Amazon changed—and continues to change—the way people do their shopping. Now, you don’t have to leave the house to get, well… just about anything, from food and drinks to diamond-studded engagement rings.
Still, for a website that has what seems like the entire world’s population as its user base, there are a lot of tips, tricks, and facts about the company that people just aren’t aware of. These are either secrets that can save you big bucks or they’re little-known conveniences that make your life even easier.
If you’re curious about some of these ways to better utilize Amazon, then check out the list below…
1. Certain cities allow alcohol delivery: In May 2017, Amazon started servicing certain cities with—get this—two hour delivery on alcohol orders. Amazon takes a bit of a dry-town approach to it all, though. Deliveries can only occur between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and there’s a small delivery fee. Still, that’s booze on your doorstep in two hours!
Toshali Ghosh / Flickr
2. There’s a video-only subscription: Maybe you don’t like saving money on shipping costs, or perhaps you’re just not one to shovel $99 per year into the corporate machine. That’s fine. For just a tiny subscription fee—either $8.99 or $10.99—you can access all of Amazon’s (normally) Prime-only streaming services.
3. You can get your money back when an item drops in price: When an item you buy dips in price a few days later, Amazon has you covered. While you can no longer just ask for a refund of the difference, you may buy the product again at the cheaper price and then return the initial purchase free of cost for your full money back.
Mark Mathosian / Flickr
4. Share your account: If a friend wants to use your Amazon Prime account, let ’em have it! Jeff Bezos won’t send the Amazon Police after you. You can add up to four people to one Prime account, and you all don’t even need to live in the same place!
5. There are some shipping tricks: Shipment delayed? Ask for expedited shipping. If you decide you don’t want delayed stuff, then you can ask for a refund. Amazon will fulfill that request. Even more amazing, if your package gets filched from the doorstep, have no fear. Reach out to Amazon, and they’ll usually send you a replacement.
6. Amazon has an outlet store: Bargain shopping can take a backseat when you’re diving into the world of online shopping, but Amazon’s thought of that, too. As a Prime member, you can peruse the outlet store for pre-opened, un-boxed, slightly dinged-up, overstocked merchandise.
7. There’s a super-secret discount code: You’re the type that likes a good deal, right? Then check this out: add the code “&pct-off=(percentage range)” to your Amazon URL for access to a winter wonderland of grade-A deals. So, for example, if you had “&pct-off=50-75” (with no quotes) to the end of an Amazon URL, you’ll see items between 50 and 75 percent off!
8. Print out gift cards: Okay, you forgot to get some a birthday present. Their party is in five minutes. It happens to everyone. And Amazon probably knew that when they made it possible to send gift cards via email or print them out at home.
9. Late package? Get a refund or Prime extension: Sometimes your package gets lost. Sometimes your delivery driver spends an extra few hours at the rest stop and doesn’t get your package to you in the promised two days. If you needed your package by a certain day and delivery didn’t come through, you can ask for a shipping refund or a one-month extension to your Prime account.
Michelle Buck Photography / Flickr
10. You can give to charities while you shop: By logging in with smile.amazon, a half of one percent of any item you purchase goes straight to the charity of your choosing—and the item’s price doesn’t even go up. Meanwhile, Amazon gets to enjoy those sweet, sweet tax deductions.
Amazon via LVALS foundation.
11. You can get Girl Scout cookies year round: You don’t have to wait for Girl Scouts to set up a table outside your supermarket while waving cardboard posters and shouting at you to get your Girl Scout cookie fix. You can order them right from Amazon.
12. Students get the hook-up: If you’re an actual college student—like, you’ve got an email—you can sign up for an Amazon Student Account and get a sleek 50 percent off of Amazon Prime. You can’t share the two-day shipping with your family, though, at least not in a way Amazon easily facilitates.
Amazon via ThatsInsaneWow / Youtube
13. Trade in your old stuff for gift card credit: If you’re sitting on a ton of old tech and you just don’t know what to do with it, try trading it in to Amazon. They won’t pay you in cold, hard cash, but they’ll send an Amazon gift card your way.
Robert / Flickr
14. Get some super cheap add-on items with a pre-order: Some items like tape, pencils, or office supplies will come heavily discounted if you spend $25. But spending that kind of dough can be a pain. To get the cheap items without spending $25, pre-order an item that won’t ship for awhile. Then, when the add-ons ship immediately, cancel your pre-order!
Amazon via Pinterest
15. Amazon Gold Box lets you find daily Black Friday deals: The Amazon Gold Box offers hefty discounts on an array of random items every single day. The deals are incredible so be careful you don’t fall too deep into the impulse-buy rabbit hole.
Chocolate Gourmet / Pinterest
16. Sell your services: Like Craigslist, Amazon lets you sell yourself, or, at least, it lets you sell your professional services. Compete with people only in your area to pick up clients for all the services you have to offer.
17. Amazon has people hooked: Prime users spend about $1,500 per year on Amazon while non-Prime members spend about $625. Amazon doesn’t just want your loyalty; it wants your attention any time you might think you want to buy something. For a lot of folks, Amazon is the first—and last—place they look for stuff.
Amazon via the Simple moms / Flickr
18. CamelCamelCamel lets you price compare against Amazon: It’s easy to assume that Amazon Prime has the best price for everything (but you know what they say about people who assume). Believe it or not, sometimes its prices are higher than competitors. Check CamelCamelCamel to see if Amazon items can be found cheaper elsewhere.
19. Prime Pantry has digital coupons: Amazon Prime account holders have access to Prime Pantry, a virtual super market that has a variety of deals that kick the pants off of couponing. Just make sure you do leave your house at some point…
20. You can get free eBooks: Sometimes you just have to break a mental sweat, and Amazon understands. That’s why Prime users have access to free eBooks. Comb through classics or sweat through romances at no extra cost.
21. Get textbooks cheap from other countries: Amazon isn’t a company that only services America, and when you’re staring down the barrel of a high-cost book list, that’s something you can use to your advantage. Use CheapRiver to find good deals on the textbooks you need—from other countries.
22. Get stuff slower and get free streaming: Without a thought, you probably select two-day shipping when ordering with Amazon Prime. But you don’t have to. If you choose no-rush shipping (which doesn’t take all that long), they’ll reward you with promotional credit to put towards movie rentals or music buys.
23. Netflix is flushed with cash: You can call Amazon the King Kong of revenue because the company pulls in about $60 billion in sales every year. To put that in perspective, Netflix, which just about everyone and their mother has, made only $7 billion in 2015.
King Kong / MGM
24. There are reward points: As if shopping with Amazon Prime wasn’t a reward in itself, Amazon offers a rewards program to get fat stacks of rewards and points that you can, in turn, exchange for more rewards.
25. Amazon is gunning for Netflix: Rarely do you hear friends, family, or coworkers talking about that great new show they streamed on Amazon, but Amazon is trying to change that. With shows like Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, it’s cranking out original programming that it hopes can compete with Netflix.
26. Only two percent of Prime users stream: As you’ve probably figured out by now, Amazon Prime has a streaming service. Evidently, that’s news that escapes a lot of people, because only two percent of Prime’s 54 million members ever give it a try.
27. Android users get that Amazon love: Amazon has a special app store available to Android users. There’s free stuff (which is always great), and if you use your Android to stream Amazon shows, you get Amazon Coins that are redeemable for more games and apps.
28. Get your stuff with drones: Because same-day delivery is just too darn slow, Amazon has worked on cranking out a militia of drones that can make deliveries in 30 minutes or less.
29. You don’t need a Kindle to get books for $2: The Kindle application, which has all the perks of Amazon’s tablet device, can be downloaded on any device with the app store. Even better? Just like with the Kindle device itself, app users can get books of any genre for $2.
30. You can get out of paying sales tax: If you buy from a third-party seller, they aren’t required to charge any kind sales tax depending on the state they’re located in. Check out this list to see which states require the collection of sales tax via Amazon so you don’t end up on an IRS watch list.
Mark Mathosian / Flickr
31. There are more than 244 million active users on Amazon: That’s a lot of people. Only China, India, the United States, and Indonesia have higher populations than Amazon does users. Everyone in this picture is probably an Amazon user!
James Cridland / Flickr
32. Utilize recurring orders: You can get discounts on items if you set them up to be automatically delivered at certain intervals. It’s a great tool, for instance, if you know you’ll need a new pack of diapers every week. It’s also a great way to end up with six barrels of cat food and pantry doors that won’t stay shut.
33. People protested Amazon in 2014 because of foie gras: To make foie gras products, manufacturers need to force feed ducks and geese. This made some animal activists a little upset, so they busted out poster board and picket lines and took their complaints to CEO Jeff Bezos. He didn’t listen, apparently, because Amazon still offers foie gras products.
Some people hop on to Amazon every day and they still don’t know some of these money-saving tips. Do you know anything about Amazon that didn’t make this list?
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