Free $10 on Amazon (or Why to Read Fine Print)

Last week I ordered a GPS on There was a "special offer" for a free Wired magazine subscrption and a couple bucks worth of free mp3s

I was happy to take advantage of the MP3 credit, but a Wired magazine subscription? Not something I would necessarily take advantage of.

Fast forward a few days. I get an email from Amazon about taking advantage of the Wired subscription. Guess what was in the fine print of the email:

Terms and Conditions:


This subscription is included as part of the qualifying purchase(s) you made in the last 1-2 weeks in the Consumer Electronics Store.


If you do not wish to receive the subscription, you may receive a refund for the stated value ($10.00) [emphasis added]. To obtain this refund, please print and send a completed copy of the Online Form with a copy of your order confirmation to the address noted on the form. Please mail within 4 weeks from the date you received this e-mail.

Further, check out some of the conditions of the offer:

If you have opted out of receiving marketing emails from Amazon, you will not get the email notification for this offer. If you still want to take advantage of this offer, please update your communication settings located in "Your Account".

Not only do you have to read the fine print of the email; but to get the email in the first place you need to be signed up for the marketing emails from Amazon.

What are the lessons learned here?

First, if you buy $75 worth of electronics from right now you can $10 back (includes most GPS systems, many cameras, computers, and home theater systems).

But more importantly —

If you ever see an offer:

Read the fine print

And consider signing up for promotional emails. As annoying as they may save you a lot of money.

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Lynn Truong's picture

 I recently purchased a qualifying item for the Wired mag subscription, too! I just disregarded it. Thanks for the tip!

Guest's picture

HSN does this too. I got two "rebates" back from them after I ordered items that came with subscriptions. The link to get the from to send in was right on the product page in very tiny print. I just completed the form and mailed it to the address on it with a copy of the order confirmation I got in my e-mail.

Guest's picture

Wow, the "fine print" is usually where you find every different way that a company can screw you if you're not careful.

Its shocking to know that the fine print actually had something beneficial in it.

Guess I need to start reading that stuff with a more open mind.

Guest's picture

They were recently running this promotion in toys on Amazon, but for a Parenting magazine subscription, which I already get. I spent $25 on toys, printed out my rebate form, and sent it in. They also did this last year and it took a little while, but I did get my rebate!

Guest's picture

I don't understand how you can be happy about getting back money for a product you did not order, which is essentially what happened.

Guest's picture

There are a lot of sneaky offers and subscriptions buried in the fines print these days, especially on supposedly free things.

John DeFlumeri Jr.

Guest's picture

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

I never follow those "offers." Discounts for opening a credit care, etc. are bait. The trap is there. Those folks spend tons of time and money figuring out how to manipulate and get an angle on customers. Of course we all know that "I'm too smart for them.. all those other suckers are taken, but *I* make out." Yep, and you'll live on residual income from your airline miles too, right? [funny]

Guest's picture

Container Store does this too...$6 back if you don't get the Real Simple subscription

Guest's picture
Amy K.

In the Spring Kitchen-aid had a similar deal. I bought mine and printed out the paperwork for a rebate plus a magazine subscription. Submitted the paperwork and like you submitted the additional request to opt out of the magazine, netting another $10 off the mixer. My only wish was that you could opt out of the magazine with a checkbox on the initial form - you had to submit the rebate and then a separate request to cancel the subscription.

Guest's picture

Spend $25 in the Amazon Toy Store, get a subscription to Parenting or a $10 refund. I just sent in my paperwork Friday.

Guest's picture

Amazon does this often--for over a month from Nov to the beg of Dec there was a similar deal in the Toys Dept. Any purchase (as long as it was thru Amazon and not a third-party seller) and you could request the refund of $9.99 from whatever magazine. Saves you another $10! Keep an eye on the "Special Offers" section when you're on a product page.

Guest's picture
Irving Hebert

Spend $25 in the Amazon Toy Store, get a subscription to Parenting or a $10 refund.Recently I came to know that there is a website named AmazingWatcher.Com which is a free website that will “watch” items for you on Amazon and let you know when amazon has them in stock at regular retail price.It got so awesome!
Good luck everybody!