At this point, it's impossible not to recognize the convenience of Amazon. From the comfort of home or through the ease of a phone, you can shop for any type of product—from everyday essentials to occasional treats—through a search, scroll, and click. Pick out kitchen appliances and groceries, and then peruse bedroom furniture and living room accessories. Buy the latest books and technology, and later watch award-winning shows and movies. Whatever you're hoping to find, Amazon aims to have it. And if you have Amazon Prime, the company can get it to you in two days or less.
And yet, as convenient as Amazon may be, it's still possible to make it an even easier aspect of modern life. We gathered the 10 Amazon shopping secrets that stretch dollars further and make more efficient use of time with the help of simple links and under-the-radar services. From allowing you to save money on items you use all the time, protecting big purchases from getting swiped at your front door, or sharing the cost of a Prime membership with a loved one, these tricks are sure to come in handy now or later. Read on to get our recommendations, and see how simple they are to use.
You can trade in used items for a gift card
The Amazon Trade-In feature allows you to swap used or outdated items—mostly technology, like tablets, kindles, Bluetooths, and cell phones—for an Amazon gift card that's equal to the appraised value of your item. You'll also get 25% off the latest version of your item, too.
To make it happen, all you need to do is write a short description of your dated device, print a free shipping label, and send it in. We should also tell you that old textbooks can be sent in as well, in case you still have some of those boxed up somewhere.
Search Amazon Warehouse for deals on like-new products
When people decide to return their items, those products are sent back to the Amazon Warehouse, which is basically a way to shop lightly used items at a discount. Let's say that you're looking for luggage, tablets, or even televisions, but you're on a tight budget. Start here to see if you can get the item you want for less.
The same thing goes for Amazon Outlet, which displays items that have been overstocked.
Find discounts from third-party sellers
Amazon Prime's main allure comes from the ease of its two-day shipping. But if you're not in a rush to get an item, sometimes it pays to look for it from a third-party seller. The seller won't offer the two-day delivery, but it will likely offer a discount. Just be sure to find one with promising reviews.
Select "No-Rush Shipping" for discounts
If you'd rather not shop with third-party sellers using an Amazon Prime account, another way to get discounts on an item you don't need right away is to select "No-Rush Shipping" at checkout. It's free, and you'll either receive a discount or a promotion with your order.
Subscribe to products that are in regular rotation
We all have a list of everyday items we need to keep our home running smoothly, such as laundry detergent, paper towels, coffee, and aspirin. But instead of remembering to pick these items up when they run out, Amazon's "Subscribe and Save" option allows you to regularly receive them on a personalized basis, from every month up to every six months.
There are thousands of products on the subscription list, and you can receive up to 15% off each item that makes it into your regular rotation. When something is no longer needed, simply unsubscribe from it at no extra cost.
Use the Whole Foods discount
Since Whole Foods is now owned by Amazon, Prime members receive 10% off the chain's sale items as well as other weekly discounts that you can refresh on the Whole Foods Market app. And on those nights when you either can't be bothered or don't have time to shop, select cities offer Prime Now, which delivers Whole Foods within a two-hour time frame.
Share Prime's cost and perks with your loved ones
The $119 price tag on an Amazon Prime yearlong subscription can be expensive, but you don't have to splurge on it alone. Amazon Household allows customers to share benefits with one other adult, teens, and kids—including delivery, streaming, and audible channels—with easy add-ons that can be adjusted over time. This way, you can bestow the gift of convenience, and split the cost, too.
Protect your deliveries with an Amazon Locker
If you're nervous that your Amazon packages can be swiped from your doorstep, the Amazon Locker service can provide peace of mind. Go to the "Manage Address Book" in the settings of your account, and search for a locker location under "Enter New Address." The lockers are available in 50 U.S. cities, and some are open through the weekends.
Get a must-have item on the same day that it's released—without waiting in line
For those who love popular video games, best-selling books, and buzzed-about moves, Amazon offers a "Release Date Delivery" option that will get a selected item to you on that day by 7 p.m. You can peruse a list of thousands of products that can be pre-ordered with this option, and for Amazon Prime members, the "Release Date Delivery" is free with two-day shipping.
Scroll through deals that are exclusive to Prime members
You may have already noticed the ever-changing Today's Deals list that showcase a range of stylish items. But beyond those products, Amazon also has deals that are unique to Amazon Prime members, including some that are dubbed as "early access." It may be a slick way to get a product you've had your eye on.