Author Topic: Best things to buy on amazon  (Read 6863 times)

themagicman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Best things to buy on amazon
« on: December 13, 2014, 09:17:59 AM »
What are some of the best deals to buy on Amazon? what do you all typically buy? I received a year of amazon prime for Christmas and I have a couple of cards to that get 5% back on amazon. I am wanting to start buying things from there but I am not seeing that great of deals. They all seem like walmart prices or even a little bit more. Is amazon more for people that just don't want to go to walmart? (I do not mind it) Are there some items that are really good deals on amazon that I am missing? What do you all typically buy and why?

dcheesi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 09:52:51 AM »
Their prices used to be cheaper than even Wal-mart, but I think they're more on par now. What deals there are fall mostly in the range of consumer items (ie. non-Mustachian stuff), and accessories (cables and such can be significantly cheaper). Often timing is a factor, as their prices tend to fluctuate without warning.

At this point it's really more about convenience and selection. The convenience mainly for those who still work full time and/or don't live near a discount store (or, yes, just don't like going to Wal-Mart). For selection, their market dominance and addition of third-party sellers gives them the advantage over other retailers, even online.

TN_Steve

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
  • Age: 59
  • Location: fly-over country
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 11:23:35 AM »
What are some of the best deals to buy on Amazon? what do you all typically buy? I received a year of amazon prime for Christmas and I have a couple of cards to that get 5% back on amazon. I am wanting to start buying things from there but I am not seeing that great of deals. They all seem like walmart prices or even a little bit more. Is amazon more for people that just don't want to go to walmart? (I do not mind it) Are there some items that are really good deals on amazon that I am missing? What do you all typically buy and why?

If you have too much federal income tax withheld over the course of the year (by intent or not), you can do well with buying turbotax on Amazon.  You get a 10% return/match on your refund ("limited to 2000 per ecard").  Condition is that that portion of the refund be deposited as an Amazon gift card/credit in your account, which does not expire or have fees assessed (or, of course, interest given).  Further condition, of course, is that you buy enough otherwise from Amazon to make it worthwhile without amping up your spending.  See here:  http://www.amazon.com/TurboTax-Center-Software/b?ie=UTF8&node=3003491

(One further note:  this past year the credit tended not to work well with digital purchases....  We will spend it all down anyway, so didn't inquire into the issue.) 

On the more general topic, we are lazy convenience buyers and tend to find that the cost is usually in the ballpark.  Also, some things we can't reasonably find locally (Merquen spice, many used books, and some packaged foods, for example).


Edited to clarify (in red)

« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 11:26:11 AM by TN_Steve »

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 11:37:23 AM »
Amazon is great for hard to find items that otherwise require chasing all over town, & Prime gets them direct to your door quickly & free of additional ship charges.

"Subscribe & Save" can offer savings & convenience for food & household supplies that you regularly use.

We have found that Amazon has the best prices for textbooks, with choices for used, rentals, or ebooks (kindle format for tablet & computer). Prime rentals include free shipping both ways. I also like it for inexpensive used books that I can't find at the library. I can sell any purchased books & other items in the Marketplace, & Amazon handles the money & seller reviews.

Finally, if you do a lot of product reviews on Amazon, you may get invited to be a Vine member. Vine members get to choose all kinds of free stuff to evaluate & report on any way you see fit.

markstache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 01:50:51 PM »
I use CamelCamelCamel to maintain price watches on things I know I'll need eventually or would like to buy if sufficiently cheap (e.g., a book for a dollar).

I'm sure they make a commission by funneling users to Amazon. If you want to control your referral fees, AmazonSmile lets you give it to charities. You'll need to go through the smile site instead of the convenient links.

I'm a student and used textbooks have been consistently cheaper at Amazon. We tend to buy little things as wee need them instead of going out to the store. It is questionable if this is a good practice or not...

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 01:56:05 PM »
I have found items at our grocery store and Home Depot for half the price of Amazon.  I recommend using Amazon for items like books which are generally 1cent plus shipping or where you'd have to go to 3 or more stores to find the item.  If you know it's available at your grocery store, chances are it's cheaper there.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 02:10:00 PM »
We use Amazon for all kinds of stuff, mostly electronics, but the good deals are very transient.  Here today and gone tomorrow, so they require a lot of shopping which may not be worth it to save a few bucks.

For example, I was in the market for a set of bluetooth earphones to use while on the treadmill.  Most of the appropriate ones were between $20 and $30, except for one seller who had them for $2.50.  Score.

A few months back I was in the market to upgrade some headlamps for some overnight outdoor work I was doing.  Good headlamps, the kind that don't run on AAA batteries and will put out more than a few hundred lumens, are at least $100 and usually more like $200 someplace like REI.  I found a bunch on amazon for under $20 that are basically identical.

LED lightbulbs occasionally have great sales on Amazon, like 1200lm par38s for $3 instead of the usual $15.  You have to watch carefully, though, it's almost like the pricing algorithms get confused sometimes and items will temporarily be ridiculously cheap, so you have to be prepared to snap them up.

The down side of these ultra-cheap consumer goods is that they all come from Chinese resellers so shipping is slow and quality control isn't very good.  Probably 20% of the items I've scored this way turn out to be worthless crap that breaks shortly after arrival, but as long as I'm paying 10% of the price to get 80% good items, I'm okay with that.  You're basically doing the same thing the US brands do, importing Chinese goods for the US market, except you're assuming all of the quality control risk yourself in exchange for avoiding the US brand markup. 

I find Amazon isn't cheaper for much of anything that I can already easily buy locally but it greatly expands the selection of available items to include things not for sale here.  And we live in WA so they collect sales tax on everything we buy.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27774
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2014, 11:03:24 PM »
Mod Note: Discussion regarding tax fraud removed.

The best things to buy on Amazon are things you need anyways.  Otherwise you're just buying stuff you don't need, and that's wasteful and ridiculous.  So I guess I'm missing the point of the thread - if you need something, you can buy it there.  If you don't need it, no need to buy it.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Returnoftheyeti

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2014, 10:35:27 PM »
Ereader iq is a great site for tracking the cost of e books in your wish list. 

You Amazon Prime membership also gets you free movies to watch and the Kindle lending library n

BaldingStoic

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2014, 11:42:19 AM »
I love Amazon but they constantly manipulate prices so it's hard to know when your getting a good deal...But I have the solution.  There's a terrific price aggregator website http://camelcamelcamel.com.  They provide pricing history on virtually everything Amazon carries and they will email you when the product's price falls below your specified threshhold.  Shopping this way takes patience, but if you can wait a few weeks or months you end up with excellent pricing.  It's also a good way to prevent the spontaneous impulse buys.  Happy shopping...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2014, 06:56:31 PM by BaldingStoic »

MountainFlower

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: Colorado Mountains
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 12:02:50 PM »
amazon.com really jacks their prices up right before Christmas.  Check again after the holidays and you might find better deals. 

starbuck

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Small Town Connecticut
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 12:14:15 PM »
Cat food! I buy several cases of cat food at a time on amazon, mostly to save hassle and packaging (and a little money, but not oodles.) I like buying the large cans (13 oz) but my pet store only stocks a few at a time so I could never stock up enough and had to keep going back every week. Buying on amazon was much simpler.

I find with a lot of other things the prices aren't very good on Amazon like others have said. Sometimes it's nice for finding that hard to find thingy, but there's not tons I buy regularly. Except cat food.

eil

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2014, 12:59:04 PM »
If you have poor self-control, Amazon is not for you. I work with a guy who literally buys something every single day from Amazon, Woot, or somewhere else just for the thrill of opening the package midway through the day to see what he got. They make it so easy and effortless to buy things but sometimes it's a little too easy.

I myself have been a happy customer for years. But I try to restrict my purchases to things I actually need. Some things on Amazon cost far less than what I can get them for locally, some things I can't even buy locally. On rare occasion I'll buy something from Amazon just because I know that if I have any problem with it whatsoever, I can send it back and they'll credit my account with zero fuss. Amazon is also great for researching purchases as well. Computer monitor blow up? Need a new one? Even if you don't buy it from Amazon, it's a great way to narrow your selection based on specifications and reviews.

I'm also a huge fan of http://camelcamelcamel.com/ for setting price watch alerts on things that I'll need in the future but don't have to have right away. (And also for the pretty graphs which tell me if I'm paying too much for something.)

Some things I've purchased recently:

- Toner refill kit for my printer for $6 (replacement toner cartridge is $40)
- Cordless drill and impact driver set (on sale for $90, stores around here have them for $120+)
- AmazonBasics AA rechargeable batteries (8-pack, $16, can be recharged thousands of times)
- New sump pump for basement ($130, cheaper than the crap pumps they sell locally and far better made)
- Misc tools and supplies that would take me forever to track down locally.
 
Many things do cost more on Amazon than if bought locally, so you do have to watch carefully. I never buy something unless I'm pretty sure I need it. If I'm not sure, I save it to my wish list and decide later. (Usually, the things that end up in my wish list are never actually purchased.)

amazon.com really jacks their prices up right before Christmas.  Check again after the holidays and you might find better deals.

I've observed quite the opposite, lots of stuff is cheaper around the holidays, albeit not by a huge margin. Every item is of course different but in general I've found that things which have a semi-stable price over time (e.g., not consumer electronics) tend to dip right before the end of the year and then rise dramatically in January. I see the same pattern in our grocery stores as well.

NCGal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 138
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2014, 02:39:48 PM »
I just bought an inexpensive 2015 appointment book. I found an item that was eligible for free shipping if spending $35 but I wasn't in the market for anything else. Then I noticed under 'more buying choices' another vendor selling it for pennies more with free shipping, no minimum purchase. In the future I'm going to check that out with other items.

I buy vitamins and OTC drugs. I just bought some grab-bag gifts as we do a family thing where each person spends no more than $25.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2904
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2014, 05:47:36 PM »
I'm finding that it is harder to find things in local stores. At least my local grocery store is struggling with their distributor, who just went bankrupt. So I'm turning to amazon more and more.

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1716
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2014, 05:56:43 PM »
I've been getting $100-200 per month in Amazon credit using Beermoney methods like Perk TV and Swagbucks.  I have found that after a few months I am running out of things that I want on Amazon.  I might have to start buying groceries and household supplies on there.

I'd also recommend CamelCamelCamel for price watching.  I snagged a bunch of camping and backpacking gear by waiting for the prices to drop.

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2014, 05:59:41 PM »
Specialty food items, books, digital items.

I buy spice blends I can't get at the grocery store. Ditto for curry pastes I actually like. And their Subscribe and Save Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is way cheaper than the grocery store Red Mills Brand. Books, digital anything. Also, you can make money by earning credits for letting them ship to you slow. Got my prime in September, already got $15 from an already free membership.


sunnyca

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 411
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Best things to buy on amazon
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2014, 08:21:39 PM »
I use Amazon in conjunction with alerts set up in camelcamelcamel and Slickdeals so that I can stock up on staples when they go on deep discounts (soap, deodorant, shampoo, oatmeal, stuff like that).

Just picked up 16 bars of Dove sensitive skin soap for $8. Not a bad deal. 

Oh, and kitty litter.  Which will occasionally go on sale on Amazon for a least slightly less than pet stores, and free shipping. Awesome.