The Case for Amazon
I have been an Amazon shopper for as long as I have lived 50 miles from the nearest Walmart, Sam’s Club, or Target. With 3 children wearing diapers at one time, I can’t afford the small packs of generic diapers marked up 175% from MSRP that are sold at my local grocer. And while it would be prudent to think ahead and just buy in bulk when I’m in the city, that isn’t always possible without a full day of planning and a small pull-behind trailer. So I bring you my reasons for sticking with Amazon as my online retailer of choice:
Free Shipping – Perhaps the most attractive feature for shoppers, Amazon will offer free shipping on most orders above $25. While it can sometimes be difficult to get to $25 (a case of diapers can often times be $24.95), there are all kinds of filler items for around a buck to get you to that magic $25 and save you $6-17 on standard shipping. (An easy way to find filler items is to peruse the children’s books or get a small Tupperware storage dish or other small kitchen utensil.)
Instant Rebates – Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices on everything. As a matter of fact, they often claim large discounts on items, only to offer them at or slightly above what you could get them for at any other major retailer. But taking advantage of the special offer codes for particular brand names can save you money. I remember the time that I cashed in on the Unilever promotion offering $20 off a purchase of $49 or more. Buying a case of my favorite laundry detergent cost me a little more than $30, and this was a great savings over what even my warehouse shopping club could give me.
Subscribe and Save – A newer feature of Amazon shopping, Subscribe and Save has worked great for me already. By agreeing to receive and pay for regular shipments of the items you use most (coffee, diapers, etc.) Amazon will knock an additional 15% off the price. You can sign up for automatic delivery every 1, 2, 3, or 6 months, and can cancel any time! You also can change your order if your needs change. (For example, after just one delivery of my diaper order, I changed it to the next size larger to accommodate my growing baby.) Amazon will also give you free shipping on all subscribe-and-save orders, regardless of whether they meet the $25 shipping threshold.
Tax savings – Because I live in Nebraska, I pay no sales tax on items purchased and fulfilled by Amazon. This amounts to a tremendous savings for me on items that I would normally pay a 7% sales tax on at my closest metro stores. (Most states do require a use tax for purchases made out-of-state and not taxed by the online retailer. Sometimes this tax is lower than the tax paid to a local retailer, so there is potential for savings. Wisebread would like to remind everyone to be honest with their taxes, and if you have any questions, please consult a tax attorney. For more information on the use tax and internet purchases, there is a great article HERE .)
You can see how I am hooked on Amazon. On a $30 case of diapers that I can buy at my local warehouse store, I get the following savings at Amazon:
15% subscribe and save discount = savings of $4.50
Free shipping = savings of $5.00 – 7.00
Not having to drive to the store and waste my time, gas, and energy = priceless!
Additionally, Amazon is great about honoring their low-price guarantee. If Amazon.com's price for an already-released item decreases within 30 days after they ship the item to you, they’ll refund the difference in price if you contact them.
Amazon has taken a lot of flack in the past for not being the best deal, but it can be if you work it right. Be sure to price compare and plan ahead for best savings. And if you ever run into any problems while shopping with Amazon, don’t waste your time with the online help feature. Call the rarely publicized customer service numbers here:
Phone toll-free in the US and Canada: (800) 201-7575 or (866) 216-1072
Phone from outside the US and Canada: (206) 346-2992 or (206)-266-2992
Here’s to saving more without the hassle of retail shopping!