How to save money on Amazon

Amazon, the giant of internet shopping, is hailed as being the place to buy anything you want at a fraction of the high-street price.

How to save money on Amazon

While I'd never contest this for the majority of the things I've bought, I have found a few tricks to get that price even cheaper. From the Outlet store, to doing direct searches for deals, these are the tips that Amazon probably doesn't want you to read…

1. Amazon Outlet

You shop on the Amazon Outlet store, right? What, you've never heard of it? Well, even Amazon can't get everything right, and sometimes they over-order certain products. The Amazon Outlet store is where you can pick up any of this surplus with some great savings. Having a quick scan of the main page today and I can see:

• Up to 50 per cent off Selected Mobile Accessories - including an iGrip Universal Charging Dock Kit for Smartphones now only £16.57 (£33.42 off).

• Up to 60pc off watches.

• Some great savings on home/kitchen products - like one vacuum cleaner that has 54pc off and over 4 out of 5 stars from 439 reviews.

The best advice I can give you with the Outlet store is to know what you're looking for and to act fast when you see a deal. There are only so many units of each product (and Amazon handily displays how many are left under certain items), so when a good deal comes it's likely to be taken quickly. Just don't get distracted by all the great prices and end up buying more than you went on there for!

2. Amazon Warehouse

No, this is completely different to the Outlet Store. The Warehouse sells opened and used customer returns. A warning here - some of the items in the Warehouse might be damaged, but you're normally told upfront if they are.

Why would you want to buy any of these rejects? Well, have you ever had a delivery and opened up the box only to find out the product wasn't the exact specification you ordered, or didn't fit what you needed it for in the time you had to return it? Some of these gems are hidden in the Amazon Warehouse; perfectly good products that might just have a damaged box or previously opened box. Do you care so much about having a pretty box that you'd give up massive discounts for it? Didn't think so.

Pro tip: Always check on a price comparison site, like Scoperks, before you get excited over a Warehouse deal. Amazon doesn't tell you how much the item usually costs, it'll only display it's new 'discount' price. I just found a pink Fuji Intax Mini 8 camera for a 'discount' price of £66 when I found it brand new from a high-street online store for £65. It's always worth shopping around before committing to a buy!

3. Searching for specific money off

Here's a pretty sneaky tip - use this search engine over on Money Saving Expert to look for items with a certain percentage off on the whole of Amazon. Now you know you're always getting a deal.

Again, this will work better for you if you know you want, say, a kettle, but aren't sure of exactly which model you're after. Because the deals will be different on an almost daily basis, it's better to search for a broad item type like 'kettle' and to see if there are any great models with a good deal on.

4. Use a price comparison site

Well here it is, a point of it's very own. There is no guarantee that Amazon is always the cheapest seller; even when searching for deals, or through the Outlet or Warehouse. I'm not going to lie and tell you Amazon comes out bottom very often, but it's still worth a quick check.

Some good price comparison websites are:

• Pricerunner - lets you search for any product you want and compares the price of different retailers.

• Kelkoo - again, lets you search for any product you want and compares the price of different retailers, but it includes Ebay and Amazon Marketplace items into its search.

Scoperks - the difference between Scoperks and other price comparison sites is that you can earn cashback. Price comparison websites receive a commission from the retailer, but Scoperks will pass this cash straight back to you.

5. Add things to your basket - but don’t checkout

Ok, stick with me for this one because I know it might sound a little strange. Find whatever it is you want to buy and add it to your basket. Now don't buy it. Leave it in there for a few days (a week is plenty long enough to test this), and keep an eye on your email account. You might just get a message from Amazon with some money off whatever you left in that basket. It doesn't work every single time, but I've been offered quite a bit off in the past to keep me buying from them!

This isn't just a tip for Amazon either - this works for most other online shops, so give it a try the next time you need to buy something that's not too urgent.

6. Set Up Price Alerts

If you know you want something and you don't mind waiting for the best deal, then setting up a price alert could work perfectly for you. Using a site like CamelCamelCamel, all you need to do is create an account, let it know which Amazon item you're after, and what your ideal price is. Then the site will email you when the product drops to your price range. Simple!

The best thing about price alerts is that you'll probably forget about them. And then when 'sales' times pop up after the Summer and Christmas, you'll probably end up with a great deal sitting in your email account.

7. Subscribe & Save

This is another little known Amazon wonder. You can finally get rid of that 'ugh, I'm going to have to actually walk to the corner shop just so I can pick up some bog roll' feeling, and save some money to boot! Amazon's Subscribe & Save let's you pick out the items you need every month, 6 months, or a variety of times in between, and then sends you them just when you need them (with free delivery of course).

This kind of thing takes a while to get right, and I'd definitely advise noting down how often you use up your essentials before signing up (no, you don't need five tubes of toothpaste a month, and yes, your baby DOES get through about a million nappies). But have a quick look at Amazon's prices compared to where you normally get your essentials from, and decide if it's right for you.

So that's it for these tips, but if you want to take a look at a pretty unconventional money saving blog (we actually want you to have a fun life and not spend the whole time worrying about money!) we have a whole load of useful advice over on the Scoperks blog.

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