How to save money when shopping at Amazon

We reveal some top tips to get the best possible price when shopping at Amazon.

Whether you're planning to pick up some presents for the family or simply want to treat yourself, take a look at our top tips to get a great deal at Amazon.

Check out the refurbished store

Amazon has a certified refurbished store selling things like tablets, smartphones and laptops at a discount.

The range is made up of electronics that have been refurbished, tested and re-packaged by the retailer and all come with a one-year warranty.

Beat delivery charges  

The minimum spend in order to trigger free delivery on Amazon is £20 (unless you are buying books when a £10 minimum applies).

If your order is under the threshold, you’ll have to pay a delivery charge, which can vary from 99p to £4.49 depending on what you purchase. So, try and do a big shop rather than lots of little ones.

Items from Amazon’s Marketplace will count towards your free delivery threshold as long as they are marked as ‘fulfilled by Amazon.’

Just a heads-up, if you are an Amazon Prime customer and want your order delivered in a two-hour slot, you’ll get charged £3.99 for orders under £40.

Of course, there's always the option to wait a little longer for delivery and avoid the fee.

Use Prime

Another way to avoid Amazon's delivery charges is to use Prime.

This is an annual or monthly subscription service, which costs £79 a year or £7.99 a month and gets you unlimited free one-day delivery as well as other benefits like access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos cloud storage and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

You can get a free one-month trial of the service, which you can cancel before you get charged the subscription fee.

Get up to 2.5% back on your next Amazon shop! Simply sign up to Topcashback then look up Amazon for more information.

Amazon Prime parcels. (Image: Julie Clopper/Shutterstock)

Don’t assume Amazon is cheapest

Amazon is a giant online retailer offering pretty much everything with a reputation for being cheap, so it can be tempting to head straight to the site for all your purchases.

But Amazon might not be the cheapest place to buy what you’re after.

It’s worth taking a few moments to compare prices online to ensure you are getting the best deal from Amazon before making a purchase.

Sites like PriceSpy help you compare prices across hundreds of retailers, so you can find out if that deal really is as good as Amazon claims.

Check who you are buying from

When you shop at Amazon, items can be sold direct or by third-party sellers via Amazon Marketplace.

When purchasing through Amazon Marketplace, delivery can cost more as items from third-party sellers aren’t eligible for free Super Saver Delivery (unless they are dispatched by Amazon).

Also, if there’s a problem with your order or the item you receive, you need to go through the seller rather than Amazon itself.

Marketplace purchases are covered by Amazon’s A-Z protection guarantee, which gives you money back if goods don’t arrive or aren’t as described.

But Marketplace purchases you make with a credit card over £100 don’t qualify for protection under Section 75.

That’s because Amazon takes the money and then passes it onto the retailer – if you bought directly from the retailer, you would still be protected.

Read more about this loophole in our guide to Section 75.

Get the price you want to pay

Amazon’s prices move up and down all the time, so nailing the perfect time to make your purchase can be tricky. Luckily, there are tools out there that can help.

CamelCamelCamel is a website dedicated to tracking Amazon prices.

It allows you to enter the maximum price you would be willing to pay for an item and alerts you when Amazon hits your target or goes even lower.

Get cashback when you shop

You can earn money back when you shop with Amazon with cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashback. They work by tracking your purchases and paying a percentage back on what you buy.

If you’re being super savvy, you might also use a cashback credit card to pay for your purchases as well as using a cashback site. 

Take advantage of student perks

Amazon Student allows university students to get the benefits of Amazon Prime for half the price.

Those who are aged over 18 and in higher education can get a free six-month trial of the service, which will offer access to unlimited free one-day delivery, Prime Video, Prime Music and Prime Photos cloud storage, as well as early access to Lightning Deals.

After the six-month free trial students pay £39 a year (instead of £79) and will gain access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle First.

Get up to 2.5% back on your next Amazon shop! Simply sign up to Topcashback then look up Amazon for more information.

Use hidden Amazon vouchers

Amazon Vouchers lists a whole load of discounts for various categories that you might be able to take advantage of.

You just need to select the ones you want to use, and the discount will be automatically applied to your basket when you check out.

Check out Amazon Warehouse deals

You may be able to nab a bargain with Amazon Warehouse, which offers discounted prices on open-box goods and returned, warehouse damaged or refurbished products in good condition that can’t be classified as new.

Amazon ‘thoroughly tests’ every item to give it a specific grade before selling it, but used products aren’t certified by the original manufacturer, who won’t offer a warranty for the item.

You get free delivery on qualifying orders. Unfortunately, you can’t get any items you’re unhappy with replaced, but you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.

Amazon Subscribe & Save. (Image: PixieMe/Shutterstock)

Save up to 15% on regular buys

With Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service, you can save money by signing up for repeat deliveries of items you order regularly.

You can choose from items like pet food, coffee, nappies, loo roll, wet wipes and more and save 5% by opting for Subscribe & Save rather than a one-off delivery.

If you sign up for five or more subscriptions, Amazon will boost the discount to 15%.

There is no minimum subscription length and you can cancel anytime, but you should make sure Amazon is cheapest each month to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Combine savings for nappy discounts

Amazon Family is free for Prime members and offers discounts on nappies, baby food and more, with higher discounts available if you also use Subscribe & Save.

Earn vouchers with online surveys

You can earn Amazon vouchers by doing online surveys.

If you have the time to answer questions on anything from celebrities to the latest mascara, some sites will reward you with Amazon vouchers.

Websites like Swagbucksi-SayTolunaCrowdology, Valued OpinionsSurvey Friends and Opinion Outpost all offer Amazon voucher options.

Don't forget about Amazon Smile

When you make a eligible purchase on Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price (excluding VAT and shipping) to a charity of your choice, at no extra cost to you.

If doing good while shopping interests you, have a look at our roundup of the best ways to donate without trying

Get a refund if you're not happy

You can get loads of loot from Amazon, but sometimes you'll want a refund on your purchase. The item could be faulty, it might not fit or perhaps you just don’t want it anymore.

Thankfully, the Amazon refund process is extremely simple, as we explain in this guide to the top exchange and refund tips and methods.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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