Amazon shopping hacks for students
During uni, you'll probably use Amazon more than you care to admit to yourself. We're here to help you swat up on saving hacks that could save you big bucks!
Pretty much anything you can think of that you might need during your course – textbooks, a fancy new laptop, or even your weekly food shop – you'll be able to order it from Amazon to your student digs with a click or two.
But if all of your student loan is getting pumped into just one online store, we're guessing it might be worth your while learning the tricks to saving cash on your Amazon shopping.
Over the years, we've become pros at paying less on Amazon – there are tonnes of nifty little tricks you can do that collectively can save you hundreds each year. We've got the inside scoop below!
16 Amazon hacks every student needs to know
Get Amazon Prime for free
Previously, we would've resisted calling Amazon Student ‘Student Prime', since there were a lot of perks that Prime offered that a Student account didn't.
However, nowadays, you get pretty much all of the Prime perks with Amazon Student (apart from access to the kindle library).
You'll get the first 6 months free, then 50% off a full-priced Prime account (costing you £39).
Student prime includes unlimited free one-day delivery, access to student deals, unlimited prime video streaming, prime music and unlimited photo storage.
If you're automatically charged the £39 fee after the 6 month free trial and you didn’t want to pay, you can ask for a refund (provided you haven’t used any of the perks since being charged, of course).
Your Amazon Student account will be active for four years or when you graduate – whichever comes first!
Track the price history of your item
So the price you find on amazon might seem like a great deal since it’s advertised as 30% off, but is it really as much of a steal as the site is making out?
Camelcamelcamel is a site that tracks the rise and fall in prices of items as they've appeared on Amazon over the years. By entering your item's URL into the search bar, you can find out if it’s normally cheaper than what it’s currently priced at.
As a result, you might find it’s worth holding off for the item to drop in price again (you can even set a price drop alert to notify you when this happens), or be able to find it for cheaper elsewhere. Which leads us onto our next point…
Find a cheaper deal elsewhere!
Although Amazon do tend to offer the cheapest prices available online, it's true that sometimes another retailer will manage to undercut them with an even better deal.
Finding these cheaper deals obviously isn't easy, but one website does all the searching on your behalf – just like magic!
Paste the precise Amazon URL of the item you're looking to buy into the search bar on Flubit and it will scour the web to find out if it's available at a better price with major retailers like Tesco, Argos, etc.
Flubit also takes Amazon delivery costs into account before searching, but be sure to always double check the delivery cost details of the retailer it's comparing with.
Check out Amazon's warehouse deals
Credit: Scott Lewis – FlickrAmazon have a section of the site that features heavily discounted items that have been returned, warehouse-damaged, already used, or refurbished.
These items will all still be in good condition, but likely don't meet Amazon UK's tight standards in order to be sold on as “new.”
Although items bought from the warehouse section of Amazon won't come with a manufacturer's guarantee, it will have Amazon's own guarantee which is normally decent enough.
Use your student discount (sometimes)
This of course goes without saying, right? We're sure you don't need to be told to use your student discount at any given opportunity, and Amazon is no exception to this.
From time to time Amazon offer 15% off clothing to students as well as 5% off books – extremely handy when you'll be stocking up on textbooks all year round!
Make sure you check your emails to see if they have sent you a code.
Check Amazon EU against UK prices
Depending on the strength of the pound (amongst other reasons), often you can find that items are cheaper on Amazon EU than they are on British soil.
Curiua is a great site that compares items from UK Amazon with Amazons across Europe, including Italy, Spain and Germany. Curiua converts EU prices into pounds and compares them with UK prices so you can see if it’s available for less across the water.
The biggest savings can normally be made with electricals. This trick is only really worth it for the slightly more pricey items – unless you're making more than £10 saving, stick with the UK price, as delivery from EU countries is normally between £5-10 and you will be eligible for free delivery with your Amazon Student account.
Share your Prime
Credit: Ben Grey – FlickrTechnically, you can use family or friends' Prime accounts for free delivery if they're nice enough to share their deets with you!
This may sound like a bit of a shady tip, but Amazon haven't made this an official part of their T&Cs, so until that day comes…
However, they did start a program called ‘Amazon Household' which allows you to invite one other person living in the same household into your Prime account, but in reality it's just as easy to share your details and there's nothing currently in place that would prevent you from doing this.
Keep your basket total above £20
Taking your basket total above £20 can actually save you money, would ya believe! Any purchases of £20 or more automatically qualify for free shipping (if they're sold or fulfilled by Amazon – unfortunately this doesn't apply to purchases made with third party sellers) whereas delivery costs can be anything between £1.49-£6.
Therefore, if you’re only a few quid away from reaching the £20 finish line, it might be worth throwing something extra in your basket in order to meet the threshold.
Keep an eye on your item post-purchase
Your savings tricks don't end as soon as you've parted with your cash! Keep an eye on the price of your item for 7 days after you complete your transaction.
If the price drops within those 7 days, Amazon will often refund the difference if it's an Amazon-own product (and not from a third-party seller).
Just reach out and ask!
Reclaim your old music
Remember back in the good old days when we used to actually buy music?
If you've bought any CDs or vinyl on Amazon over the years, the weird and wonderful news is that you'll be entitled to a free MP3 rip of everything you've purchased, no matter how long ago you bought it.
Just download the Amazon Autorip app and you'll be able to see and download your entire Amazon music purchasing history. You might be surprised by how much you get out of this one!
Damaged item? Grab a replacement and keep the original
If your item is damaged or faulty, it's likely you'll be able to get a full refund or a replacement item sent out without having to return the faulty item you already have.
Jump on to Amazon's live chat function or reach out to someone from customer service by email and they’ll arrange for a new item to be sent out the next day if it’s an Amazon product, and within 3 working days if it’s an independent retailer.
Earn Amazon vouchers
Businesses know just how popular Amazon is, and they're smart enough to capitalise on this! You'll notice that loads of companies will offer Amazon vouchers as an incentive to buy or sign up to something.
This is particularly the case with phone, TV and broadband providers – you can count on at least one broadband provider offering Amazon vouchers when you're on the hunt for a deal. But try not to let this sway your decision too much, remember – check out our guide to the best deals here!
Subscribe and Save
Amazon have a ‘Subscribe & Save‘ option where you can subscribe to a product that you buy frequently (for example, dishwasher tablets, or your weekly bag of coffee) so that it’s delivered repeatedly at a time that you want (and at a discounted price).
We’d recommend that you agree to the subscribe and save option if it's available on your item – even if this isn’t something you want to order more than once.
Just bag the discount and unsubscribe as soon as the transaction’s gone through!
Choose No-Rush Delivery
If you're not in too much of a rush to receive your items bought through Amazon Student, we'd recommend selecting ‘no-rush delivery' option at checkout.
This will simply mean you get your items a day or two later than normal, and in exchange you'll get some promotional credit on your account that you can use on future transactions.
The amount you'll receive varies by transaction, and your credit will only be available for a limited time (you’ll be given details at check-out) so remember to use it while it lasts.
Typically these used to be preserved for special occasions like Christmas and Black Friday, but now it’s Christmas every day on Amazon!
Lightening deals are a small selection of heavily discounted products that are on sale for a limited time only.
Normally the discounts are decent but it’s always worth doing your research first (remember camelcamelcamel!) to make sure they’re at their lowest price.
Grab a delivery date refund
Did your item miss its ‘guaranteed' delivery date? If so, get in touch with customer service and ask for a refund on shipping costs.
Amazon seriously pride themselves in the speed of delivery, so if they don't stick to the promise they made to you – they'll be pretty affronted. So take advantage of that!
Hopefully this guide will help you save a few bob on all those purchases you'll be making at uni (and believe us, there will be many).
If you have any Amazon shopping hacks of your own, give us a shout in the comments section below and we'll add them to the list!