With Cyber Monday approaching, we all look for the ultimate bargain for Christmas gifts and other holiday items. But if you are a member of Amazon Prime you probably stick to Amazon for most of your shopping needs. Otherwise you’re looking at shipping charges and no free returns and unreliable customer service. Amazon may charge more for some items but it’s often worth it. That said there are plenty of bargains on Amazon if you do a diligent search and use some savvy shopping tactics.
- Use a generic name for your search if you want more results. Let’s say you want to buy your friend a name brand skin cream as a gift. If you put in the exact name you may miss out on other high end skin creams in the same category that are just as fancy but cheaper. If you just put in “skin cream” or “skin cream with hyaluronic acid” you’ll get better results.
- Read the reviews carefully. These are all legitimate, but unless you look carefully the most recent may be from 2019. Click the “most recent” button for reviews that reflect the product’s current quality. Try to pick a product with at least 4 ½ stars and more than 500 reviews. The more the better!
- Beware of muddled reviews. Amazon makes mistakes and, for instance, half of the reviews for “Portable Nebulizers” are actually for other products.
- Ask questions. Amazon’s “ask a question” feature is extremely helpful. Chances are it will turn up your answer because someone’s asked your question already.
- Go past the first page of results. Amazon has pages of results and sometimes the best bargain will be buried on the third page. You might even find the exact product you saw on the first page for less on the fourth page. Who knows how Amazon’s algorithms decide what page a product should be on, but it’s probably not set to save you money.
- Don’t automatically choose “Amazon’s Choice” selection. They are the most popular but often not the cheapest or best choice.
- Sign up for AmazonSmile. It’s a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. For instance, to donate to Senior Planet at no cost to you, simply visit here. You can activate AmazonSmile on your Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android phone (found under settings on your app).
Be the Ultimate Amazon Shopper
If you really want to become the ultimate Amazon Shopper, attend the Shopping on Amazon Demo on Zoom by tech trainer, Juan “Johnny” Hernandez on 11/22/22 at 3:00PM-4:00PM PM EST. Details are here.
It’s something more than a workshop. It is a new style of curriculum the Curriculum Team put together to offer participants a more in depth view of the features Amazon has to offer its online shoppers.
This one hour class will go into much more detail about how to search and shop for products, evaluate product and seller reviews, discuss payment methods, compare pricing options when it comes to shipping, as well as the “subscribe and save” feature offered on certain items. It will even discuss and demonstrate Amazon Fresh as an option for grocery and essential needs for the holidays and Amazon Prime for the benefits that it comes with, especially during busy shopping seasons.
This demo will give great first-hand examples of Amazon’s best features, and there will also be an 8-page handout shared with the participants that will give them step-by-step instructions on how to create an account and begin shopping, which participants can follow on their own time. Registration is required, you can do it here.
Erica Manfred’s articles and humorous essays have appeared in print and online publications including the Washington Post, Atlantic, Salon, Village Voice, and the New York Times. A self proclaimed Geezer Geek, now in her seventies, she specializes in writing about aging. She’s the author of four books, including her memoir, I’m Old So Why Aren’t I Wise; Snarky Senior in the Sunshine State. You can subscribe to her newsletter at SnarkySenior.com or visit her website at EricaManfred.com