Amazon has become the go-to online marketplace for everything from books and electronics to clothing and household items. With its vast selection, competitive pricing, fast shipping and excellent customer service, it’s easy to see why Amazon is the leader in ecommerce. This comprehensive guide provides tips, tricks and advice for getting the most out of Amazon’s online shopping experience.
How to Navigate Amazon and Find What You Need
With millions of products available, searching on Amazon can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips for efficiently finding what you need:
Use the Search Bar
The search bar at the top of the page is your best friend for directly finding products by keyword or phrase. For broader categories, start typing and choose from the auto-suggest drop down.
Shop by Department
Amazon has organized products into major departments accessible from the top navigation bar. Choose from categories like Electronics, Home & Kitchen, Books, Fashion, Toys & Games and more.
Use the Sidebar Filters
Once you select a department, use the left sidebar to filter results by brand, price range, customer rating, Prime eligibility and other specifics. This narrows products significantly.
Read Product Reviews
Don’t just look at star ratings. Dive into the customer reviews section to get unbiased opinions on a product’s pros, cons and quality before purchasing.
Use the “Compare with similar items” feature on a product page to evaluate all options side-by-side on pricing, specs, sizing and more.
Check department landing pages or the dedicated Best Sellers section to see what products are most popular with customers. These often make great gifts.
Explore Related Products
Product pages suggest alternatives and complementary add-ons to consider purchasing. It’s an easy way to compile everything you need.
Create Wish Lists
Curate items you’re interested in buying later. Your wish list syncs across your Amazon account for easy access anytime.
With these tips, you can cut through the clutter and quickly zero in on the right products to purchase on Amazon.
How to Score the Best Deals
Amazon offers competitive pricing year-round, but you can save even more by knowing where to look for deals and utilizing their special programs.
Check Today’s Deals
This page compiles all of Amazon’s limited time lightning deals, sales and promotions in one place. Check back often for new deals launching throughout the day.
Sign Up for Amazon Prime
The $139/year subscription provides free 2-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and other benefits. Prime members get exclusive access to extra discounts.
Look for Coupon Codes
Some products provide a coupon or promotion code during checkout for additional dollars off your order. Look for clickable coupons on product pages.
Don’t Ignore Add-On Items
Products labeled “Add-on Item” have extra discounts if you purchase $25+ worth. It’s an easy way to save on smaller items.
Use Amazon Credit Cards
Amazon’s branded credit cards offer 3-5% back in rewards on all Amazon purchases. The points add up quickly, especially on larger orders.
Shop the Amazon Warehouse for discounted used and open-box returns. Products may have minor cosmetic defects but function like new.
Set Price Drop Alerts
Use CamelCamelCamel to track price drops over time and get email/text alerts when an item hits your target price.
Check Amazon Outlet
This section has overstock inventory and other excess products discounted up to 90% off compared to retail prices.
With insider knowledge of Amazon’s best deals and programs, you can save big on everything you order.
How to Purchase with Confidence
Amazon makes online shopping convenient, but you still need to make smart purchasing decisions. Follow these guidelines for worry-free Amazon buys:
Stick with Top-Rated Sellers
Filter search results by 4+ star sellers with a high percentage of positive reviews to minimize risks. Avoid uncertified third parties.
Read the Return Policy
Know the return window and specific policies upfront in case you need to send an item back later. Amazon offers easy self-service returns.
Check Used Condition
If buying used, read the condition details and examine seller photos closely. AVOID descriptions like “good” which often means acceptable cosmetic flaws.
Research Refurbished Quality
Refurbished electronics can be majorly discounted but have more risk. Ensure it comes with a decent warranty from the manufacturer.
Don’t Overpay for Shipping
Choose free Prime or slow shipment options instead of expedited shipping if you don’t need the item immediately.
Use Payment Security
Pay directly through Amazon using your stored credit card or Amazon gift card balance. Avoid sketchy third party payment services.
Review Your Order
Double check items, quantities, shipping address and total cost before completing checkout. It’s easy to make corrections at this stage.
Track Packages Proactively
Use Amazon’s tracking tool or delivery notifications to monitor progress once an order ships. Reach out if a package is delayed.
Leverage Purchase Protection
Items are guaranteed under the A-to-z Guarantee. File claims within 90 days of purchase for issues to get your money back.
Making smart buying decisions helps ensure you get exactly what you paid for from Amazon without nasty surprises.
Helpful Programs and Services
Beyond its marketplace, Amazon offers additional programs and services that enhance the shopping experience.
This paid membership includes free 2-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music and more benefits. It’s worthwhile for frequent Amazon shoppers.
Add cash to your account balance at retailers like CVS and 7-Eleven to make Amazon purchases if you prefer not to link bank/card info.
This browser plugin helps you track prices, access deals and get notifications when items on your wish list go on sale.
Amazon Store Card
If you don’t qualify for other credit cards, this option offers financing options to pay for large Amazon purchases over time.
Trade-in used electronics and other eligible items to get an Amazon gift card. It’s an easy way to clear clutter and save money.
Shop via smile.amazon.com and 0.5% of proceeds will be donated to a charity of your choice automatically.
Try on clothes before committing to buy. Get shipped up to 8 items to evaluate and only pay for what you keep.
Get groceries including produce, dairy and more delivered if available in your area. Much more convenient than going to the store.
Browse discounted refurbished products that function and look like new. Items come with a 90 day supplier warranty.
These helpful programs remove friction from the online shopping experience. Take advantage to maximize convenience and savings.
Recommended Products to Buy on Amazon
Certain categories really shine when it comes to value, selection and convenience on Amazon. Here are the best products to buy:
Amazon offers the largest book selection paired with great prices, making it the go-to destination for book lovers. Kindle eBooks are also hugely popular.
You’ll find amazing deals on popular electronics like smartphones, tablets, headphones, smart home devices and more. Extensive reviews help identify quality tech.
Amazon has every kitchen item imaginable from basic utensils to high-end cookware. Competitive pricing beats kitchen specialty stores.
Amazon brand devices like Echo, Fire Tablet, Ring and Blink integrate seamlessly. You can bundle for added discounts too.
Clothing & Shoes
The clothing selection rivals department store websites but at lower prices. Trying before you buy with Prime Wardrobe is game changing.
Stock up on parenting essentials from diapers to pacifiers plus cute clothes and toys. Many everyday basics can be subscribed.
Beauty & Grooming
Major makeup, skincare and hair brands now sell directly on Amazon. Prices beat drugstores and Ulta/Sephora.
Get big bags of pet food along with toys, beds and treats all shipped quickly via Amazon. Vet recommended brands available.
Never run out of household cleaning and laundry essentials again. Subscribe and Save makes restocking effortless.
Amazon Business offers bulk pricing on office supplies and other work essentials. No need to go to Staples or Office Depot ever again.
Across all these categories, Amazon is the most convenient and cost-effective source thanks to its competitive pricing, vast selection and fast shipping.
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Tips for Safely Buying on Amazon
While Amazon makes shopping simple, it’s important to take precautions for a safe buying experience:
- Stick to recognizable brands and verified sellers to avoid counterfeits. Avoid random third party sellers.
- Carefully examine product photos and read reviews to validate quality before purchasing.
- Check expiration dates and use “Fulfilled by Amazon” shipping to receive legit products.
- Don’t purchase discounted gift cards which may be used or fake – only buy directly from Amazon.
- Avoid offers that seem too good to be true or make big claims not backed up by reviews.
- Always track packages and follow up immediately if an order doesn’t arrive as expected.
- Review credit card and bank statements regularly to identify any unauthorized charges.
- Change Amazon account passwords periodically and enable two-factor authentication for added security.
- Monitor kids’ purchasing if sharing an Amazon account to prevent unwanted charges.
By being an informed shopper and taking advantage of Amazon’s purchase protection policies, you can have peace of mind buying online.
Amazon Buying Guides By Category
Follow these category-specific tips and recommendations when shopping Amazon for the best deals on top-rated items:
Electronics Buying Guide
- Stick to flagship models from major brands like Apple, Samsung, Sony, Bose etc. Avoid cheap knockoffs.
- Compare specs like display size, resolution, battery life, warranty etc side-by-side.
- Accessories are inexpensive – get cases, screen protectors, cables, memory cards etc.
- Only buy refurbished directly from the manufacturer – comes with complete warranty.
- Utilize Amazon’s discount electronics trade-in program to save on newer models.
Home & Kitchen Buying Guide
- Read reviews and verify essential features on appliances like air fryers and Instant Pots before buying.
- Upgrade with AmazonBasics versions of everyday items like cookware, towels and furniture.
- Take advantage of Subscribe & Save on household essentials like cleaning supplies and non-perishable grocery items.
- Use Amazon Coupons for additional savings on big ticket home improvement like mattresses and furniture.
- Make registries for weddings and new babies to get completion discounts on remaining items.
Clothing & Shoes Buying Guide
- Reference size charts carefully when buying clothes and shoes without trying on. Order 2 sizes if uncertain.
- Stick to specialty clothing brands you recognize with models showing fit. Avoid generic no-name listings.
- Use Prime Wardrobe to order try-on hauls across brands and sizes. Only pay for what you keep.
- Sign up for personalized recommendations and notifications of deals on brands you love.
- Check Amazon Outlet clearance first for previous season styles and discounted overstock.
Beauty Buying Guide
- Read reviews on skin/hair products thoroughly and look for issues with counterfeits or expiration dates.
- Stick to salon brands also sold at Ulta/Sephora stores like Olaplex, Urban Decay, etc.
- Check Amazon Luxury Stores for prestige makeup and skincare brands like Clé de Peau and RevitaLash.
- Compare cost per ounce or other unit rates against other retailers. Amazon prices are usually lowest.
- Use Subscribe & Save for 15-20% off replenishment of daily routine items like face wash.
Pet Supplies Buying Guide
- Get veterinarian recommended pet food brands like Hill’s Science Diet shipped regularly via Subscribe & Save.
- Read pet product reviews carefully for safety and effectiveness – avoid buying blindly based just on Amazon ratings.
- Verify appropriate pet food formulas based on age, size, dietary needs etc. when switching foods.
- Stick to durable pet toy brands like KONG and Nylabone with replacement guarantees. Avoid cheap toys.
- Setup alerts for price drops on large bags of pet food and litter to stock up and save.
Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon Shopping
Shopping on Amazon comes with its own set of questions for new users. Here are helpful answers to the most common queries:
Is Amazon cheaper than buying in stores?
In most cases yes – Amazon offers very competitive pricing across categories like electronics, clothing, books and more. Shopping the deals and discounts make it even cheaper.
Is it safe to enter my credit card on Amazon?
Yes – Amazon employs extremely sophisticated encryption and data security to protect your financial information and prevent fraud. As long as you buy from Amazon directly, it is perfectly safe.
Can I return products bought on Amazon?
Yes – items shipped and sold by Amazon.com can easily be returned within 30 days for a full refund in most cases. Simply initiate a return online for free. Items must be in original condition.
Should I buy Amazon’s private label brands?
Yes – Amazon private label brands like AmazonBasics offer great value on everyday items comparable to name brands but at cheaper prices. Quality is very good for the low costs.
Is Amazon Prime membership worth it?
Yes – for frequent Amazon shoppers, a Prime membership quickly pays for itself between the free shipping, media content included and exclusive access to special deals. The $139 annual fee is worthwhile for regular Amazon users.
Can I get scammed buying on Amazon?
While Amazon is largely safe, there is some risk buying from unauthorized third party sellers. Always vet sellers carefully, read recent reviews and buy only from “Fulfilled by Amazon” whenever possible to minimize the very low risk of scams.
Can I buy groceries on Amazon?
Yes – AmazonFresh offers shipping on meat, produce, dairy and pantry staples in certain cities if available in your area. Prime members get free delivery on orders over $35. Amazon Pantry also ships non-perishable grocery items nationwide.
Buying on Amazon is very safe and reliable if you take basic precautions. Follow the tips in this guide for the optimal shopping experience.
Amazon has revolutionized online shopping with its vast selection, competitive pricing, convenient shipping and excellent customer service. While the massive marketplace can feel overwhelming at first, using the search tools and following the category-specific tips in this guide will help you expertly navigate Amazon.
Taking advantage of Amazon’s special services and programs provides even more ways to maximize value. With insider knowledge of Amazon’s layout, deals and buying best practices, you can save time and money on all your ecommerce purchases. Next time you need to buy something online, Amazon should be your first stop.