Oh, Amazon. How lovely it is that you exist so I can buy all of my books, coffee makers and socks in one place.
You could get lost in all of the wonderful products available on the site, which means you'll spend too much time on it, which also means you'll spend too much money. It's fun at first, but ultimately nobody wants that.
While we all know to look out for the Gold Box Deals every day and sign up for Amazon Prime to save money on shipping, there are so many other tips, tricks and hacks to use on Amazon to shop more efficiently and maybe even save a buck or two. Isn't that all you ever wanted in life anyway? Here are the eight best Amazon hacks that will change the way you shop.
1. De-clutter Your Search
When you log on to Amazon, there's a lot going on. There's promotions and deals and lists and so many things that are fighting for your attention at once, not to mention saying, "Buy me." The new Chrome extension Clearcut will help you combat that. It replaces all of that clutter on the page with white space and leaves a single search bar to help you complete your shopping. However, it leaves the links to your account, shopping cart and Wish List in the top right corner for easy access. (via The Next Web)
2. Easily Filter Out the Discounted Products
If you don't have a lot of time and especially not a lot of money, you want to see the best deals stat. With so many products on Amazon, it's often difficult to compare prices. However, you can add the code &pct-off= before a percent or percentage range to more quickly and efficiently find the products in your search results that have been discounted. For instance, putting &pct-off=50-70 at the end of a URL will show you the items that are 50 to 70 percent off. The ease of getting right to the cheap stuff will definitely blow your mind. (via Cracked)
3. Get Some Money Back
There's nothing worse than seeing the price of something you just bought go down the next day on Amazon. But surprisingly, there may actually be a way to get that money back. After you buy something, keep track of its price, and if within seven days of delivery its price drops, Amazon may refund you the difference. (via Business Insider)
4. Shop in the Discounted Sections of Amazon
When you search for products on Amazon, you probably just stick to the main landing page to find everything you're looking for. However, there are oh so many more places on the site to get the products you want at a fraction of the price. The Amazon Outlet Store sells products ranging from electronics to clothing to tools at lower prices. You can also get some discounts on open-box and used items through the Warehouse Deals section of Amazon. This latter section might fall into the shop at your own risk category, but hey, the prices are certainly right. (via Re/code)
5. Share the (Prime) Love
A one-year Amazon Prime membership costs $99 per year, which sounds like a lot, but if you're an avid Amazon user, the features, like free two-day shipping and unlimited access to Prime Instant Video, may be worth it. But what if I told you that you could get that free two-day shipping for a fifth of the price? An Amazon Prime membership can be shared between up to five people living in the same household or five people working in the same office with a small business membership. If you split the cost of membership among five people, each person pays less than $20. Only one person gets the whole benefits package, like that unlimited access to movies and TV shows, but this is still better than nothing. (via Lifehacker)
6. Finally Get Rid of Those Prepaid Debit Card Balances
Prepaid debit cards seem like a great gift when you first get them, but when you still have $4.67 left on an about-to-expire card, and the store only lets you use one of these if it's got the full amount, your joy about this gift quickly turns to frustration. But here's an idea that Consumerist pointed out. You can use that remaining balance on your prepaid debit card to buy an Amazon gift card for that specific amount. Amazon will let you use that gift card, which never expires, and then pay off the rest with your usual payment method. You know that money was probably going to go to Amazon anyway. (via Consumerist)
7. Know About Every Price Drop
As I mentioned earlier, prices tend to change on Amazon. Instead of obsessively refreshing the page of the item you're dying to buy, you can just download The Camelizer Chrome extension, which allows you to track prices over time and be notified when there's a price drop so you can truly master Amazon. (via TIME)
8. Sign up for AmazonSmile
This isn't so much a hack as it is a no-brainer. If you sign up for AmazonSmile, which is free, the site will donate 0.5 percent of the price of certain products to the charitable organization of your choice. Do you need a better excuse to shop than helping to make the world a better place?
Image: Stephen Woods / Flickr