A time-starved, working mom who does most of the household shopping online. I’m an ecommerce marketer’s dream!
I definitely have my go-to destinations for household items. Grocery Gateway, Well.ca and Walmart.ca are great but the site that has truly captured my heart (and the one I always use for price comparisons before I buy anything) is Amazon. And Prime is the reason that I can’t live without it.
About a month ago, a friend of mine asked her network on Facebook whether it was worth trying out Amazon Prime for free. I had so many reasons to share with her but instead of writing a really long list on Facebook, I thought my arguments in favour of Prime would be best outlined on a blog post. And no, Amazon did not pay me or ask me to write this…I’m just that much of an addict.
While the benefit of free shipping goes without saying, below are some of my tips and tricks for getting the most out of an Amazon Prime account.
1. Coupons, convenience and lightning deals
With a four month old daughter and a preschooler at home, I am always in need of the basics. The Amazon deals section, which also highlights warehouse and daily lightning deals (Prime members get early access too) contains a continuous stream of great coupons to clip whenever you run out of granola bars, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.
You can get most of your non-perishable grocery items on Amazon and with Prime, you don’t have to pay for shipping like you would with other grocery sites. Too bad Amazon Fresh isn’t available in Canada yet. I’d be all over that.
I got hooked on Amazon coupons when I was pregnant and was pretty immobile during my last trimester. I ordered almost everything we needed grocery-wise online and saved my husband the time and annoyance of having to get things on the way home from work during the winter.
2. Amazon Basics has you covered for batteries
I like to think of Amazon Prime as an online Costco membership because of Amazon-branded items like batteries which are a great deal. And Prime members save an additional 20%! Since we just had a baby, we have been buying batteries like crazy. Is it me or does it not seem like the battery companies are in cahoots with the toy and baby gear companies to keep each other in business? I don’t know what I’d do without Amazon Basics just for this reason.
3. Prime Video
After the kids are in bed and I have a little time for myself, I occasionally check out what’s new on Prime Video as it is now part of my membership. There is some great Amazon original content on there that you can’t see anywhere else. I recently finished watching Good Girls Revolt (loved it!) and am looking forward to watching The Man in the High Castle next.
The only downside is that you have to watch it on a mobile device or your laptop via Amazon’s website or app.
4. Buying Prime items is a safety precaution
Online fraud is everywhere and occasionally a fake retailer slips through the cracks and scams Amazon customers out of their money. Shame on me as I have been fooled twice.
The good news is that Amazon is very good about refunding the money if the item never arrives. You first have to try and contact the seller to see if there was a problem. If the seller never gets back to you, that’s when Amazon steps in and helps.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, stick to buying things that have the Prime symbol beside them as these are always fulfilled by Amazon. Otherwise, stick to well-known brands and/or sellers that have their own ecommerce website in addition to having a presence on Amazon.
Bonus tip #1: Use a wish list to check weekly for price reductions
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If a returned Amazon item has a minor flaw (e.g. the box has a slight tear), Amazon knocks like 25% off the price of the item (it could be more or less…I’m just going off my own shopping experiences). But you have to act quickly and scoop it up before someone else does. So, if you’ve got your eye on a high priced item, it’s worth saving it to your wish list to see when Amazon has one on sale.
Bonus tip #2: Join the Savings Guru Facebook group
This group shares discounts from various online retailers but the majority of the deals shared are on Amazon. If something goes on sale, this group is gonna catch it for you. It’s definitely worth joining to check there first before buying baby or household items.
Will Prime be my BFF?
Amazon is quickly becoming a monopoly and is eating into the profits of other businesses — even Walmart is feeling the pain (not that I feel sorry for them specifically). So, I do feel a little bit of guilt for shopping there as a result. But on the flip side, a lot of smaller online sellers use Amazon as a sales channel to attract new customers and as their fulfillment center.
So for now, I’m sticking with my Prime membership and am enjoying saving lots of money and time to spend with my growing family. I haven’t jumped on the subscription bandwagon yet but plan to as I figure out our needs for diapers, baby wipes, paper towels, etc. in the near future.
One day, I may even get an Amazon Echo so that I can just shout “Alexa, I need dish soap” from my kitchen and a drone will drop it off on my doorstep later that day. I know it’s only a matter of time.
Have I missed a tip for making the most of your Prime membership? Please share below.