You already love the one-stop convenience of shopping online at Amazon.com, but chances are you’re not getting everything you can out of this feature-packed shopping engine. Did you know Amazon can email you suggestions from Mom’s wish list two weeks before her birthday? Automatically ship you a new case of toilet paper every two months? Refund the difference on the price of an item you purchased that went on sale? Several advanced Amazon features and third party apps and add-ons can help you get the best deals and the stuff you want delivered to your door right on time. After the jump, add our favourite 10 Amazon power-shopper tools to your cart.
10. Never be empty-handed on special occasions again with the Amazon Gift Organizer
One of the key concepts of Getting Things Done is the idea of “ubiquitous capture”—putting thoughts and tasks into containers you know you’ll look at later. Amazon’s Gift Organizer does just that, regardless of where you found it or intend to buy it. Stumble across a box set your music-loving sis might dig? Hit “Add to Wish List,” choose her name, and you’re much less stressed when it’s one week before her birthday. When you add your loved ones’ names, birth dates, genders, and special occasions to the Gift Organizer, you’ll get email reminders a week ahead of gift-worthy occasions with spot-on purchase recommendations inside. (Original post)
9. Search Amazon via voice call with Jott
Sometimes purchase inspiration strikes when you’re out and about. If you’re hooked up with free voice-to-text service Jott, you can configure the service to email you items you’re interested in from Amazon. Call Jott, say you want to Jott “Amazon,” then say the item you’re looking into. You’ll get an email (on your phone, if that works) with the top five thumbnailed search results for your item. Here’s more on Jott’s Amazon integration.
8. Browse the deep discount bin at JungleCrazy
JungleCrazy shows only items at Amazon that are at least 70 percent discounted (from original retail price), making it a great place to browse (and search) if you just know you can get a certain item cheaper than you’re finding it. The site’s RSS feed dishes up the popular hits, so you can quickly scan to see if that 2 GB USB key drive can be had for a lot less. (Original post)
7. Buy from your phone with TextBuyIt
Amazon’s TextBuyIt program, unveiled earlier this month, makes it possible to buy from the online mega-store from your phone, no internet access required. Send an item name, UPC code or ISBN book number via text message to “AMAZON” (262966). You’ll get a reply with two top items, reply with “1” or “2,” and Amazon then calls you to confirm the purchase. The main drawback? “Amazon” ends up sitting atop your contact list, serving as extremely effective in-your-brain marketing. (Original post).
6. Find hidden discounts with DealLocker
If JungleCrazy shows you Amazon’s deep discount bin, DealLocker’s “Secret Amazon Discounts” re-arranges the whole store for you by discount amounts, rather than coupon/sale deals. Enter the amounts you’d like to see an item dropped from its original price, use keywords or categories, and you’re sent to an Amazon results page that can be further refined. Great for competitively-priced items like electronics and clothing. (Original post).
5. Snag items with free shipping
Shipping costs can often be the deal-breaker between buying something online or at a brick-and-mortar store. Find a deal with FreeShippingOn’s Amazon tab, however, and it’s just the money that matters. The site incidentally has coupons to get free shipping from other stores, giving you more options to find a hassle-free deal. (original post).
4. Get money back on price drops with RefundPlease
Amazon’s policy is to pay you if an item you buy drops in price within 30 days of purchase, but only if you’re eagle-eyed enough to catch it. RefundPlease has a simple form to enter an item number, purchase date, and your email into, and it notifies you if that item takes a dip within that month’s time. Easier money is hard to come by. (original post)
3. Get free shipping by padding with filler items
Need to stretch just a few dollars more to hit that magical free shipping point of $25? Try entering the difference at Amazon Filler Item Finder or browsing through Freebieville’s Amazon filler items. You might be surprised at the household needs you can fill for a buck or two, and you’ll possibly save more on the shipping costs than the item itself. (original post)
2. Get up-to-the-minute price and availability alerts
Hunting down a Wii or similarly never-in-stock item? Waiting for a certain goody to hit the right price before clicking order? The BuyLater Firefox extension checks every minute (seriously) to see if your item has gone in or out of stock or moved in price, then emails or Twitters you with the notice. It’s one of the best weapons you have in the hunt for hard-to-pin-down gear. (original post)
1. Cut down household shopping needs with Subscribe & Save
Grocery shopping is a unavoidable commitment of modern life, but Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program can shorten your list and lighten the load of your grocer
y bags. Get paper towels, dry food goods, baby needs, or a healthy selection of other items delivered on a recurring schedule, at a discount, with free shipping, and, most importantly, without having to worry or think about it. (Original post)
What other Amazon tools, secrets and bargain-getters are out there, and how do you use them? Let us know in the comments.