Many of us have shopped Amazon for years without really digging into some of its handier features. Here’s a quick list of tips and tricks.
Get Alerts When Prices Drop
If you’re keeping an eye on a particular product, you can get alerts when its price drops. Head over to CamelCamelCamel.com, create an account and set up an alert. If the item is in stock and dips below the price threshold you set for it, you’ll be notified.
If you’re not sure what you want, you can check out the most highly discounted items in the site’s Top Drops section.
Get Alerts When Out-of-Stock Items Are Available Again
You can set up this trick directly from Amazon’s site. If an item you want is out of stock, click the “Email me” button to the right of the item’s heading.
To check which items you’re tracking, head to the Availability Alert section of your account to get an overview of which items are back in stock or to cancel alerts for items you don’t care about anymore.
Share Two-Day Prime Shipping with Someone
If you pay $100 a year for Amazon Prime — which includes free two-day shipping on many items, free streaming video, free streaming music and free ebooks — you can share the two-day shipping privileges (but not the other goodies) with up to four family members.
Head over to Manage Prime Membership, and click “Invite a Household Member.” Then enter the person’s name, how they’re related to you, their email address and their birthday. Don’t worry: You can remove people later to make space for new additions as your family bonds strengthen and wither.
Get Text Alerts for Shipment Updates
If you want to keep a close eye on that American Girl doll you ordered for yourse—err…daughter, you can sign up to receive text messages while it’s being shipped.
Head to the Shipment Updates via Text section of your account and enter your mobile number to sign up. Thankfully — or unfortunately, depending how closely you want to track the item – you’ll only get texts between 10am and 11pm Eastern time. No middle-of-the-night wakeup dings, in other words.
Fine Tune Your Email Subscriptions
You can subscribe to get emails about specific item categories sent with varying frequency by checking out the E-Mail Subscriptions section of your account. There, you’ll find everything from apps to wine, along with several subsections for each.
Re-Watch Videos You’ve Purchased
Amazon offers many of its digital videos as time-limited rentals, but if you choose to purchase a video outright, you can watch it again and again. All the movies and TV shows you own can be found in the Your Video Library section of Amazon Instant Video.
Find Items You’ve Looked At Recently
You can take a quick walk down memory lane by cruising the Browsing History section of your account. There, you’ll find a list of recently-ogled items, and can delete items you don’t want showing up in your history at all.
If you want to turn off your browsing history altogether, head over to the Manage Your Browsing History section.
Turn Off Ads That Have Been Personalized to You
Amazon uses your shopping behavior to personalize ads for you based on what the company thinks you like. You might see these ads on Amazon itself or on other websites that display Amazon ads. You can turn off this personalization by heading to the Advertising Preferences section of your account. Note that you’ll still see Amazon ads here and there; they just won’t be personalized to your tastes.
Sell Your Stuff to Other Amazon Shoppers
If you own an item that Amazon is selling, you can sell it yourself directly to other buyers. It’s a pretty quick and simple process.
It doesn’t apply to just any item, but if an item’s eligible, you’ll see a “Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon” link below the “Add to Cart” button on the right-hand side of the product page.
Click the “Sell on Amazon” button, select the item’s condition, the quantity you’re selling, and then set the price. You can upload a photo of the item, too, if you like.
If you choose to ship the item yourself, Amazon will reimburse you for shipping charges. If you want to sell a bunch of items, you can ship them all to Amazon and have the company ship items out to buyers as they sell. Regardless of your shipping method, Amazon will take a cut of each sale; the fee depends on the type of product but it usually isn’t too outrageous.
Have 0.5% of Your Order Go to Charity
Instead of going to Amazon.com to buy stuff, simply go to AmazonSmile.com and select a charity first. There are a handful of spotlight charities to choose from, but you can search for other eligible charities as well. Once that’s set up, you’ll be dropped off at Amazon to shop as you normally would.
If you see an item that says “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” below the price on the product page, your charity of choice will get half a percent of the item’s purchase price when you check out.