Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Amazon is where we usually spend our money, so that’s where we should most look to save it. But did you know that there are plenty of deals and discounts that Amazon doesn’t easily disclose? Here’s how to find them all.
This isn’t about promotional codes and coupons. Amazon has several initiatives that help the savvy shopper save some big bucks. From warehouse and open-box items to refunds for items whose price dropped after you purchased, there’s a little for everyone.
1. Paribus (Web, iOS): Did You Know Companies Owe You Money?
You bought something on Amazon today. Three days later, it gets a 20 percent discount. Frustrating to miss out, isn’t it? Well, several sellers on Amazon will give you that discount even after you have already bought the item. And Paribus is the smart assistant to go claim your money automatically.
Here’s how it works. You sign up for Paribus, and give it access to your email inbox where all the Amazon order receipts pour in. Paribus will read them and figure out if any recent purchase has got a price cut, which you can claim. It’s as simple as that.
The app also files claims for late deliveries, as well as items that have price match guarantees. Sure, you use smart tricks to contact Amazon customer service for all of this, but isn’t it better to let an app automatically do everything?
Download: Paribus for iOS (Free)
2. The Forklift (Web): Open Box Deals From Amazon
Have you ever tried to browse Amazon Warehouse Deals to find a discounted item? It’s a maze, and there seems to be a group of elite players who grab great deals before you can ever get to them. Well, The Forklift is here to level the playing field.
Amazon Warehouse Deals isn’t a secret. It’s one of the best money-saving ways to shop on Amazon. It’s where all the pre-owned or open-box items go, after a second check to see their condition. But The Forklift is the only way to see items as they are added.
The site has a real-time feed of new items on Amazon Warehouse Deals, which you can even pause if it gets too much for you. You can add or exclude keywords, set filters to hide certain items, and most importantly, select item condition. Use this app and you’re going to be one of those elite shoppers snagging deals that make your friends jealous.
3. ReviewMeta (Web, Chrome, Firefox): Find Real Reviews, Avoid Fakes
Next to every product is a prominent rating and plenty of user reviews. But in case you didn’t know, several of these are fake. Companies create fake user profiles to talk up what they’re selling. ReviewMeta sorts the real from the fake so you make informed decisions.
Copy-paste the URL of any item into ReviewMeta to generate a full analysis of its reviews on Amazon. The report tells you where it passed or failed, and sorts the most trusted and least trusted reviews. You also get a new adjusted rating for the item, based only on the real reviewers.
ReviewMeta is also available as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox, but don’t install it. The extension only redirects you to the site. You are better off grabbing the bookmarklet instead. There are other apps like Fakespot to find trustworthy reviews, so you might want to check those out too.
4. So Cool (Web): The Missing Advanced Search for Amazon
We know and appreciate Amazon’s Advanced Search. But boy, it could be so much better. It almost seems like Amazon doesn’t want to let the user have more control to find exactly what he or she wants. So Cool is that missing “Advanced Search” for Amazon.
The search results are so much more detailed than what Amazon would ever show you. It includes a link to ReviewMeta and shows its adjusted rating next to the item. You can check the item’s price history on CamelCamelCamel in a click. Plus you can search the product on Jet, Walmart, and Target from the site itself.
And so many filters! If you can think of a way to filter the item, So Cool probably has it. It’s a clean, easy way of using Amazon.
5. Amazon Contemplate (Chrome): Stop Yourself From Impulse Buys
Amazon does everything in its power to make you buy as quickly as possible. It’ll save your credit card info, your shipping address, and all your preferences. You can literally buy an item in one click. And such impulse purchases often lead to regret later.
Install this extension that forces you to pause. Whenever you try to add an item to your card, Amazon Contemplate will temporarily stop the transaction. It enforces a 30-second timeout, forcing you to reevaluate whether you really need that item or not.
Contemplate is a variation of an old retail store hack. You pick up an item you really want, but you put it back and go away. Walk around the store for a couple of minutes, and if you can still justify the purchase when you come back, then you buy it.
And as always, the Amazon Contemplate extension will also work on Opera and other Chromium-based browsers.
Download: Amazon Contemplate for Chrome (Free)
What’s Your Amazon Hack?
When it comes to Amazon, everyone has a few tricks up their sleeve. Naturally, considering how almost all of us are using Amazon to get the best discounted deals regularly.
What’s your Amazon hack? How do you save money when you are shopping online?