Amazon Black Friday Secrets From The Wall Street Journal, CNET, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, LifeHacker, Yahoo, Business.com, Costco, Clark.com & More… Even Amazon

How To Save Money On The Best Amazon Black Friday Deals – Secrets From The Wall Street Journal, CNET, Consumer Reports, Forbes,
Christian Science Monitor, LifeHacker, Yahoo, Business, Costco, Clark & More… Even Amazon

First Things First – The Three Initial Considerations When Purchasing An Item From Amazon:

  1. Do I Really Need This Item? There are many questions you can ask yourself before you buy, but none is more important than ‘Do I Really Need This Item?’
  2. With Quality, You Only Pay Once A handy mantra to chant, just before you hit the ‘buy now’ button is to repeat this three-times – With Quality, You Only Pay Once.
  3. Buy Now (The Costco Technique): My wife and I were shopping at Costco, saw a cat tree. We debated then said, “Let’s do eyeball measurements, then come back if it fits in the living room.” Armed with the key data of chin high, middle-of-the-chest to fingertips we determined the cat tree would work. We went back two days later to Costco to buy it… They were all sold out. Moral of the story. If you see an Amazon deal, add it to your cart now. You can always remove it, but can’t always add it.

Does Amazon Price Match Guarantee? Amazon states, “Amazon.com consistently works toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry. Amazon.com doesn’t offer price matching.” It is good to know this, as it tells you that you are going to have work a little harder to get your best price.


How To Use Amazon Tools To Shop Amazon

Consumer Reports has an article entitled How To Shop The Sale, they state, “Amazon runs several types of promotions for their sales, and the complexity of the sales can sometimes make shopping a trying exercise.

For example, Amazon Lightning Deals are promotions on specific items. They usually last only for a certain amount of time—sometimes just a few minutes—or until the item sells out. And new ones can pop up as frequently as every 5 minutes.

Amazon’s Prime Day Spotlight Deals typically have the most inventory, so you have a better chance of getting the product you want.

It’s usually a bit easier to take advantage of the Gold Box Deals of the Day, which last 24 hours before being replaced by new ones. However, they can also sell out, so it’s always best to act quickly on those deals.

Here are a few things you can do to help improve your chances of scoring a good Amazon Prime deal:

  • Download Amazon’s app onto your smartphone. It lets you get “sneak peek” advance notice of deals and sign up for alerts. The app will also let you see many Lightning Deals before they’re posted. You can use the app to create a “Watch a Deal” list, so you can add deals you’re interested in and get notifications when they’re about to go live.
  • Click the “Join Waitlist” button for Lightning Deal items that are sold out before you get a chance to buy them. Items are deleted from a person’s shopping cart after 15 minutes if they haven’t completed the purchase, and you’ll get an alert if you’re next in line.
  • Use the free Amazon Assistant plug-in, which is available for the most common browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Edge, and Safari. It can help you compare products and prices while searching and shopping online or get notifications when deals go live. It also provides Amazon shortcuts right in your browser. (Keep in mind that Amazon Assistant allows the company to do some tracking of your browsing behavior, as described in the plug-in’s privacy policy.)

Amazon Buying Tips

Amazon Buying Tip: Amazon reviews are very handy. You are probably well-versed in how to interpret customer’s comments. I generally look for at least 80% of the reviews with 4* and 5* reviews. Also, search for comments and questions for products issues that may be specific to your needs. This can include: do the shoes run wide, are the sweatshirts waterproof, is the blouse suitable for someone with long arms, do you need a dedicated AC outlet, is it easy to assemble, etc.?

Amazon Buying Tip: Not very many people leave reviews. I have seen Amazon discussion boards ranging from one customer in a thousand leaves an Amazon review to as much as 3% leave an Amazon review. I like to see at least 50 reviews, but I have bought items with fewer reviews. You also need to be aware of fake reviews. This article by CNET discusses what to look for in Amazon reviews.

Amazon Buying Tip: If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can Sign Up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial. “While you won’t be charged for your free trial, you will be automatically upgraded to a paid membership plan at the end of the trial period. For help turning off your Amazon Prime membership renewal, go to End Your Amazon Prime Membership.”

Amazon Buying TipOnce you have selected your item to purchase, check the next model up, last year’s model or Amazon’s suggestions to make sure you are buying the Amazon item that best meets your needs. 

Amazon Buying Tip: Just because an Amazon Lightning Deal, it doesn’t mean it is the best deal. I was going to buy a smart plug discounted from $25 to $18, yet when I did my research on the reviews and ease of set up, I ended up buying a non-discounted smart plug for $20.

Amazon Buying TipIf you see an Amazon deal, but it is sold out, add yourself to the waitlist. I have done this several times and been successful.

Amazon Buying Tip: Typically you only have minutes to hours to ‘claim (and pay for) your deal.’ What I do is go to my Google calendar and set a reminder for the 3-5 minutes before I have to buy or let it go from my cart.

How Dynamic Pricing Can Make You Pay More, Or Less, At Amazon and Elsewhere

The Wall Street Journal Tip: Why Websites Show You A Different Price Than Other Buyers: WSJ.com has an article entitled, Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users’ Information They cite the following: “Example 1: It was the same Swingline stapler, on the same Staples.com website. But for Kim Wamble, the price was $15.79, while the price on Trude Frizzell’s screen, just a few miles away, was $14.29. A key difference: where Staples seemed to think they were located.

A Wall Street Journal investigation found that the Staples Inc. website displays different prices to people after estimating their locations. More than that, Staples appeared to consider the person’s distance from a rival brick-and-mortar store, either OfficeMax Inc. or Office Depot Inc. ODP 9.53% If rival stores were within 20 miles or so, Staples.com usually showed a discounted price.” 

Amazon And Dynamic Pricing Example: I recently was buying a pair of flip-flops (I live in Hawaii) and was ready to purchase for $55. The next day I returned to Amazon, the same link for the product now showed me $47… plus a coupon. More on how to test this, and possibly beat Amazon’s dynamic pricing, below.

The Christian Science Monitor’s article How retailers use ‘dynamic pricing’ to get you to pay more states, “Some retailers will charge mobile customers less than desktop browsers, and still others target Mac users with higher prices, as the high price of Apple products means that on average, Mac users tend to have higher incomes.”

While shopping online is easy and fun, the shopping algorithms online retailers use can actually get you to pay more. Whether you know it or not, your favorite sites are probably using pricing algorithms that change the cost of an item based on things like your browser history and your location. This is called dynamic pricing, and it’s pretty much a given in today’s online marketplace. Basically, it means that retailers can charge you more for an item than they’re charging someone else, based on where you are, what you’ve been looking at online, and even what kind of device you’re using to shop.

A Dynamic Pricing IllustrationFor example, let’s say you’re interested in buying Beyonce tickets. You head over to Ticketmaster, check out the price, and decide to think about it for a few minutes. But when you come back to make the purchase, the cost has gone up! Why? Because that website has been tracking your browsing history, and it knows that this is isn’t your first time looking at those tickets. You clearly wanted them enough to come back for them, so chances are you’ll be willing to pay a bit more to secure your spot at the concert.

Forbes states that many websites are using Dynamic Pricing. Forbes states, “Differential or dynamic pricing should be considered within the organization’s marketing strategy any time there is a difference in demand that can be measured and attributed, whether by time or by person and segment,” says Stephen Walls, senior lecturer at the The University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

Business.com summarizes Dynamic Pricing as follows: “Simply put, dynamic pricing is a strategy in which product prices continuously adjust, sometimes in a matter of minutes, in response to real-time supply and demand. For example, Amazon, the global e-commerce giant, is one of the largest retailers to have adopted dynamic pricing and updates prices every 10 minutes.”

How To Beat Dynamic Pricing

How Do You Prevent (Minimize or Beat) Dynamic Pricing? Here is the best workaround. Do your Amazon research, place what you want into your shopping cart. Then, as proposed by Clark.com, is to shop Amazon using an incognito method.

An Easy Way To Shop Incognito – Use DuckDuckGo: The DuckDuckGo search engine never stores any information on you as you search. Before you start this alternative, already have your purchase in your Amazon shopping cart.

LifeHacker suggests changing your IP address: Lifehacker states, “Change Your IP Address (or Enter in Different Zip Codes)  Retailers can tell where you are through two distinct methods: you tell them where you are (with a zip code) or they get it from your IP address. If you live in zip code that typically has a higher income level, try entering in a nearby zip code where you know the income level is lower.

LifeHacker also suggests using a VPN: As for your IP address, you can obscure that by setting up either a proxy server or VPN. Changing your IP address doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with a better deal, but you’ll at least know if the sites you frequent are changing the price on you.”

What To Do After You Add Your Product To Your Shopping Cart, But Before You Check Out

The CNBC Tip: CNBC suggests a review of your Amazon purchase after you have added your Black Friday purchase to your Amazon cart, and checked the reviews, then go back to the specifications page of your product. For example, if you are buying a TV, how many HDMI ports does it have, what is the screen resolution, will the TV fit on your wall or TV stand, is there a better price on last years model?

Shop Around: Go to your favorite retailers (ebay.com, Target.com, Walmart.com etc) and compare prices – you might be surprised.

Can You Make Your Purchase Via An Affiliate Program?

Can I Join The Amazon Affiliate Program And Buy Via My Own Link? In a word, “No.”

 

The Wall Street Journal – How To Get A Piece Of The Action Using Affiliate Plans: The WSJ suggests that for your non-Amazon purchases you can use a website that gives you a ‘commission’ on products you buy for yourself. Simply go to eBates.com and sign up. Ebates works with thousands of retailers to provide cash-back offers and coupons. From the eBates site, shoppers click through to a retailer to make a purchase. Retailers pay commissions to list on the site, and eBates gives a percentage back to you, usually between 1% and 10% of the purchase price.

Alrighty, now go to the Amazon Lightning Deals and Gold Box Deals of the Day.