Tech Savvy: Amazon Prime Day ideas can save money and time

But for longtime Prime members who believe they know everything there is about the online retail giant’s two-day annual event, there are even more tricks and tips to saving money.

Yes, shoppers looking to score a sweet deal or simply save some “cheddar” on an air fryer should become a Prime member to take full advantage of what Amazon.com has to offer.

An Amazon Pickup & Returns facility is located on South Street in Philadelphia. Photo by Bryan Angelo on Unsplash.com

An Amazon Pickup & Returns facility is located on South Street in Philadelphia. Photo by Bryan Angelo on Unsplash.com

But one doesn’t need an active Amazon Prime subscription in order to take advantage of the offered limited-time savings. Becoming a Prime member, however, automatically entitles shoppers to free one- or two-day shipping no matter how big or small the purchase.

Those still on the fence can sign up for a free one-month Amazon Prime trial — available only if the person has never tried Prime before — and cancel the service after 29 days to avoid getting billed for future months while still getting the full benefits of Prime Day.

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And most people would agree that going to school will pay off in the long run, but why not now? Amazon is still partnering with Sprint to offer college students a free six-month Amazon Prime trial, not to mention Prime members can stream lots of TV shows and movies.

But how does one know that the price an item is being offered at during Amazon Prime Day is truly a money saver? Good question — one that’s vexed me as a cautious research-oriented reporter in a profession that is not the highest paying by any stretch of the imagination.

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A great online tool is CamelCamelCamel, which tracks price histories. Copy the product’s URL, paste it into CamelCamelCamel’s search field at www.camelcamelcamel.com — and — voila! A desktop browser plug-in is available, too, that eliminates the step of copying and pasting.

Honey is a browser plug-in available at www.joinhoney.com that can let a shopper know if any third-party Amazon sellers have the same product for a lower price. To cover my bases, I use Honey and CamelCamelCamel when shopping Amazon — and why not? They’re free to use.

A woman checks her smartphone calendar before placing an order online. Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash.com

A woman checks her smartphone calendar before placing an order online. Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash.com

PriceBlink at www.priceblink.com also offers price comparisons with its browser plug-in but also coupons. PriceBlink also lets a shopper track pricing over time and add items to his or her wish list.

Another way to potentially save time and money while shopping online is to use Popcart available at www.popcart.com. The price comparison tool searches more than 500 online stores, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, to find the best price on millions of products.

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All the items offered during Amazon Prime Day can leave one overwhelmed. Fortunately, the downloadable Amazon app allows a person to track upcoming deals and receive notifications when they are about to begin. It works both on smart devices powered by Android and iOS.

Many Prime Day deals are available in limited quantities, and once they’re gone, they’re gone — unless there is a “Join Waitlist” button, which works exactly as it sounds; sometimes other customers will add an item to their cart, then decide not to purchase it, so their loss is your gain.

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And who needs another credit card? Signing up for an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card nets you a $100 Amazon gift card. Amazon’s no-annual-fee Visa pays the cardholder a percentage back for purchases anywhere and 5% back on just about everything bought from Amazon — “Yeah, baby!”

Amazon occasionally increases that to 10% back or even more for certain product categories and often runs Prime Day-specific bonuses, too, so as long as a person is financially responsible with plastic, there can be a real upside to getting an Amazon-branded credit card.

Now, that’s some BDTechSavvy advice you can take to the bank.

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL

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