for coupons before buying. You can find promo codes for individual items. Amazon also offers site-wide coupons.

Ways to Find the Best Deals

Amazon offers new deals every day. Here are the best ways to find discounts across all categories:

Today’s Deals Page

This page compiles Amazon’s best limited-time discounts and sales. Check it regularly to find the steepest price drops.

Amazon Outlet

Browse discounted overstock items and customer returns across electronics, homegoods, clothing and more.

Gold Box Deals

Daily deals on a rotating selection of products. Offers are timed and in limited quantity.

Amazon Warehouse

Find open-box, used and refurbished items for a fraction of the price. Verify condition.

Amazon Coupons Page

View discounts and promo codes for eligible items sitewide or by product category.Clip coupons to redeem at checkout.

Lightning Deals

Sales that expire quickly as inventory runs out. Use alerts to catch them before they end.

Amazon Sales & Events Page

Discover ongoing and seasonal sales like Prime Day, Back to School and holiday sales events.

Amazon Outlet Deals Browser Extension

This tool surfaces relevant Amazon Outlet deals as you browse and helps track price drops.

Camelcamelcamel Price Tracker

Use this site to view price history and set alerts for items to snag them at a discount later.

Honey Browser Extension

Automatically find and apply coupon codes at checkout to maximize savings.

Becoming an Amazon Prime Member

Amazon Prime unlocks a host of perks for shoppers. Here’s what the membership offers:

  • Free Two-Day Shipping – Receive free expedited delivery on millions of eligible items.
  • Free One-Day and Same-Day Delivery – Available on select items in metro areas.
  • Free Release-Date Delivery – Receive pre-ordered items on release day without extra shipping fees.
  • Prime Video – Access thousands of movies, shows, and Amazon Originals to stream anytime.
  • Amazon Music – Listen to 2 million ad-free songs and podcasts on-demand.
  • Prime Reading – Read books, magazines, comics and more with included Kindle content.
  • Prime Gaming – Enjoy premium games, in-game content, free monthly channel subscriptions on Twitch and more.
  • Prime Try Before You Buy – Select try-on options before purchase for clothing and shoes.
  • Prime Early Access – Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals and new product releases.
  • Prime Photos – Secure unlimited photo storage and 5 GB video storage in the cloud.

Before you sign up, consider:

  • Cost – Prime costs $139/year or $14.99/month. Students pay $69/year.
  • Free Trial – You can try Prime free for 30 days to test the benefits.
  • Shared Memberships – Split the annual fee with up to five family members/friends.
  • Automatic Renewal – Set a reminder to cancel before the trial ends if you don’t want to continue.

Researching Products Like an Amazon Pro

Conducting research is key to finding quality products and avoiding regrettable buys on Amazon. Follow these steps:

Check Review Ratings

Don’t just read reviews. Glance at the overall star rating for a quick quality check. Note the total number of reviews.

Read both Positive and Negative Reviews

Balanced perspectives from verified purchasers reveal pros and cons you may not have considered.

Look for Answered Questions

Amazon product pages show questions and answers from other customers. This can provide helpful first-hand usage information.

Compare with Available Alternatives

View products that are suggested as “Frequently Bought Together” or “Compare with Similar Items” to contrast options.

Inspect Photos Closely

Zoom and expand product photos to inspect details not visible in thumbnails, like materials and dimensions.

Verify Specs and Details

Double check that a product’s specs, features, size, etc. match your needs before purchasing.

Check Warranty Coverage

Review warranty duration and coverage details, especially for electronics and appliances.

Research Seller Ratings

If buying from a third party seller, verify their reputation through ratings and reviews.

Look at Keepa or CamelCamelCamel History

Use these tools to uncover price fluctuations and best times to buy specific products.

Thorough product research on Amazon prevents disappointment and surprise returns!

Optimizing Your Order for Savings and Convenience

Carefully placing your Amazon order can unlock extra perks and cost savings:

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  • Combine orders to meet free shipping minimums with one delivery.
  • Use Amazon Coupons before checking out eligible items in your cart.
  • Opt for FREE No-Rush Shipping on applicable items to earn rewards.
  • Sign up for a credit card to get 5% cashback or other perks on purchases.
  • Check for student discounts using your school email address.
  • Add on an Amazon warranty or protection plan for electronics/appliances to save vs. buying later.
  • Enable 1-Click ordering to speed up purchases on Amazon from any device.
  • Use Amazon Smile so a portion of the purchase can be donated to charity.
  • Purchase discounted gift cards to save at Whole Foods, restaurants and more.
  • Set your default address so it autofills when you checkout.
  • Save items for later if you want to buy them on another order. They’ll remain in your cart.
  • Buy used through Amazon Warehouse deals to save up to 90% off retail prices.

Managing Your Amazon Orders and Returns

Amazon makes the post-purchase experience smooth. Take advantage of these features:

  • View status of all your orders in Your Orders – tracking info is provided.
  • Enable delivery alerts and notifications so you never miss a package arrival.
  • Choose overnight, evening or weekend delivery for work or when you’re home (available in select areas).
  • Have packages delivered to an Amazon Locker for secure, convenient pickup.
  • Enable Amazon Day to group orders together to arrive on the day that works for you weekly.
  • Leave delivery instructions to help carriers leave packages in a safe location.
  • Review return policies before purchasing – most new items are returnable within 30 days.
  • Print free return labels for eligible items so returns are hassle-free.
  • Drop off returns at Whole Foods, Kohl’s, UPS or use pickup for added convenience.
  • Manage replacement, refund or exchange options on the Online Returns Center.

Answering Common Amazon Shopping Questions

Still have some lingering questions about getting the most out of Amazon? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How can I get the cheapest prices on Amazon?

  • Check Camelcamelcamel for price history and set alerts for lower prices.
  • Use Honey’s automatic coupon finder to maximize discounts at checkout.
  • Look for coupons on the Amazon Coupons page and clip them to your account.
  • Buy Amazon Warehouse discounted, used items when available.
  • Shop Amazon Outlet deals and Lightning deals.
  • Sign up for an Amazon credit card to earn 5% cash back on purchases.

Are Amazon prices cheaper than buying locally?

Not always, but Amazon offers a combination of factors that can make it cheaper overall:

  • Lower prices from national or global sellers with bulk purchasing power.
  • Deep discounts and sales offered frequently when local stores are still at regular retail.
  • Lower overhead compared to brick-and-mortar so Amazon can trim margins.
  • No sales tax (for most states, depending on location and item).
  • Free shipping with Prime or over a minimum order amount.

How can I tell if a product is a good value?

  • Use Keepa and Camelcamelcamel to understand historical price ranges.
  • Compare prices across other online sellers.
  • Look at the average star rating and total number of reviews for quality feedback.
  • Carefully read negative reviews for potential issues.
  • Make sure specs and details match your needs.
  • Check manufacturer warranty and support policies.

Is it better to buy from Amazon or other sellers?

Buying directly from Amazon has perks like easy returns and customer service disputes. But third-party sellers can also offer great deals, especially for used items. Check the seller’s reputation through ratings and reviews for reassurance before purchasing.

How quickly will I receive my order with standard shipping?

Amazon provides estimated delivery dates on the checkout page, but standard shipping timeframes are:

  • Prime members: 2 days
  • Non-members under $25: 5-8 business days
  • Non-members over $25: 3-6 business days

Two-day or next day shipping can be selected for urgent orders. Signing up for Prime reduces delivery times on millions of items to 1-2 days.

How can I maximize convenience with Amazon orders?

  • Set your default shipping address so it autofills at checkout
  • Enable 1-Click ordering for faster purchasing across devices
  • Add items you want to buy later to your Cart or Wish List
  • Select hassle-free delivery options like Amazon Lockers or Amazon Day
  • Use Amazon Assistant to easily track packages and orders
  • Sign up for delivery alerts and notifications so you never miss a package

Wrapping Up Your Amazon Shopping Experience

With its vast selection and constant stream of deals, Amazon can certainly perplex shoppers. But by crafting an intentional shopping strategy, researching diligently, optimizing your cart, and leveraging Amazon’s conveniences, you can master shopping on Amazon.

Use this comprehensive guide to become a savvy Amazon customer. You’ll be able to take advantage of Amazon’s best deals while simplifying and streamlining your purchasing experience. Happy saving and happy shopping!

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