11 ways to save money when shopping with Amazon

With Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale kicking off on 11 October, here are some top tips to help you get the most value when shopping with the online giant

a close of Amazon shopping parcels

Knowing how to save money when shopping with Amazon and other big go-to retailers has never been more important.  The cost of living crisis has meant that family budgets have been squeezed tighter and tighter, so any ways to pay less for what you do buy are really valuable. 

As is the way with 21st century shopping, the majority of us now shop at Amazon. Not only is it really convenient, but nine times out of ten they've got what you need at a reasonable price and if you are a Prime member, you can avoid delivery charges on most items. But there are other, less obvious ways you can maximise the value of shopping with Amazon that you might not be aware of.

And now is the best time to find the best bargains! Amazon is launching it's Prime Big Deal Days event on 10 October, ahead of its Black Friday sale. Similar to Amazon Prime Day, the sale will be on for 48-hours and offer discounts on thousands of products. To take advantage of all the deals available you have to sign up for Amazon Prime membership; Sign up for a FREE 30-day Amazon Prime trial here.

11 ways to save money when shopping with Amazon

1. Sign up to a Prime membership

It's a no-brainer really. Any regular customer is likely to save money when shopping with Amazon when they become a Prime member. Membership guarantees free and fast delivery, exclusive member-only discounts on select items, and early access to Amazon sale events, as well as a host of other hidden benefits.

You can start by signing up for a free 30-day trial. If satisfied, an annual membership will set you back £95 (or you can pay a monthly fee of £8.99, but this is a more expensive way to pay as it will cost you £107.88 over the course of 12 months rather than the annual fee of £95). Have a think about how much you order from Amazon and whether becoming a member is worth it to save on delivery costs alone. 

close-up of an Amazon Prime delivery van

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Non-Prime members only benefit from free delivery when you spend £20 or more (or £10+ on books). Any orders under this will cost you extra and those £1.99s and £4.99s will soon add up.

 So if you're likely to make a few purchases a month, becoming a member is definitely a money saver. What's more, there's the additional multimedia perks attached to the Prime membership too...

Prime Video is a big pro point for us, giving you access to hundreds of free TV shows and movies. You can stream your favourite romantic films and get your teeth into a new box-set binge like the Amazon Original Nine Perfect Strangers or the Top Gear spin-off The Grand Tour.

Andy Webb of review site Be Clever With Your Cash says this itself is partly why the Prime membership rivals other streaming services. "Prime Video is cheaper than Netflix - even when subscribed for via full Prime rather than on its own and it’s the same price as a year of Disney+."

What's more Amazon Music and Prime Reading are included in your annual membership. This allows you and your family to listen to your favourite songs or read new e-books on the go or at home too.

2. Use 'Subscribe and Save'

Those groceries and cosmetics you're always using and topping up on month after month? Well there's a handy way to save money on them when shopping with Amazon, all thanks to Subscribe and Save.

This savvy section of the site collates together your frequent purchases - toiletries, cleaning products, baby items and even cat food. It then offers up to 15% off the original price of these when you schedule repeat deliveries of them.

The good news is that in addition to the extra £££s, it's flexible too. So you can choose a repeated delivery time frame that suits you. Amazon will additionally check in with you before shipping your products to ensure they're still required.

"There is no commitment once you subscribe," reads the Subscribe and Save information page. "We will send you a reminder email before each delivery showing the items, price and any applicable discount. Skip your deliveries if you have enough already, or cancel your subscriptions at any time."

3. Save even more with Subscribe and Save vouchers

Savings on savings. Yes, you read that right. In addition to the 15% off repeated delivery items are exclusive Subscribe and Save vouchers that can be applied on top of the original discount.

These additional vouchers boast extra deals that vary from 5 to 20% off. They're not all Amazon brand items either, with many of these Subscribe & Save vouchers also applying to well known household names like Finish, Andrex, Listerine and Garnier.

Next time you go to order or check into your repeat delivery subscription be sure to check out the Subscribe & Save Vouchers page first to make the most of your money.

a cartoon collage showing vouchers to save money when sopping with Amazon

Credit: Getty

4. Keep your eyes peeled for Amazon vouchers

Coupons and money-off vouchers are something we all like to collect and cash in when doing the weekly supermarket shop. And luckily for us, Amazon is another retailier that gives back with exclusive money-saving vouchers.

To reap the rewards, check out the Amazon Voucher homepage to see the exciting deals. Some are percentage based - with up to 60% off products like clothing, footwear, tech and toiletries. Whilst others specify an amount, e.g. save £3.00.

Applying them to your order couldn't be easier. Simply select the 'collect voucher' button on the deals page and then after you've added all your items, head to your basket where the voucher will automatically apply. 

5. Shop Amazon's Daily Deals

The savings don't stop with the vouchers. Savvy shoppers who browse the shop everyday can pick up a real bargain through one of Amazon's Daily Deals. These boast discounts on thousands of different products like books, groceries, personal hygeine products, clothing, electronics and many more.

"Amazon offers two types of one-off deals: "Deals of the Day", running daily for 24 hours from 00.01am to 11.59pm and "Lightning Deals", posted as often as every 15 minutes and lasting between two and six hours," explains MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis.

You can find both of these on the Today's Deal homepage. And they'll often highlight how long the offer is available for.

Another clever money-saving hack is to select the 'Upcoming' category link on the side-bar of the deal page. This will come up with a hundreds of future deals - some of which might be expensive products you're wanting to treat yourself to but want to pounce on at the right deal-saving time. It'll show you the items and when the deals are expected to go live. So make sure you set a reminder to save those £££s.

6. Check out the Amazon Warehouse

Save money when shopping pre-owned with Amazon. Be it big name electronics, baby essentials like the best pushchairs or handy kitchen gadgets like slow cookers, the retailer has thousands of refurbished products available to buy online that are like new and significantly cheaper.

The additional good news is that each product up for sale on Amazon Warehouse goes through a rigorous quality control check too. So you know what condition it will be in when it arrives.

a close up of someone turning on an iPhone

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Amazon says: "We thoroughly test the functional and physical condition of each item and give the product a specific grade before selling it. We also inspect our products for missing accessories and packaging damage."

After this testing process, the item will be given one of the following condition categories:

  • Used - Like New: Almost perfect working condition. The item is fully functioning and comes with all relevant accessories but may bear some minimal damage.
  • Used - Very Good: An item in very good condition will work as it should but could feature some minor cosmetic flaws. "It may arrive with damaged packaging or be repackaged and could be missing some non-essential accessories," Amazon adds.
  • Used - Good: 'Good' products will show signs from moderate use previously. There could be some scratches, missing accessories and it might not come in it's original packaging.
  • Used - Acceptable: "An item may have clear signs of usage but still serves its main function," Amazon states. Expect more visible scratches, dents and a few worn corners. Plus some parts may have been replaced to ensure it works properly again.

When deciding on your refurbished item look out for the category. Further information on why it's been awarded this label will often be included in the product's description. So be sure to check and read this to help inform your decision.

7. Bag a bargain with Amazon Outlet

From refurbished to discontinued and overstocked items now, Amazon Outlet is another sub-section to know about when trying to save money when shopping with Amazon.

"Amazon Outlet is becoming the go-to place for customers to shop for highly discounted markdowns, overstock deals and clearance products," says the retailer. "Amazon Outlet offers a wide selection of items, such as Car & Motorbike products, electronics, clothing and toys."

Check out the Amazon Outlet store for yourself and see what savings you could nab.

8. Save when you choose No-Rush shipping

We can only imagine how many parcels Amazon delivers daily. So if you're a Prime member and you don't need your order imminently, why not chose a more flexible delivery option? Not only is it greener, but sometimes Amazon will reward you for it too.

"No-Rush Shipping helps us prioritize our fastest deliveries for customers with urgent needs," Amazon states on their No-Rush shipping Q+A page. In return for being more flexible, Amazon will add either an automatic discount to your current order or give you a reward to apply on your next order. This in turn will save a few pounds.

No-Rush shipping usually means it will arrive in 3-5 days. It's worth noting that if you later cancel or change the speed of your delivery, the discount will no longer be valid.

9. Prime 'Try Before You Buy'

Fashion lovers rejoice. Amazon have finally unveiled a new and exclusive service for Prime members when shopping for clothes and shoes online. Try Before You Buy - does exactly what it says on the tin. You order your clothing, receive it in the post and see whether it works for you before parting with the pounds.

"You get 7 days to try on the items at home and you will only be charged for the items you decide to keep," explains Amazon. "Prime Try Before You Buy eligible items can be found in women’s, men’s, kids’ and baby clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. You can identify eligible items through the Prime Try Before You Buy badge or Prime Try Before You Buy eligibility statement on the product detail page."

a woman trying on clothes - who is saving money when shopping with Amazon

Credit: Getty

You can order up to 6 items at a time for the scheme. And as its part of your Prime membership there's no delivery or shipping fees, and a returns label is provided for free - should you need to send them back. Visit the Try Before You Buy homepage for further details.

10. Pay with an Amazon credit card

Unsurprisingly it pays to bank with the place you spend your money at. Those who sign up for an Amazon credit card can take advantage of a special joining offer plus additional perks when they're a fully-fledged bank account holder.

New cardholders are greeted with a £20 Amazon gift card when they open their account - a welcome reward you can put to good use. Then when you're officially onboard you'll be a part of the Amazon Reward Points club that gives back to those spending on site.

For every £2 spent on Amazon.co.uk, you'll earn 1.5 Amazon Reward Points. And of course, these points mean prizes, as when you hit the big 1,000 you'll receive a £10 Amazon gift card. You can also earn points shopping elsewhere with the card. "Per £2 spent everywhere else, you'll earn 0.5 Amazon Reward Points," explains the retailer.

"All out great credit card," said one Amazon cardholder in their 5-star review. "It's reliable and safe and I've never had any issues with it. The reward system is very good, far better than some other credit cards out there, and it's great you get your reward as a voucher."

But do remember when taking out any credit card to check the APR (check out our guide on what APR means) and use an eligibility checker before applying to find out your likelihood of being accepted. Otherwise you could end up with a black mark on your credit score which means you might find it harder or more expensive to borrow money in the future. If you do have a credit card, make sure you repay at least the minimum payments each month.

11. Make the most of Prime Day, Black Friday and the new Prime Early Access Sale

Amazon holds a sale event each year that is exclusive to Prime members. But while Amazon Prime Day 2022 has been and gone, the mega retailer is launching a new 48-hour sale extravaganza called the Prime Early Access Sale which takes place on 11 and 12 October, in the lead up to Black Friday. 

Last year, there were HUGE offers on everything from baby toys, cookware and FitBit watches to smaller items like cosmetics, candles and confectionary. 

This year, keep your eyes peeled for huge discounts on Amazon products like the Fire Stick or Amazon Echo devices, amongst the thousands of products discounted. 

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Sarah Handley
Consumer Writer & Money Editor, GoodtoKnow

Sarah is GoodtoKnow’s Consumer Writer & Money Editor and is passionate about helping mums save money wherever they can - whether that's spending wisely on toys and kidswear or keeping on top of the latest news around childcare costs, child benefit, the motherhood penalty. A writer, journalist and editor with more than 15 years' experience, Sarah is all about the latest toy trends and is always on the look out for toys for her nephew or Goddaughters so that she remains one of their favourite grown ups. When not writing about money or best buys, Sarah can be found hanging out with her rockstar dog Pepsi, getting opinionated about a movie or learning British Sign Language. 

With contributions from