15 Hacks to Save Money on Amazon This Christmas
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I’m a big fan of shopping on Amazon. With the holidays upon us, I like to start thinking about ways to save money on Amazon for Christmas shopping. Let’s face it, going out to the mall sucks at Christmas pretty much anytime of the year.
Why go fight the crowds to buy Christmas gifts when you can get your Christmas shopping done at home in your pajamas? Not only is shopping on Amazon more convenient, but there are also many hacks that save you money. That’s a double bonus in my book.
As you prepare to start shopping for the holidays, try one of the following 15 hacks to save money on Amazon this Christmas.
Shop Through Swagbucks
Amazon already has good pricing, but when you pair it with earning some cash back on your purchases, you double your savings.
Instead of going to Amazon.com directly, you shop through Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a cash back affiliate site that gives you a kickback for certain purchases you make on Amazon – in some cases up to seven percent back. Not every category qualifies to earn cash back, but it pays to check before you shop.
You use their portal to do your shopping on Amazon. With each purchase, you earn points that can be turned into cash back.
Swagbucks pays out in Amazon gift cards, or you can redeem points for cash. Even better, you can use any coupon codes or discounts you may have to double your savings. Check out our Swagbucks review to learn more about the portal.
Sign up with Swagbucks today and get a $10 bonus!
Discounted Gift Cards
Discounted gift cards are a great way to save money on shopping. You can buy discounted gift cards online to sites like Amazon to save money on your shopping.
As Amazon is so popular, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for big savings, but every little bit helps when shopping for Christmas gifts. You can also get free Amazon gift cards to use for Christmas shopping.
The best way to do this is through online surveys. You won’t get rich with online surveys, but you can monetize your downtime and take your earnings in Amazon gift cards. Below are the best survey sites that pay out in Amazon gift cards:
Survey Junkie: This is our favorite survey site as they pay cash straight to PayPal or let you redeem rewards for Amazon gift cards.
Pinecone Research: This site pays $3 per survey and you can choose between PayPal or Amazon or gift cards for your payment. They also pay to do product testing.
Ipsos i-Say: Ipsos is one of the oldest survey sites in the space, starting in 1975. Ipsos has a wide variety of survey and product testing opportunities, with a low redemption threshold of only $5, or 500 points. Ipsos also enters you into free drawings (one entry per survey) for extra cash and travel.
Global Test Market: Global TestMarket lets you make money for answering surveys, testing products, and for feedback on products you already use around your home.
Global TestMarket has paid out over $30 million in earnings since 2016, and you can redeem earnings as cash to PayPal or as gift cards.
Inbox Dollars: Earn money for taking surveys, watching TV, or buying items online. Get $5 just for signing up.
Two Browser Trick
Amazon has been known to charge Prime members a bit more on certain items vs. non-Prime members. If you’re a Prime member and want to compare those prices you can do that through the Amazon two-browser trick.
**Related – check out Amazon’s 12 Days of Deals for deals on gifts for your family!**
I will give the disclaimer that this method isn’t perfect as Amazon has begun to hide prices until you add items to the cart. That being said, it’s still a money saving option to try.
Here’s how it works. You open one browser, let’s say Chrome, go to Amazon.com, find your item but don’t add it to your cart. Then, you open another non-Chrome browser (after having cleared cookies and cache) to find the item.
If the item is cheaper, throw it in your cart, sign-in and go on your way. You can also accomplish the same thing by using the “Incognito” setting in Chrome
How would you like to know the historical pricing on a certain item on Amazon? That’s powerful information to have as you do your Christmas shopping. Thankfully there is a service, CamelCamelCamel, that provides that information for free.
You can also set up price alerts to send you an email or message you on Twitter when a certain item changes price. CamelCamelCamel also has a browser extension to provide price history charts as you do your searching on Amazon.
Follow them on Twitter
Amazon provides many ways to stay on top of current deals. One popular option is to follow them on Twitter to get current information on special deals. You can follow them on Twitter @Amazondeals to see current Lightning Deals.
There are other Twitter pages devoted to Amazon deals, but this is the only verified Twitter handle I’ve found.
Deal of the Day
Amazon makes it relatively easy to find deals, especially during the Christmas season. One ways they do this is through the “Daily Deal” section of their site.
Simply go to Amazon.com and at the top of the screen, right in the middle, you should see “Today’s Deals.” Click on that and you go to their deals for the day.
You can also sign up for emails about daily deals if you’d prefer to just receive an email highlighting deals though I like to limit the amount of emails I receive so I prefer other options.
Amazon Price Protection
I discussed how Amazon limits price protection. They still offer it, officially, on one big-ticket item – televisions. If you buy a television on Amazon and find it cheaper within the next 30 days, you may qualify for a refund of the difference.
Here’s a list of the vendors that qualify for the TV price protection from Amazon. A few things to keep in mind:
- The difference will be refunded as an Amazon gift card
- Third party sales do not qualify, only those sold or fulfilled by Amazon
- This does not apply to TVs bought on Black Friday or Cyber Monday
You can also use Paribus to potentially get rebates on shipping fees charged by Amazon. If Amazon guaranteed you a delivery date, and no delivery attempt took place by then Paribus may be able to get you a refund of those fees – for free.
Shop Through the Ebates Portal
Swagbucks isn’t the only cash back site you can use to save money at Amazon this Christmas. You can also get cash back on your Amazon purchase with Ebates.
You use their portal to do your shopping on Amazon. With each purchase, you earn points that can be turned into cash back.
What is Ebates? Ebates is very similar to Swagbucks and gives you cash back when you make certain Amazon purchases. Not every category qualifies, but it pays to check before you shop. You can also use coupon codes or discounts you may have to double your savings.
What’s even better is using Ebates to earn cash back at many other stores. It’s not a scam as I’ve used Ebates numerous times to earn cash back on my shopping. Check out our Ebates review to learn more about the platform.
In fact, Ebates gives you $10 just to sign up.
TRADE IT IN
I love getting rid of junk around the house. When I can make money on that junk, then it’s even better. If you have old electronics, tablets, wearables, books, etc. you can send them into Amazon to get cash back in the form of a gift card.
You can’t just send in your junk, so keep the following in mind:
- It must be in working condition
- If your item is not listed in the trade-in store then they won’t accept it
- It takes up to ten days to receive payment
- There is no cost to ship
A simple way to see if Amazon is accepting items as trade-ins is to simply look up the product. Look for the “Sell for a Gift Card” on the right hand of the screen and it’ll walk you through the process.
Remember the Daily Deals I mentioned earlier? Amazon offers other deals, known as “Lightning Deals.” You can find these deals in the same area as the “Daily Deals” section, and they usually promote them heavily on the front page as well.
What to know about Lightning Deals
There a few things to keep in mind with the Lightning Deals. They’re a bit different from the Daily Deals mentioned earlier. Below are a few ways Lightning Deals differ from Daily Deals:
- Lightning Deals are more limited in quantity
- Amazon allows you 15 minutes to purchase the deal
- If the item is sold out, join the waitlist as soon as you can – you might get lucky
Lightning Deals can be a great way to save money if you act fact and find an item you want.
Shop Amazon’s Outlet Department
I didn’t know Amazon had an outlet section until recently. I will admit that it can be hit or miss, but it could be a great way to save money on Amazon if you find the right gift.
The items vary on Amazon Outlet. They may be overstocked items, markdowns or clearance items Amazon simply is trying to get rid of at a discounted rate.
Amazon Warehouse Deals
Similar to Amazon Outlet, they also have a warehouse deals section. Amazon Warehouse offers deals on items that are previously used. You may not want to buy a previously used item as a Christmas gift, but if you don’t care, it could be a great way to save a little money.
You can find the Warehouse Deals section in one of two places. First, you can head to this page which takes you directly to their Warehouse section.
Secondly, you can get there when looking at a specific product page. While looking at the prices, click on “Used” near the top of the page and it’ll take you there.
Just make sure you read the descriptions and seller reviews in full to make sure you’re comfortable with the item.
Most know that the currency for many sellers on Amazon are reviews. When I buy something on Amazon I’ll read some of the reviews as a part of my research on a particular item. With Snagshout you have the opportunity to get items at a significant discount if you leave an honest review of the product on Amazon.
Here’s how it works. After you sign up for a Snagshout account you connect it to your Amazon Reviewer profile. Once in your account you’re directed to a variety of different discounted deals you can redeem on Amazon.
In return, you must provide a review within two weeks of receiving the item, notating you received the item at a discount in exchange for your honest review. I’ve not used it much, but could be a way to save a little money on something you’d be buying anyway. **Update – Amazon has updated their policy not allowing reviews like this.
Join Amazon Family
Amazon Family is for one particular individual: Prime members who have young children. Not only does Amazon Family offer 20 percent off diapers and discounts on other family needs but they also offer a discount on children’s toys.
Amazon also allows you to add grandparents to your Amazon Family account so it can be a nice way for them to save on gift giving for the little ones.
Are you a booklover or do you know someone who is? Have you bought any hard copy books on Amazon? You may be able to get the Kindle version for free, or a max of $2.99 through Kindle Matchbook.
I hate to have clutter around the house and like to read on my Kindle so anytime I can move a book to it I’m happy.
Amazon offers the Kindle Matchbook service on thousands of different books and regularly adds new ones. Just keep in mind you must have purchased the print book on Amazon to qualify for the deal.
You can save money on Amazon this christmas with little work
If you’re like me, you love to save money on your shopping. As you can see, there are many ways to save money on Amazon this Christmas.
Th best part is you can often combine deals to increase your savings. With a little work, it’s possible to stretch your budget and not overspend this Christmas.
What are some of your favorite ways to save money on Amazon? Do you like to go out to buy Christmas gifts, or do you buy them online? Do you set a budget for Christmas shopping?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.