Black Friday: Amazon shopping tips to get what you want and save money – USA TODAY
Here are proven ways to get the gifts you want while staying on your budget:
1. Get a discount on brand-new tech
Take a look around your house. Do you have any older gadgets sitting around that you’re not using anymore? Trading them in can get you Amazon credit or a decent discount on your next purchase. Even non-working devices can be eligible, so it’s worth checking.
To do that, visit the Trade-In page and choose the category for your device. You can browse by device and model to see what kind of credit you’ll get.
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I have an old 1st Generation Amazon Echo sitting in my garage that powers on and doesn’t have any defects. That will get me a $25 Amazon gift card. Not bad for something I haven’t used in years.
Speaking of Alexa, she can do a lot more than tell you the weather. Use the digital assistant to schedule meetings, set reminders and lots more. Tap or click here for 21 Alexa commands you’ll use over and over.
2. Request their wish lists now
Planning is tricky when you have no idea what to gift your family and friends. Instead of digging through text messages later, ask your loved ones to create Amazon wish lists.
They can do this through their accounts or your shared family account. To set up a wish list:
• Go to your Amazon account page.
• Click Create a List in the yellow box. Give it a name and choose Create List.
• You can add items directly from this page or on an individual product page.
• On a product page, look below the buying options on the right. You’ll see Add to List.
• Click the dropdown arrow and choose the correct list.
To share a wish list:
• Navigate the list page. From the homepage, hover over Accounts & Lists > Your Lists.
• At the top, click Send list to others.
• Choose View Only or View and Edit. The second option allows someone to add or remove items.
• Share by copying the link or via email.
Pro tip: New lists are Private by default, but you may have wish lists connected to your profile that are available to anyone who stumbles upon them. Tap or click here and scroll down to No. 3 for steps to secure your wish lists.
3. Use up dwindling gift cards
Looking through my wallet and desk drawers, I have a handful of Amazon gift cards with just a few bucks left on them. You might, too. Instead of tossing them out, add them to your account. Hey, every dollar counts.
• Find the claim code, usually 14 or 15 characters long and typically contains letters and numbers.
• Go to Redeem a Gift Card.
• Enter your claim code and select Apply to Your Balance.
4. Use coupon codes to save even more
If you’re shopping on Amazon without using a browser extension or third-party site to help you score discounts, you’re doing it wrong. There are several solid options.
• Capital One Shopping provides easy coupon codes that instantly apply to your cart at checkout. You can even get exclusive rewards at your favorite stores and earn credits to redeem for gift cards.
• The Camelcamelcamel extension track price drops on Amazon so you don’t have to keep refreshing.
• The Honey browser extension can help you search for coupons on products sold by Amazon. It can also auto-apply discounts right when you check out.
You can even set a Google Alert if there’s a specific product you’re on the hunt for. Tap or click here and scroll down to “Keep track going forward” for simple steps.
5. Get Amazon Prime at a discount
Amazon Prime is pricey, especially if you don’t use it much. If you order often, it’s worth it in shipping costs alone. Tap or click for all the other perks that make it worth the money.
There are several ways to save a few bucks or even get Amazon Prime for free:
• Pay for a year upfront instead of breaking it into monthly payments. A monthly payment of $12.99 will cost you over $150 per year, compared to the one-time $119 charge for an annual subscription.
• Buy only a month. If you don’t shop on Amazon much, only keep a subscription for a month or two while you get your shopping done.
• If you time it right, you can also get by on a free trial. Tap or click here to try Prime free for 30 days.
• Those who qualify can get Prime for just $5.99 per month. This includes people on government assistance programs, such as electronic benefit transfer cardholders. Tap or click here to see if you qualify.