It’s near impossible to run a blog called The Financial Wilderness and not reference the Amazon so I’ve decided now is my big moment!
Actually it’s a big moment because both Black Friday and Christmas are coming up and if you’re savvy, you can save a lot of cash over these days as there are usually some great deals, especially when buying big ticket items. This list features general tips alongside Black Friday/Christmas specifics.
Please note that this year Amazon is running “Eight Days of Deals” from Friday 22nd of November until Black Friday, rather than over the Black Friday weekend. Be interesting to see if this attempt by them to “get ahead of the pack” works.
So there are some rules to follow to maximise our opportunities to save money:
Rule 1: Make a list, and check it twice!
Instead of frantically hunting around on Black Friday itself, it’s worth having a list in advance of things you would ideally like to buy if they are on offer, and potential alternatives if you cannot find what you want as you may find a similar brand is discounted.
That way when Black Friday begins you can quickly check what is discounted and what’s not and form your strategy. Remember, always check other retailers as well to see if it’s cheaper with them.
You can access Amazon’s “My Lists” feature here.
Rule 2: Alert, Alert!
One of my favourite resources to use with Amazon is camelcamelcamel. Simply copy the URL for any Amazon product and it will tell you in graphical form the price history of the product, meaning you can tell if you’re getting a good deal or not .
However the most powerful thing is that if something is not at the price you’re willing to pay for it, you can easily set up an alert that sends you an e-mail when the price hits that point of below, then swoop. Absolutely fantastic if you’re got your eye on something but it’s just that little bit too expensive……
Rule 3: Strike like lightning
On Black Friday or Amazon‘s best deals run as “lightning deals” meaning they run for either a set period or set number of units for a very limited time.
This is frankly a bit annoying – it’s Amazon trying to get you to look at the site multiple times in the hope you’ll buy something else. However, often the best deals are within the category and you can look ahead to lightning deals which haven’t started yet but are due in the next few hours
The big ticket saving are usually in lightning deals – so if buying TV’s, camera etc. the deals hub should ALWAYS be the first place you check.
Be aware Amazon also vary the deals on offer each day. I have found the best offers have tended to be on Day 1, but that’s personal experience only and not necessarily valid this year.
Rule 4: The Home Team always wins.
If you’re looking to buy Amazon‘s own brand tech or materials, it’s even more true that you should wait until one of these big deal events – the steepest discounts on these are nearly always found here.
A few supplementary tips:
- I’ve preached about the benefits of TopCashback before – always worth checking as they pop up occasionally but generally they don’t offer cashback on Amazon. However when cashing out, getting your money in the form of an Amazon giftcard generally offers a bonus on top (generally 2.5% to 3%) – worth it if not using a more beneficial offer on TopCashback.
- Don’t just click the top items when searching for a product. As many third parties sell through Amazon, you can find slightly different descriptions for the same thing, and these can vary in price – sometimes wildly.
- Keep an eye out for offers on Amazon Gift Cards. Quite often they’ll run a occasional bonus along the lines of buy a £50 gift card and get £6 credit for yourself. Not bad if looking to buy a gift card for someone, but there’s no rule against buying said card for yourself, meaning you can get some extra cash if buying something anyhow.