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18 Amazon hacks to save money

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Do you use Amazon a bit more than you'd like to admit? No judgement here. With these Amazon hacks, you can save a fair amount of money on your shopping. Amazing.

excited man in front of amazon box

Credit (background): Stock Catalog - Flickr

Pretty much anything you'll need to buy during your time at university will be available on Amazon.

It's a ridiculously useful site, but if you find a huge chunk of your Student Loan is disappearing, it's definitely worth learning these tricks to save money on your Amazon shop.

Over the years, we've become pros at paying less on Amazon (if we may say so ourselves), and there are tonnes of secret tricks you can use to reduce your online spending. Read on for our top tips.

Amazon happens to be one of our top sites to sell your old books online for cash.

18 Amazon hacks every student needs to know

These are the best Amazon shopping hacks:

  1. Get a free trial of Amazon Prime Student

    You can get pretty much all of the Prime perks with Amazon Prime Student: free one-day delivery, access to student deals, Prime Video streaming, Prime Music and unlimited photo storage.

    Best of all, you'll get the first six months free. If you choose to carry on your subscription, you'll pay around £47 per year or £4.49 a month. Time your trial right and could even use it to watch the Premier League for free on Amazon Prime Video.

    If you're automatically charged the £47 fee after the six-month free trial and you don’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 Prime Student account will be active for four years or until you graduate – whichever comes first. However, don't stick with it unless you're actually using the perks and saving money.

    Jake Butler, COO at Save the Student, said:

    jake butler headshot

    I keep a spreadsheet to make sure that Prime is worth it.

    For the postage and packaging benefit specifically, I see how much the delivery of an item would usually be, put it in the spreadsheet and then tot up the costs for all my orders across the year to see if I've saved money.

    In my opinion, you need to order 20 or more items a year to make it worthwhile. But even then it's not an exact science, as often you could have bought the item for less elsewhere.

  2. Let Amazon price-match items before you order them

    Even though Amazon doesn't officially price match, you can ask them to reduce the price of an item if you find it cheaper elsewhere before you place an order.

    Obviously, you can buy it from the competitor, but if you want to get Amazon's free delivery, easy return process, and buyer protection, it's worth a shot.

    Find the "report an issue with this product" link on the Amazon listing and select "I have an issue with the price". From there, you can let them know you have found a lower price and share a link to the cheaper item in the comments section.

    The site does state that "although we can’t match every price reported, we’ll use your feedback to ensure that our prices remain competitive".

    You'll have to keep an eye on the listing to see if the price goes down. And remember, there is no guarantee that Amazon will reduce the price. Some people have had success using this tactic though so it's worth a try.

  3. Check your personalised Amazon offers and discounts

    Not sure if you've missed any offers? Make sure you check the Personalised Promotion page before you pay for your order (you'll need to be logged in to Amazon for the link to work).

    This page gives you an overview of all the discounts and offers your account is eligible for. These can include coupons, vouchers and free trials for some of Amazon's services. It definitely won't hurt to check.

  4. Track the Amazon price history of your item

    Graph of amazon product prices

    Credit: Camelcamelcamel

    The price you find on Amazon might seem like a great deal if it’s advertised as 30% off, but is it really as much of a steal as they're making it out to be?

    Camelcamelcamel is a site that tracks the price of every item as it's appeared on Amazon over the years. By entering your item's URL into the search bar, you can find out if it's usually cheaper than its current price.

    In fact, Amazon themselves have even admitted that their prices on Prime Day (a huge annual sale they hype to the max) aren't necessarily the lowest they'll ever be, despite strongly implying that the deals aren't to be missed.

    As a result, you might find it’s worth waiting for the item to drop in price again. You can even set a price drop alert to notify you when this happens.

    You should also shop around to see if you can find the item cheaper elsewhere. This leads us to our next point...

  5. Compare Amazon prices with other retailers

    Amazon offers the cheapest prices available online... Sometimes. On many other occasions, other retailers will manage to undercut them with an even better deal.

    Finding these cheaper deals isn't easy, but we know of one website which does all the searching on your behalf.

    Search for a product on Idealo, and it will scour the web to compare Amazon's prices with other major (and some minor) retailers.

    Idealo usually takes delivery costs into account before searching, but always double-check on the retailers' sites before hitting buy.

    Amazon's great for finding uni books. Check out our guide to getting cheap textbooks for tips on where to go.
  6. Check out Amazon's Warehouse deals

    The Warehouse section on Amazon features heavily discounted items that have been returned, are warehouse-damaged, already used or refurbished.

    These items will still be in good condition, but likely don't meet Amazon UK's tight standards to be sold as 'new'.

    Although items bought from the Amazon Warehouse won't come with a manufacturer's guarantee, they will have Amazon's own guarantee which is usually decent enough. You can check out our guide on how to use Amazon Warehouse for more information and tips.

  7. Use your student discount on Amazon

    In your pursuit of the lowest price possible, Amazon's student discount should be one of your first ports of call.

    From time to time, Amazon offers discounts on university essentials like books. This is extremely handy considering you'll be stocking up on textbooks all year round.

    Keep an eye on your emails to see if they've sent you a code.

  8. Check Amazon EU against UK prices

    Euro coins and notes

    Depending on the strength of the pound (among other factors), you can often find that items are cheaper on Amazon EU than they are on the British site – especially electricals and gadgets.

    Hagglezon is a pretty good site that compares items from Amazon UK with Amazon sites across Europe, including Italy, Spain and Germany. Hagglezon converts EU prices into pounds to compare products sold overseas with UK prices.

    Bearing in mind that delivery from the continent is likely to set you back £5 – £10, this trick is best saved for when you can get the product itself for at least £10 less. If the saving is less than a tenner, stick with the UK price as you'll be eligible for free delivery with Amazon Prime Student.

    Love your tech? Read our guide on the best gadgets for students.
  9. Share your Amazon Prime account

    Technically, you can use family or friends' Prime accounts for free delivery if they're nice enough to share their details with you.

    This may sound like a bit of a shady tip, but Amazon hasn't prohibited it as part of their T&Cs. So, until that day comes, it's a great way of saving money.

    That said, they have started a program called Amazon Household which allows you to invite one other adult living in your household to join your Prime account.

    Just note that this doesn't include Prime Music or Prime Video Channels (streaming is included though), and Student Prime accounts aren't sharable via Amazon Household either.

    But, in reality, it's just as easy to share your login details (with someone you trust, of course), and there aren't currently any rules in place to stop you from doing so.

  10. Get free delivery on Amazon without Prime

    Believe it or not, taking your basket total above £25 can save you money!

    Orders of £25 or more automatically qualify for free shipping (if they're sold or fulfilled by Amazon – this doesn't apply to purchases from third-party sellers). Delivery costs for orders below £25 can be anything between £1.49 – £6.

    Therefore, if you’re only a few quid away from reaching the £25 finish line, it might be worth throwing something extra (which you actually need) in your basket in order to meet the threshold. This is especially the case if that thing is cheaper than the cost of delivery.

    The limit for free delivery is lower for books. Spending £10 on them will qualify you for free delivery.

    Alternatively, you could be super sneaky and use a little trick we've heard of that can push your basket over £25 without costing you anything – adding an as-yet-unreleased game or DVD to your basket.

    Once the item you wanted has arrived, cancel the pre-order for the other item. In theory, you should be refunded for the pre-order that never arrived, and you'll have had free delivery without paying £25 or more.

    IMPORTANT: This hack is far from foolproof. We've seen loads of reports of Amazon blocking people from using it to get free delivery. They sometimes refuse to refund customers for the pre-order on the basis that part of the overall order has been dispatched.

    As such, we'd recommend only pre-ordering something that you'd like to buy anyway – just in case you can't get it refunded.

  11. Get a refund from Amazon if the price drops

    stock prices showing up and down

    Credit: Pavel Ignatov – Shutterstock

    The opportunity to save doesn't disappear once you've placed your order. Keep an eye on the price of your item in the hours and days following your transaction.

    Although Amazon doesn't officially have a price match policy, if the price drops shortly after you've bought something, Amazon has been known to refund the difference. All you need to do is get in touch with their customer support and explain the situation.

    You're likely to have more luck if the price drops within a few hours or days of your purchase, but anything over a week could be pushing it a bit. And, as ever, be your usual charming self – good manners will help you no end.

    If you're looking to earn some extra cash, there are loads of ways to make money on Amazon – and not just as a seller.
  12. Get free digital copies of vinyls and CDs with AutoRip

    Big fan of vinyl records and CDs? If you've bought physical albums on Amazon over the years, the good news is that you could be entitled to a free MP3 version of your purchase, no matter how long ago you bought it.

    Or, if you've got a mate who's a big fan of vinyl, you could get them one as a gift and get a free digital copy for yourself.

    The only stipulation is that the record has to be part of the AutoRip scheme. Some are and some aren't, but those that are will have the logo on their page.

    Head to Amazon's website to find out more about AutoRip. You might be surprised by how much you get out of this one.

  13. Get a replacement for a damaged product and keep the original

    If your item is damaged or faulty, you may be able to get a full refund or a replacement item sent out without having to return the faulty item you already have.

    There are a few exceptions to this, with some items deemed unreturnable by the powers that be. Read more about Amazon UK's return policy.

    Jump on to their live chat function or email the customer service team and they'll hopefully arrange for a replacement to be sent out ASAP. Or, if that's not possible, they should issue you a refund in full.

  14. Get Amazon vouchers for free

    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 for something.

    This is particularly common with phone, TV and broadband providers. But try not to let this sway your decision too much. Check out our guide to the best broadband deals for the full lowdown.

    If you've already settled your bills, check out our guide to earning free Amazon vouchers from simple tasks like collecting receipts and taking pictures of job adverts.

    It's not just Amazon vouchers you can get for nothing. There are loads of ways to earn free money.
  15. Subscribe and Save on Amazon

    piggy bank with glasses

    Credit: TierneyMJ – Shutterstock

    Amazon has a 'Subscribe and Save' option where you can subscribe to a product that you buy frequently (e.g. dishwasher tablets or coffee). Not only does this ensure your items are delivered routinely at a time that suits you, but they're also offered at a discounted price.

    We’d recommend agreeing to the Subscribe and Save option if it's available on your item – even if it's not something you want to order more than once. Just bag the discount and unsubscribe as soon as the transaction’s gone through.

  16. Choose No-Rush Delivery for free credits

    If you're not in too much of a hurry to receive the items you've bought through Amazon Prime Student, we'd recommend selecting the 'No-Rush Delivery' option at checkout.

    All this means is that you'll get your items a day or two later than normal. In exchange, you'll get a discount on your order or some promotional credit on your account, which you can use on future purchases.

    The amount you'll receive will vary 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.

    Keen to find new online stores to try? Check out the best Amazon alternatives.
  17. Look out for Lightning Deals

    These generally used to be held back for special occasions like Christmas and Black Friday, but now it’s Christmas every day on Amazon...

    Lightning deals are a small selection of heavily discounted products that are on sale for a limited time only, similar to Flash Sales on ASOS.

    The discounts are usually quite decent, but it’s always worth doing your research first (remember Camelcamelcamel) to make sure they’re at their lowest price.

  18. Get a refund if Amazon delivers an order late

    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 is known for fast delivery. It's one of their biggest selling points, so if your order arrives late, they'll be keen to make it up to you. Take advantage of that!

    We've even heard of them giving out free months of Prime to keep people happy, so don't let a late delivery go without saying something.

We know of plenty of ways to save money in-store as well as online. Check out these tips for shopping at Primark.

Katie Paterson

WRITTEN BY Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson is an accomplished writer from Glasgow. She studied English Literature at the University of Strathclyde, then went on to do a Research Masters in Literature at the University of Amsterdam. As Lead Editor for Save the Student, Katie has covered topics from career tips to ways to make money go further as a student.
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