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20 essential Amazon shopping tips and hacks

You don't need to wait until Prime Day to save money on Amazon. Here are the money-saving tips you need to know.

Jessica Learish
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1 of 20 Fred & Friends via Amazon

You don't need a Prime membership to participate in Prime Day

Shopping on Amazon tends to be pretty simple, but there are some hacks that can make it even more worth your while regardless of whether it's Prime Day.

For example: While you will need a membership to access official Prime Day discounts, third-party sellers on Amazon often have sales to capitalize on the increase in traffic. And those sales are accessible to anyone.

But to get the lowest price for this sloth tea infuser, which was a featured Prime Day deal in 2017, you'll still need to sign up for a membership or...

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Get Prime Day deals without paying for Prime

If you've never had a Prime membership before, you can sign up for a one-month free trial. Even free-trial members get access to Prime Day deals. 

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3 of 20 Freer/Shutterstock

Watch out for waitlists

Some Prime Day or Black Friday deals are available in limited quantities, so waitlists can pop up for things that are more in-demand.

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4 of 20 Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Check back in 15 minutes

But don't be shy about joining the waitlist, because if users don't purchase the items in their carts within 15 minutes, that Echo could be yours.

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5 of 20 Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images and Amazon

This one page gets you daily deals

There are deals outside of Prime Day, you know. Amazon posts new coupons every day. Just click "clip coupon," and the discounts will be applied during checkout.

Often, subscriptions to magazines like the New Yorker and Martha Stewart Living have coupons on Amazon. 

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6 of 20 SeeWhatMitchSee/Shutterstock

Use Alexa for early deals

Alexa, the Amazon Echo voice assistant, can access some deals before they're available to customers on the site.

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7 of 20 Dean Bertoncelj/Shutterstock

Prime members can read free

Prime members who have a Kindle reader or other Amazon-manufactured device can access the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, where more than 800,000 ebooks are available to borrow for free with no due dates.

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8 of 20 Veritas Home/Amazon

Are you a student? There's a discount for that

Prime memberships cost $119 a year... unless you're a student, in which case you get a six-month free trial and a discounted fee of $49. And there are loads of dorm room essentials available on Amazon. All you need is...

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9 of 20 Hadrian/Shutterstock

...the right email address

...an email address ending in .edu, or a screenshot of your transcript or tuition bill.

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10 of 20 Oleg Elkov

Get music for less than $1

Prime Day isn't just about boxes of physical stuff. During the Prime Day sale, members can get four months of Amazon Music for just $0.99.

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11 of 20 Sony Pictures

Get movies for less than $2

Prime Day also offers movie streaming deals. Amazon has a selection of new movies, like Proud Mary, which are available to rent for $1.99 through Prime Video. After renting, you have 30 days to start watching it, or 48 hours to finish watching it after you start.

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12 of 20 MichaelJayBerlin/Shutterstock

Get audiobooks for $10 off

In celebration of Prime Day, audiobook service Audible is selling discounted new memberships for $4.95 per month for three months. The regular price of the service is $14.95 a month.

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13 of 20 Northfoto/Shutterstock

Check other stores on Prime Day

Other retailers offer sales at the same time Amazon does. So be sure to compare prices before you put that item in your cart.

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14 of 20 Let Go Media/Shutterstock

Save at Whole Foods

Since Amazon bought popular grocery store Whole Foods, it's run several synergistic promotions. Prime members get discounts at the store and shopping at Whole Foods can earn you coupons to use on Amazon.

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15 of 20 Amazon

Subscribe and save

Tired of driving to the store to buy batteries and toilet paper? You can use Amazon to schedule deliveries of non-perishable items that you frequently purchase, saving you time and money.

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16 of 20 Amazon

Share your Prime membership

You can share your Prime membership with your family and close friends to save on redundant membership fees. Amazon has even made shopping for surprise gifts for those loved ones possible. It works like this...

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17 of 20 RJ Sangosti/Getty Images

Keep your gifts secret

When the holiday season rolls around, you can use Amazon to shop for gifts without spoiling the surprise. Use Amazon Household to hide your purchase history, recently searched items and recommendations from other people who use the same Amazon account.

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18 of 20 Apple via Amazon/Camelizer

Use a price-tracking browser extension

Chrome users can install browser extensions like Camelizer to track historical Amazon price data with just one click. This will help ensure that sale prices are actually lower than the typical retail price.

As you can see from the graph, this MacBook Air was over $100 cheaper in June of 2018 than in August.

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19 of 20 Suck UK via Amazon/iStock

There are also sites that will track prices

There are also websites you can use to track Amazon price data, if that's more your speed. So, before you buy that cat scratcher, make sure to check out the price history. You (and your cat) may be better suited to wait a few weeks for a fresh sale.

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20 of 20 Dmytro Vietrov/Shutterstock

Have a new baby? Amazon has a program for you

New parents can sign up for Amazon Mom and save up to 20 percent on diapers and other baby products.

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