All You Need to Know About Shopping Amazon!

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all you need to know about shopping at amazon

Do you shop Amazon?  No!  Well then you are missing out on some Amazing deals!   When most people think Amazon they think of book and movie deals.  And sure, they have those, but there is SO much more!  You can find almost anything on Amazon! (Seriously, Anything!)

There are lots of great deals on Amazon – but don’t trust that just because it’s Amazon you’re getting a great deal.  KNOW how to use it – and if you don’t, just look it up here!

So what do you need to know?  First things first, Amazon has different types of memberships that you can sign up for.  Some will get you extra discounts on different items as well as free shipping!  This can be your key to turning a great deal into a Super Sweet deal!

So the first question is:   What memberships are there, and what do they get me?

amazon prime

1.  Prime – This is the BEST membership you can get – but you do have to pay for it.  A Prime membership will cost you a total of $99/year. If you’re smart, you’ll find one (or a few) family members or friends that you trust to split it with to share the cost.  One person will need to pay for Prime and then add the other people on to their Prime account (don’t worry, they still get to use their own account to purchase items).  If you need help with this, or want more info, just email us at [email protected] and we can give you more details!  So, here is what your Prime account will get you:

  • Free 2 Day Shipping on qualifying items (will say “Ships Free with Prime” next to the price).  This will be everything that Amazon sells directly.  It might also be sold by different companies that have partnered up with Amazon to offer the Prime shipping.  Honestly, the best deals out there have this Prime option, so it really is worth it!  If you split the Prime cost with someone else, you will EASILY make up the cost of the membership!
  • Additional shipping savings on overnight, Sunday, or express delivery.  You will only pay $3.99 for next day shipping!  This is super nice if you need something fast.  It doesn’t matter how large or heavy the item.  We had a dog run shipped overnight!  Awesome!
  • Instant streaming of videos and movies at no additional charge! Check out Amazon’s instant movies!  There are tons and with the Prime account tons of them are FREE!  You can also download their app and watch on your Kindle Fire, Android Device, Roku, ect. They just added content from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, and VH1 — adding 2,000 new titles to Prime Instant Video. Together with the existing movies and shows from CBS, Fox, Disney-ABC, PBS, NBC, Sony, and Warner Bros., they now offer, at no additional cost, unlimited instant streaming of more than 15,000 titles.
  • Unlimited ad-free access to over a million songs! I love listening to the playlists. They have my favorite songs, all without interruption!
  • Thousands of titles from Kindle “Lending Library including current and former NY Times Bestsellers.  As a Prime member you can “borrow” books for free!  Yup, FREE!  Download them and “borrow” for as long as you like.  As frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.
  • Unlimited Photo Storage! Access it from ANYWHERE. How cool is that!
  • 1 click purchases.  Fast and Easy!  Love it!
  • See all details here – You can sign up for One Month FREE to try it out!

Amazon Student

2.  Amazon StudentFree for students and includes 6 months free Prime shipping.  You must have a valid .edu email address.  You don’t have to use that email address as your main Amazon account address, but you need to have access to it at least once to get the confirmation email.  After the Free 6 months is up, you can continue with Amazon Prime for only $49/year for 4 years.   See all details here

Amazon Mom

3.  Amazon Mom –   Head over here to claim your free membership!

  • Free membership PLUS 20% off diapers – when you choose Subscribe & Save.
  • Exclusive discounts and deals for Amazon Mom members
  • Plus your Amazon Prime benefits

4. What is Subscribe & Save? Many times when an Amazon Deal comes along you will see us suggest the “Subscribe and Save” check out option (these will usually be for consumable products – like household items, diapers and wipes, personal care, or even food items).  This is a great option that gets you a LOWER PRICE.   I love the Subscribe & Save program!!  I use it every month to get Amazing deals on things that I use every day. Plus, shipping is ALWAYS FREE when you use Subscribe & Save, even if you’re not an Amazon Prime member!

When ordering through Subscribe & Save you add to an order that will ship out once a month.  The more items in your monthly order the bigger the discount.  If you have 1-4 items in your monthly order you will save an extra 5%.  If you have 5 or more items you will save an extra 15% off your entire order.

There is a catch here though!  Subscribe & Save will sign you up to AUTOMATICALLY to have this item shipped again in 3 months (or you can choose a different time period) at whatever price is being offered at that time – not the same price as when you originally ordered. Since prices do change on Amazon you will need to make sure to check your monthly subscription every month – you want the best deal, right?

It is important to know that when you sign up for this subscription you are under NO obligation to continue or keep your subscription!  As soon as you receive your confirmation email that your item has shipped, you can cancel your “Subscribe & Save” – about 2 clicks – and you’re done!  Just go to “Your Account” and then “Manage Subscribe & Save Items.”  If you really like the product or think you might want to get it down the road, you can also just set it up to ship every 6 months.  Then watch the price…if it drops to a price that you like to pay, go on and request another shipment.  That way you are always paying the lowest price, but if Amazon decides to remove the Subscribe & Save option from your item (which does happen) you will still be able to get the Subscribe & Save discount.

Still have questions about Subscribe & Save? We have the answer! Check out THIS POST.


5. How do I get Free Shipping without a Prime account? If you don’t have a Prime account you will need to order at least $35 to get free shipping (on qualified items – Items that would normally ship free if you had a Prime account).  If you order an item that is under the total you need for free shipping, you can search Amazon for items that are the price you need.  Say your total is $33.00 – you can search Amazon for all the $2.00 items to bump you up to $35 and get your free shipping.  Or check out our other great Amazon Finds to help you reach your $35.

20 amazon coupon

6. Does Amazon have Coupons? YES!  You can clip coupons for Amazon items.  When we post an item that has a coupon to clip, we will let you know it is available.  In most cases, the coupon will be about ½ way down the page and you just click it – they are pretty obvious if you know to look for them.  You can also search for “coupon” on Amazon and it will pull up all the coupons that are available to clip.  You might find something that interests you.

Amazon No Tax

7. Do I have to pay Sales Tax on Amazon? Well, that depends, where do you live.  If you are in Utah the answer is NO!  Most states don’t pay tax on Amazon! Why does that matter?  Because that is a HUGE way to save money!  If you are buying items without paying tax and without driving to the store you just saved money even if the item is the same price as Walmart.  That is one of the reasons I buy from Amazon so much!  Plus, if it is a big ticket item (like a TV) you can save some Serious money not paying any tax!

Amazon Gold Box

8. Does Amazon have Sales? – Amazon has all kinds of special deals and one day deals.  Did you know that Amazon has a Gold Box Deal of the Day?  Not everyone does…it is kinda hidden!  They also run Lighting Deals!  These are “sales” that run until they sell out or the time is up.  These can be a great place to get super deals, but you have to watch them.  If we see a Killer deal, we will post it, but it can’t hurt to check the Lighting Deals page to see if there is something that you are looking for.

amazon prime pantry

9. What is Prime Pantry? Exclusive to Amazon Prime members, you can fill up a Prime Pantry box with Prime Pantry items such as food and house hold items. Based on the weight and size of the item, it will fill up a certain percentage of your box. Each item will tell you how much of a box it will fill. Pantry boxes can hold a whopping 45 pounds or 4 cubic feet of household essentials. WOW! That’s a big box.

You can choose when your box ships no matter how full it is (up to 100% of course), and you’ll pay a flat $5.99 delivery fee. A delivery fee for Prime? Well, yes, that sort of stinks. But then again, these household and grocery items DO tend to be quite heavy. I can see how Amazon has to charge a fee to ship them. Plus you can fill the box up to 45 pounds. That’s a lot of stuff. Read more about it and see what items are eligible HERE.

amazon shop with confidence

10. What if I buy an item and it goes down in price in a couple days? If it is within 7 days from when the order ships, contact customer service and you can choose to receive a credit on your account or get a refund. Find out how HERE.

11. Anything else I should know? Amazon prices do go up and down, just like in a store.  They also will price match great deals online from,,, and others.  So, if you see a great deal online, you might want to check Amazon to see if they are matching the deal. Remember, just because it’s Amazon does NOT mean you are always getting a killer deal.  BUT used the right way, you can score Amazing Deals all the time.

Remember to think about the item for a minute and make sure this is your buy price.  Also keep in mind the gas, tax, and time you would spend to drive to a store if you think you can get get a lower price somewhere else.  Even if the Amazon sale price is slightly higher than your store + coupon price – it may be worth it to pay the “extra” on Amazon when you consider the tax and gas– not to mention the time that it saves!  When we find deals that are likely in this category, we’ll post them on our website as well as Facebook, so you can grab it before it sells out.

Ready!  If you can’t remember what something means, just come back here and check or leave us a question – we are always happy to help you make your deals simple and sweet!




  • Just FYI on the Prime movies and tv shows it’s only accessible under the primary’s account. We tested it with my sister and her husband’s account.

  • Thanks for all the helpful information on making the most of Amazon purchases! As another tidbit, some states require you to pay a “use tax” for online purchases when the online retailer doesn’t collect it from you. In Utah, you do this when filing your Utah State return. More information can be found here.
    So, although Amazon doesn’t collect tax on the item and remit it to the State of Utah for you, you are still responsible to pay sales tax on all online purchases.

  • Could you please email the info of how to add more people to your Prime account? I tried to email your address listed above, but it told me the address doesn’t exist.

  • Very Helpful Article!

    What about handling returns? Any info about those?

    I think that is a major hesitation with a lot of people who do not shop through amazon or other online retailers.

    • They are good about returns as long as it isn’t a third party and it’s within the time frame ….
      you missed warehouse deals and open box!

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