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10 Hacks For Getting the Best Possible Amazon Shopping Experience

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Here’s something mind-blowing to think about: Nearly 50% of all e-commerce purchases in the U.S are done through Amazon. By comparison, its closest competitor eBay makes up a little more than 6% of the market while Walmart owns 3.7% of the online market. Why do so many people shop on Amazon? Membership with Prime is certainly a factor. A subscription gets you cloud storage, streaming access to tons of movies and TV shows, and even the ability to try on clothes and send them back if you don’t want them. Interested in becoming a Prime member yourself? Here are 10 reasons to consider making the investment. 

1. It’s easy to return purchased items

There are times when we order something and by the time it arrives, we’ve decided we either don’t need it anymore or it’s not what we had expected. Going to your Amazon account, clicking on the “return or replace” button, and following the prompts is a convenient way to send it back. But if you leave the item sitting around for a couple of months, you’ll notice that the button vanishes. Is it time to panic? Only if drama is a key characteristic of your personality. For the rest of you, you will probably still be able to return it as long as it’s in good condition and is within the refund window. Just call Amazon customer service and they’ll help you out.

2. Not all returns are worth the refund or effort

Imagine receiving your $12 sweater and you’re disappointed because it doesn’t bring out the bright color of your eyes or it doesn’t look fashionable on you. If the item comes from a third-party vendor, you might find that you’re only able to receive a partial refund or you’re responsible for the shipping costs. In cases like that, it probably doesn’t make sense to bother sending it back. It doesn’t mean you have to throw it away though. Why not consider gifting it to a friend on their birthday? You can even pretend like you had always intended to buy it with them in mind. They’ll never have to know the truth!

3. Take advantage of Amazon Locker

You’ve probably seen news reports or YouTube videos featuring strangers or even neighbors sneaking onto a person’s front porch and snatching their packages. What are you supposed to do, especially if you don’t happen to be home? Easy! Simply request that your package be delivered to the nearest Amazon Locker — a self-service kiosk. This service can be found in more than 900 cities and towns across America. Just make sure to pick it up within three calendar days, otherwise it gets returned to the sender. 

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4. Be mindful of recurring auto-payments

So you go online and buy yourself some cat food or vitamins. Congratulations! But then at some point in the future you receive a second delivery. What gives? You didn’t order that! Well technically, you did — you just didn’t realize it! In many cases, everyday items are set up as a subscription by default, and so you’ll be charged accordingly every time a new shipment of adult diapers arrives. Fortunately, you can avoid this by looking carefully at the price box and clicking “one-time purchase.”

5. Late deliveries might entitle you to a discount

Good news: your bottle of snake wine or whatever has arrived and you absolutely love it! Bad news: it arrived several days after you were expecting it. Bummer. But don’t let this get you down. It’s possible you can receive a few bucks back for the inconvenience. Just get in touch with customer support via phone, email or live chat, and as long as you don’t act like a Karen, you might just sweet talk your way into a partial refund!

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6. Ordering options for your teenagers

Teenagers: what is their deal!? Sorry, but you won’t find any answers in this article. But in any event, if you’ve got them, Amazon provides you with the option of letting them set up a sub-account under your own account. And don’t worry about them buying something extravagant without your permission, like a designer handbag made from genuine unicorn leather. You can simply confirm their orders via text. 

7. Don’t take all reviews at face value

So you’re browsing through sexy dragon girl blow up dolls and, unbelievably, every single review is 5-stars, they all seem to have been written roughly the same time and contain virtually the same content about how your Saturday nights will never be boring again. Turns out, more than 11% of all reviews are fakes. So focus on the products that contain balanced feedback from customers. 

8. Save big on tech devices

Who needs the latest iPhone or a pristine laptop in an unopened box? Not you! Amazon offers high quality open-box or refurbished tech at significantly discounted prices. It doesn’t even mean the items have been used either. Sometimes they served as display models. In other cases, they might have been used once for the sole purpose of reviewing the product. 

9. Free no-rush shipping

If there’s no urgency in receiving your order, in most cases you’ll receive it for free. However, keep in mind that sometimes there is a minimum price requirement. Along with free shipping, Prime members are eligible to receive instant discounts and earn rewards that can be applied to future orders. 

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10. Buying an annual membership saves you the most

An annual Amazon Prime membership costs $119 vs $13 if you pay monthly. That ends up saving you $47. For all this, you get free shipping, access to their streaming service, and exclusive deals not available to non-Prime members. If you’re a student, you get a 6-month membership for free and then save 50% off the standard price thereafter. 

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