I know that many of you are planning to utilize Amazon for your holiday shopping this year. And why not? Sitting in the comfort of your own home getting deals is a lot more appealing than standing in line at 4 a.m. in the cold and dark on Black Friday, right?
Today I thought it would be helpful to share some tips for shopping the best deals at Amazon this Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout the holiday shopping season.
First, you should know that Amazon’s Black Friday page is already available, and the actual Black Friday sale will most likely start November 21 and run through Black Friday (I’ll give you an official date when I know more). But in all honesty, Amazon will have hot deals right up until Christmas Eve.
Here’s why I like shopping at Amazon:
- They offer a wide selection of items for low prices. In many cases, their prices will best the doorbuster deals of the big box stores.
- There are opportunities to score free shipping – either for purchases of $49 or more, book orders of $25 or more, or through an Amazon Prime membership. (If you haven’t already utilized it, a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime is available!)
However, with quickly changing prices, lightning deals, and so many items, Amazon can become an overwhelming site to shop at. My goal today is to offer you 6 simple tricks to make the most of your Amazon holiday shopping.
Tip #1: Make a Wishlist
A wish list isn’t just for a bridal or baby registry – you can create a free wish list for ANYTHING! Start by locating the “Lists” tab at the top of the screen:
You can create a new wish list for “Holidays 2016” or whatever you wish. You can even add items from external websites, too!
The beauty of this is that you can be deliberate about the items you’re looking for and have them easily organized in one place. You can then keep an eye on the prices right from your wish list, too! It will even tell you if the price has dropped since you first added it. Here’s an example of an item currently in my wishlist:
Tip #2: Understand Lightning Deals
Some of THE hottest deals are what’s known as “lightning deals.” As the name implies, these deals are fast! They each last for a set time period (usually quite short!), or while supplies last, whichever comes first. Amazon does these every day, but they will get very hot right around Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
If you head to “Today’s Deals” on Amazon, you can filter by “Deal Type” to see what the schedule is for the lightning deals. You won’t know the exact price until the clock starts, but if it’s something you’ve had your eye on, you will WANT TO BE READY.
Another bonus to Prime membership? You can get early access to some of these deals!
My advice is to be ready a few minutes prior to a sale you’re interested in.
Tip #3: Keep an eye out for Amazon Banners!
Amazon frequently changes the banners on their home page. Pay attention to these – they will inform you of new sales happening on their site. Today, this one caught my eye:
If you’ve been eyeing an Amazon Device (Fire TV Stick, Kindle Paperwhite, Echo, etc.), a number of certified refurbished devices start at just $24.99! These look and work like new and are backed with the same limited warranty as new devices.
Tip #4: Watch the Reviews
Wow! So that hot toy is priced at 80% off? Um…do make sure to read the reviews. If there are 500 reviews and an average 1.5 star rating, you might want to pay attention to what people are saying.
As for this site? You won’t see me post an Amazon deal here that has anything less than a 3-star rating. More likely, the items we’ll feature will be 3.5-4 stars and up.
Tip #5: Read the Description Carefully
Pay attention to what you are purchasing! For example, if you’re purchasing a Blu-ray set thinking it will come with a DVD copy, be sure to check the description to see if that is included. (Sometimes they’re sold as combo packs for a little more, and sometimes it’s just the Blu-ray disc.)
Related to the product description – Amazon sells some items with “frustration-free” packaging, usually for a little less. Keep that in mind for gift-giving purposes as your recipient may/may not be OK with receiving something in a plain Amazon box. Only you know that for sure!
Tip #6: Check The Coupon Project for the best deals and giveaways!
I couldn’t end this post without plugging this website a little bit, right? Here are a few things you can look forward to here at The Coupon Project this holiday season:
- A daily roundup of the best deals we’re seeing. We’ll post this list each morning with the best daily deals, lightning deals, big price drops we’re seeing, and more. This list will include toys, great clothing sales, stocking stuffer ideas, hostess gifts, etc. So if you’re overwhelmed by all the noise and just want the best of the best, go here.
- Flash giveaways. This year, I wanted to do something a little different and fun! Each Monday between November 14th and December 19th I’ll be having an Amazon Flash Giveaway! On these days, I’ll put up a post where you can leave a comment to enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. That’s right – I’ll be giving away a total of $300 in Amazon Gift Cards this year!
- Additional Amazon posts. As time allows and the day progresses, we may post other hot Amazon deals we’re finding (don’t worry – we’ll also link them to the main roundup post). This means that there may be an uptick in Amazon deals we share here. I do this in an effort to help people find good bargains and cross items off their holiday shopping list. Once the holidays are over, my posts will go back to normal schedule.
A final word. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and spend more than you want. Make sure you stick to a list – and your budget. Happy shopping.
I will be highlighting some of my favorite Amazon deals as I find them. I would love to hear from you – what deals are you looking for? And, do you have other tips you’d add to my list?