Filler Strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping

By Paul Michael on 17 March 2008 (Updated 17 June 2011) 34 comments

How many times have you been shopping on Amazon, added the items you want to your cart and have then been told “Wait! Add just $2.97 to qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping”? Maybe not that exact amount, but you get the idea. What happens next is hours of searching to find something to plug the hole. Well, not any more. (See also: 3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online is Great)

After a frustrating weekend of looking around on Amazon for items that only qualified for Super Saver Shipping (SSS), I discovered a few interesting facts: one, Amazon have not made it easy for you to find these items; two, the items you do find are often way above the price you need to fill the gap.

So, I did some hunting around. I left messages at various boards on Google Groups, and I waited for the answers. I was not disappointed.

Here are my top three ways to find filler items on Amazon to get you to that magical $25 total.

1. The Code Addendum

This is my favorite because it focuses the search one exactly what you want to find. Simply do a search as normal, say for a piggy bank, and then add the following code &emi=ATVPDKIKX0DER at the end of address box and hit “enter.”

add code

Now all of your results should qualify for SSS. A sprinkling don’t, maybe a flaw in Amazon’s labeling system, but you’ll have tons of choice. (By the way, my favorite was this one. It’s like our Wisebread piggy has caught measles or something.)

piggy measles

Elegant Baby Pink Ceramic Polka Dot Piggy Bank

2. The Search Engine

This one from FillerItem couldn’t be simpler, although you don’t get quite the focus of the first. Simply put the amount you need to spend to get to $25 in the box, and then check the boxes for the areas you’d like to search. You’ll get a huge list of items, based on the boxes you checked, that hit the magical number you put in the box.

Filler

Filler2

 

3. The Handy Filler List

A site called FreebieVille has a pre-populated list of things you can use to plug the holes and reach the $25 mark. With items in the pennies, this can be invaluable.

Fill list

I’d much rather order something for 52 cents, and give it away to someone who could use it, than pay $7 on shipping. I think we all would.

So there you have it. Hours of endless searching have just vanished. Instead, you are now armed with three foolproof strategies to get you to that $25 free shipping figure every single time you shop.

Happy hunting.

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Guest's picture
BEG

I simply wait. I know that I'll want something else later on as well, so I let items accumulate in my cart until I'm safely there and then order. Other than for one or two xmas rush items (sigh), I haven't paid shipping with amazon for years.

Guest's picture
Haley

Thanks for the post! I have trouble with this all of the time!

Paul Michael's picture

I did that with a terrific speaker set by JBL, and when I went to check out 2 days later they were out of stock. When they did come back in stock, the price had gone way up. Not saying it's not wise to wait, just make sure that you don't miss out by playing the waiting game, especially if you're only a few bucks shy of the magical $25.

Guest's picture
Patricia

This has happened to me several times. Also I have run into a price jump. When I went back to make the purchase, I found a little note at the top of the page informing me that my big-ticket item's price had increased since my last visit... That is a definite let-down. In order to avoid this happening again, I have played the fill-up-the-cart game many times. I am very happy to learn there are easier ways to accomplish this. Thanks for this very useful information!

Guest's picture

I am addicted to Amazon Prime, which nets you free 2-day shipping on any priced item that is eligible for SSS. My 1 year purchase of that is up soon, so I will have to be on the look out for a sign up deal again. On of the best $39 dollars I ever spent.

I know paying for something that you could have gotten for free won't sit well with most of the frugal crowd though.

Guest's picture
GrizDave

Only other consideration is if your original purchase is needed in a specific time frame.
The additional item generally needs to be of a similar nature I have found. If I am ordering a couple of DVD's or CD's, and I added something else (kitchen item from amazon), it delays the whole order a little few days to 2 weeks regardless of the claimed 'ship date' on each item. My theory is if you order the same type items (all DVD's) they are in the same amazon warehouse and get shipped quicker than different type items which may be in different warehouses.

Guest's picture
Guest

It would be cool if Amazon would let you make up the difference with a small contribution to one of a selection of charities.

Guest's picture
Jamie

You won't have to search much longer. The magical items $X are going to start appearing on Amazon soon.

Paul Michael's picture

It beats buying something you don't really want. Maybe you should write to them, it's a killer suggestion.

Guest's picture
Marie

http://slickdeals.net/slickfillers/ has a nice filler tool. You enter the amount that you need and it shows you things in that range. I have noticed some that are not eligible for SSS so be careful. (also some great deals on the main page)

Guest's picture
Guest

@#6:

It's a great idea in theory, but not one that will ever happen.

The $25 limit isn't there because a customer spending $25 makes shipping free for Amazon. It's there to encourage people to make larger purchases.

Amazon is banking on the fact that most people who need to spend six more dollars to get free shipping will end up tossing a CD or something in their cart, bumping up the sale by far more than the difference needed to qualify for free shipping.

Guest's picture
Guest

I shop online to save time, because stores are a hassle. Spending time looking for some $5.92 item doesn't seem frugal, it seems wasteful. Especially as very few useful items are in that sort of price range.

If my total at Amazon is insufficient I just add one of the many books on my wishlist. Being anywhere from $7-$13, these immediately complete my order, while rewarding me with a book I've wanted for some time.

Of course, this only works because I never buy from my wishlist *except* when I need it for shipping.

Guest's picture
mark j

I found the 52 cent knob. you have to read the reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CESV0U

Guest's picture
J.D.

My filler strategy is to use the lowest price sort on jangle.net. Then just pick my category.

It's easy to tell which items qualify for Amazon's free super saver shipping too. Just look for the little shipping truck graphic.

Jangle's best buys are the real deal for me. Their best buys are a blend of the highest rated, discounted/low priced, and most popular products on sale at Amazon.

http://www.jangle.net

Guest's picture
Guest

I keep a little list of what Canon ink cartridges I'll need next, and use that to fill out the $25 minimum when necessary.

By the way, Amazon free ground shipping usually shows up way before promised. I would never pay the annual fee for 2-day "amazon Prime."

Guest's picture

Great post, I've made use of the info already :)

Guest's picture
Luke

Hi Paul,
FreeShipping.org has a search function that will allow you to search only for items at Amazon.com that are eligible for free shipping. It beats pasting the emi code all the time.

http://www.freeshipping.org/category/amazon-free-shipping/

As for a filler strategy, I just buy another book.

Guest's picture
david

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Guest's picture

I love the ideas from you and your readers about how to save money on Amazon. The folks at Amazon are brilliant with the SUPER SAVER SHIPPING deal, because it does make us all click a bit more on Amazon, doesn't it? It's just one more reason that I've found Amazon wins over eBay. Anyway, Kudos to you for bringing these tools our way!

On the topic of saving money, I've found that Amazon doesn't have many cash back reward opportunities. At the bottom of my Web site I have a way for you to earn a $5 bonus when you shop Amazon:

http://www.cashbackatebay.com/Amazon

Get your $5 bonus now! Happy saving everyone.

Guest's picture
Chris

Jungle-Search.com offers a good filler finder as well as a few other ways to search Amazon.com.

Guest's picture

Thanks for this informative site.

Guest's picture
David

What a helpful site. Thanks.

Guest's picture
Judy

Thanks a million! I'm extremely busy, and just needed a filler with an item I was buying for my niece's baby. I felt under pressure, since I'd be shipping to her brother's address, and she'll only be in the country for a few weeks yet. Yada yada. This article was so useful to me!

Guest's picture
John S.

I have been using
http://www.superfiller.com

I have found it to be very accurate (and truly eliminates those who do not qualify for free shipping). Thought I would share that.

Gotta love Amazon's free shipping.

Guest's picture
warmer

I don't need to,
there's one filler site which provide category search
and "sort by discount/review/popularity/price" feature

so I am actually buying something userful.

the site is:
http://www.clickingsave.com

Guest's picture
Guest

http://www.clickingsave.com/amazon-fillers.html

This site have all the bargain deals up to date as I used today and other sites just a waste of time.

Thanks!

Guest's picture
Guest

try this site:

http://www.clickfiller.com

make sure use its category listing feature.

Guest's picture
Ken

Very informative post and those sites mentioned are good for finding cheap filler items. I'm sure many people don't know about this. For an Amazon Filler Item Finder I’ve been using the Amazon Filler Item Finder and that site has been amazing for Amazon Filler Items and the Amazon Gold Box Deals feed.

Guest's picture
Kris

this site includes all items not just ones on that qualify for free shipping

try http://www.filleritem.com instead

Guest's picture
farmera

I use http://www.clickingsave.com to find certain items which are on sale and free shipping.

I just use their search.
I could find whatever brands or series that is cheap and free shipping.

I regularly running search of famous brand on this site.
Too bad they only have cheap stuff.

Guest's picture

Excellent info provided in the article how to save shipping, then search engine and many more

Guest's picture
angie

thank you thank you thank you! this just helped me tons!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

Buy something not yet released, and then cancel that item later! Amazon won't charge until the item is actually shipped, so if you get something a few months out, you just have to wait for the items you actually want to ship, and then cancel the one that's not out.