Save Even More Money at Amazon

My love affair with Amazon is no secret. Here are three more tips to save money at Amazon:

1. Amazon Warehouse Deals

Amazon sells billions of dollars of merchandise and they have a really generous return policy, so I'm sure they end up with a lot of returned goods. And I think they pretty much all end up in the Amazon Warehouse Deals section. In my experience, most of the products I have purchased this way have been opened but not actually used, and the savings can be anywhere from 10%-80% off.

Sometimes the products are even new, as in the case of grocery items. For instance, this 24-pack of Pirate's Booty is $22.99 new, but only $15.25 new from Warehouse Deals, a savings of almost 35%! (Prices may have changed.)

Usually, products that have inventory in Warehouse Deals will list it under the "Special Offers and Product Promotions" heading, which is right under the "Frequently Bought Together Heading."

There are currently 2nd gen Nexus 7 tablets available for 10% off in Warehouse Deals. 

The quantities however are very limited and time-sensitive, so if there is a product that you are eyeing, the best bet is to set up a camelcamelcamel alert for a "used" item to fall below a certain price. Frequently, this used item will be an Amazon Warehouse item.

2. Buy from a third-party seller to avoid sales tax.

If you live in a state where Amazon charges tax (AZ, CA, KS, KY, NJ, NY, ND, PA, TX, WA), buy from a third-party seller. Often their prices are comparable to Amazon, and if you buy from someone who is part of the "Fulfillment By Amazon" (FBA) program, then you get Amazon's amazing customer service and return policy. Products in the FBA program from third-party sellers are eligible for Prime shipping as well.

3. Suscribe and Save

Some items are eligible for a 5% subscription service. You have complete control over how frequently you want this item shipped to you, and you can even cancel after your first shipment. There are some idiosyncracies to the program, like the fact that shipments only come once a month on a specific date of the month, but even that can be changed too.

My New Favorite Store

My new favorite store is Kohl's.

There are four main keys to finding great deals at Kohl's: 

1. The cardinal rule: NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER buy anything at the full retail price at Kohl's . 

2. Sign up for a Kohl's charge card. This will give you access to 30% off during sales. Although some of you may be averse to credit cards, I am a huge proponent of them. They have allowed my family to travel practically for free and save thousands of dollars in the past couple years. The most important thing is to always pay off your credit card every month (i.e. don't spend more money than you have) and to be able to control your spending. There are some people who will spend more if they use a credit card compared to if they use cash. If this is you, credit cards may not be the wisest strategy. 

2. Only shop at Kohl's during the sale periods when you get 30% off and an additional $10 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent. If you decide to not get the Kohl's card, then you can still get 20% off during sales. The next sale period is from June 21-June 30. Mark your calendars! (Reminder: the Kohl's Cash is only valid for about a week and expires fairly quickly, so don't forget to use it.)

3. During aforementioned sales, be on the lookout for items to pricematch with other stores. For example, the deal that got me selected as a finalist for the Smartest Shopper contest was a deal in which I pricematched an online retailer's price for a Kitchenaid mixer to Kohl's and then used the Kohl's 30% coupon on top of that.

For more advanced deal-ers, here are a few more tips:

1. If you access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall, then clicking through that portal gives you an additional 10 points per $1. On a conservative estimate, each UR point is worth 1-2 cents, giving you an additional 10-20% back! Otherwise, you can still get about 5% cashback from other cashback sites.

2. This is another opportunity to save extra money by buying discounted gift cards. Another option besides gift card sites is to buy Kohl's e-gift cards at Staples. If you do that, remember to go through a cashback portal like topcashback which gives you an additional 3% cashback.

One last reason I am loving Kohl's is their return policy is a-mazing. In their own words: "Return any item, anytime, for any reason."

There are some other companies with similar generous return policies, Nordstrom and Costco come to mind, but when combined with the money-saving tips I am about to share with you, then the return policy is really just icing on the cake.

 Have you ever shopped at Kohl's? What has been your experience there? What are good things to buy there?

I've spent how much on Amazon this year!?!?

I love shopping at Amazon, but I may love it a little too much. At the end of every year, I am horrified by how much money I spent at Amazon, especially in the pre-camelcamelcamel days. If you are curious how much you have spent at Amazon this past year (or over any period of time), then you can download custom order reports.

1. Go to your main account page and click on the link "Download Order Reports" under Order History.


2. Choose the Report Type you would like and enter a range of dates for your report. I usually select January 1-December 31 of a calendar year to get an annual report.

order report.png

That's all you have to do. Less than 30 minutes later, there will be a report (in the .csv format) for you to download at that same page to see what you bought and how much you spent at Amazon.

Were you surprised by how much money that you spent at Amazon? Do you find this ability to look up your order reports useful? For you, what could make the Amazon shopping experience even better?