Since I do so much of my ordering online, I always use these Amazon shopping tips to make sure I’m getting the best deal.
I do not enjoy shopping (really, I can’t stand it!) which makes me not want to waste any time doing it. When I order online, I save tons of driving time and it’s much easier to compare products than it is in the store.
Of course, the downside to ordering online is that you can’t take a good look at the product in person before buying. You can’t handle it or try it out. So you have to do a little extra digging.
When buying something that you haven’t used before (instead of just restocking a grocery item), make it a habit to use these tips to make sure you’re getting the best product and the best deal.
4 Amazon Shopping Tips
1. Check the reviews.
The reviews are almost more important than the item description itself. I always look for numerous reviews on a product.
The number of reviews will vary by product. Some less popular products may only have 20 or 30 reviews while super popular products may have thousands. Either case may be sufficient for your needs. I rarely order something without a least a few reviews.
What to look for in an Amazon review:
- Number of stars. I usually don’t order things with fewer than 4 stars.
For instance, I just ordered a new suitcase on Amazon. I read the most popular positive review and the most popular negative review.
I like to know about the potential downsides of a product. Sometimes real issues are raised and sometimes it’s just someone who really wanted the product for a different use than it was intended. Sometimes, people are just plain picky or overly critical.
To find the most helpful positive and negative (critical) reviews, click on the number of reviews and then click on “See all reviews.”
Either way, negative reviews can be very helpful to you in deciding if you want to make a purchase.
- Sometimes there are comments on reviews. This helps you see even more detail about what people thought about a purchase.
2. Check for Prime shipping (or free shipping)
About 95% of my Amazon purchases are through Prime – it’s just not worth my money to pay for shipping when Prime is always free for me. I love to get the most out of my Prime membership! And when I need a last minute birthday present (sigh…, more often than I’d like to admit), it’s not painful to pay $3.99 for overnight shipping. Sometimes, a product will have free (although not Prime) shipping.
Another purchase I recently made is for yeast for my easy homemade wheat bread and pizza. Since I only buy yeast about once a year, I wanted to see if another, less expensive brand would work for my bread. This brand of yeast had 81 reviews, was available via Prime and the price was right.
3. Check the return policy.
If you’re ordering directly from Amazon, you’re probably pretty safe with being to return anything you buy within 30 days. BUT if you buy from a third-party seller on Amazon, they might have a different policy.
We learned this the hard way when we bought a couple remote control helicopters and were unable to return them although they broke in less than 30 days. Major bummer and lesson learned.
Be sure you know if and when you can return what you’re ordering and who is the actual seller.
4. Use the Amazon Rewards card.
The Chase Amazon Rewards card is one of my 2 go-to credit cards. I like this credit card for 2 reasons:
- I get triple points on Amazon purchases. Since I do most of my shopping (other than groceries) via Amazon, this adds up quickly.
- I can actually spend the points right at checkout. Once credited to my account, they’re immediately available to be spent. We save the points for fun stuff like new books (oh happy day!).
If you do a lot of shopping at Amazon, look into this card. Of course you’re going to want to record each purchase you make right away using a budget app like You Need a Budget (this is how I use YNAB).
Life is so much easier with being able to order things online.
I think I’m totally spoiled by the ease of use and selection with Amazon. How did we ever survive when we had to go to the store?