Five Frugal Amazon Hacks


Use a Price Tracker

Amazon updates the prices of products dynamically to optimize for supply and demand. Some popular products have their prices updated multiple times a day. Using an Amazon price tracker helps you time your purchase to save a few dollars. This is especially powerful for big ticket items or items you purchase regularly.

The historical price for Fresh Step Multi-Cat (34 Lbs)
The historical Amazon prices for Fresh Step Multi-Cat (34 Lbs). It looks like there was a recent price increase, we should wait a little.

Use the search bar in the top menu to find a product by keyword, or paste an Amazon product URL to go straight to price history for that item.

Defer Sales Tax

Since Amazon has a retail presence in 45 of the 50 states, you will end up paying sales tax nearly everywhere when purchasing products sold by If you purchase from a third party seller based in another state, they are not obligated to collecting your local state sales tax. For popular products there will be many offers from sellers in different states.

On a product page, click the link for all offers. It looks something like "Used & new (38) from $279.99". Then Filter for "New" and go through the pages until you find an offer from out of state.

Third party offers for Bose QuietComfort 35
Third party offers for Bose QuietComfort 35.

Empty Your Prepaid Gift Cards

Do you have a prepaid VISA card with something like $0.97 left on it? You can drain the last little bit off of your prepaid gift card by buying an Amazon gift card for yourself using a custom amount. Send the code to your own email address and apply the code at check out. Finally you can throw that prepaid card out guilt free!

Take Advantage of Price Drop Policies

Amazon used to have a pretty good price drop policy where you could be refunded the difference of a purchase if the price dropped within 30 days of your purchase. Amazon has revised this policy several times and it seems to only apply to price drops within 7 days on televisions. So, if you're purchasing a TV, you should create a price watch for a drop of any amount on the product you purchased using an Amazon price tracker like Penny Parrot.

For all other products, there is still another way. There are credit cards these days offer "purchase price protection". Each card is a little different, but typically there is some budgeted max refund per year and maximum number of price drop claims you can file. For example a maximum benefit of $200 over 12 claims per year. You can use Penny Parrot to help you remember to file the claim.

For more details and example card see the following post about price protection.


It won't save you any money, but it will help make the world a tiny bit of a better place. Sign up for AmazonSmile to donate 0.5% of your purchase price to your selected charity. They offer a bunch of options, so pick something you feel passionate about. Taking a moment to think about others will make you feel better in the long run, and the world you live in a little more pleasant.