Amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer, and for good reason. They offer just about any product you can imagine, they’re usually among the lowest prices you’ll find, and they’re super convenient to buy from. Sometimes even a bit too convenient (I’m looking at you: “one-click ordering”).
While shopping on Amazon in the first place is usually a great way to save money. There are ways you can save even more money when shopping on Amazon.
The Amazon Outlet Store
Outlet malls have long been a destination for shoppers seeking deals above and beyond anything found in your typical brick and mortar shopping malls. Well, most people don’t even realize that Amazon has its very own outlet store!
The reason most people don’t know the outlet store exists is because Amazon doesn’t exactly put it out there front and center for everyone to see. Instead the Amazon outlet store is hidden deep within the full store directory.
The Amazon outlet store lets you search the best deals in any category within the store. If you don’t have your heart set on a specific brand or model, using the Amazon outlet store can be a great way to save anywhere from 20-70% on your next purchase.
Amazon Warehouse Deals
While the outlet store lets you shop the deepest discounts on the site, Amazon Warehouse Deals let you shop open box, returned or slightly damaged items. When a package has been opened, or if a box has been damaged, Amazon can no longer sell the item as “new” so it ends up in the Amazon Warehouse Deals section of the store.
The best way to get to the warehouse deals is to click the “used” link that accompanies the description of any product you look at. From there you’ll see all the used items available for sale, including those from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Each item is carefully inspected and rated on a scale from “Acceptable” -> “Good” -> “Very Good” -> “Like New” and Amazon’s standard return policy applies to all items bought through warehouse deals, so if you do encounter a problem you can rest assured it will be easy to return.
My Amazon Warehouse Deals Experience
With a honeymoon, a “destination” wedding and a few weekend trips planned for this coming year (along with a general interest in photography), I have been in the market for a high quality camera that I could learn on and grow with. After doing countless hours of research and reading of various photography websites I decided that the Sony NEX-5R was the camera for me.
The camera lists for about $650 with a lens included, which is way more than I wanted to spend. So I clicked over to Amazon Warehouse Deals and found one in “like new” condition for $450. To save $200 I was willing to roll the dice a little bit!
The camera arrived in the typical Amazon box. Inside, the actual box for the camera was scuffed up around the edges with about an inch long tear in the upper right corner of the box.
Once I opened the box, the actual camera, lens and accessories were still wrapped in their original plastic wrapping. I opened each piece and closely inspected each item, and I couldn’t find anything wrong or abnormal about any of it. The camera looks and works perfect, as far as I can tell it’s absolutely brand new and I saved myself $200 because of a damaged box!
If I was buying something expensive I don’t know that I’d venture beyond the “like new” category, but on cheaper/less breakable items you might be able to score even deeper discounts on lower rated conditions.
Bonus Savings: Amazon Prime Trials
I know I promised 2 ways to save, but I like to over deliver once in a while! Amazon is always offering up free 30 day trials of their “Prime” service (you can get a trial every 13 months). Amazon Prime includes free two-day shipping, discounted overnight & weekend shipping and a whole host of other things. While you probably have to be a true Amazon addict to pay for the Prime service year round, you can save yourself a lot of money on shipping costs by using your trial periods strategically. I knew I would be shopping on Amazon a ton during the holiday shopping season, so I activated my Amazon Prime trial right after Thanksgiving and took advantage of the free two-day shipping for all of the Christmas gifts I bought from Amazon. Not only did I get everything faster, but I saved a pretty penny on shipping costs too!
Readers: What are your favorite ways to save money on Amazon? Have you used the warehouse deals or outlet store before?