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Personal Tips from a 22 Year Old College Student

Today’s topic : useful tips & websites for discount online shopping.

Many people shop online since it’s a great way to be frugal. Well did you know that there are websites and services out there who go out of their ways to help you be even more frugal?


Amazon Prime

It’s an upgrade to your Amazon account that gives you free 2-day shipping on pretty much everything that Amazon sells*, with no minimum purchase required. If you buy something from Amazon for $6, it will be shipped to you with 2-day shipping, for free. It also gives you the option to pay $3.99 for overnight shipping – meaning that if you place your order before ~3pm, you can get it the next day (except for weekends). At $80/year, you would have to do a LOT of shopping on Amazon to make it worth your while. However, there are ways to have an Amazon Prime account for less than $80/year.

* Prime only applies to things sold by Amazon – ie, you cannot use the Marketplace and select other sellers to be eligible for the 2-day, free shipping. Unless you’re buying an item “used”, Amazon usually has a better price than any of the other vendors, anyway.

The are 3 ways that I know of to get Prime for free/cheap:

1) Are you a student with a .edu email address accessible to you? If so, you’re in luck. You get a year free through Amazon Student by giving them your email address and telling them your major. You can add this to your regular Amazon account with whatever email address you have already been using.

2) Are you a parent or childcare-giver? If so, then you can qualify for Amazon Mom (it’s for Dads, too). This will get you 3 free month of Amazon Prime and if you spend $25 a month afterwards, you get another free month of Prime.

3) Finally, if you are neither a student nor a parent, then you can split the cost of a membership with  others. Find some friends who use Amazon, get together and pay for one Prime membership. As far as I know, Amazon allows you to have up to 5 users per Prime membership – meaning, 1 person ponies up the $80, and 4 other people all pay them equal amounts so that everyone pays something like $16 for a year of Prime.


Besides Amazon Prime, here are a handful of websites out there dedicated to aggregating deals:

Lighting Drops – Lightnight Drops tracks daily price drops of several products on Amazon to help you make informed buying decisions when shopping online. You can search for items either by description or product ASIN and view their historical pricing. Data can also be sorted and displayed by category and time frame. – This one is kind of different. Each day there is a new deal on a random product – from a screaming stuffed monkey to a digital camera. It’s rather spontaneousness but the prices offers are usually cheaper than any other place. They change products everyday at 10PM pacific time. Take a look at this list of their previous deals.

Slick Deals – Slickdeals is a free, user-driven deal sharing site with a mission to provide consumers an avenue to collaborate and share information in order to make the best shopping decisions. Slickdeals achieves this by providing its users a forum for communication and various shopping tools.

Groupon – Groupon offers coupons that are sometimes mind boggling. I’ve personally purchased 2 free months of rock climbing with all the gear and 2 free lessons for $45. Here is an example of how they work, they offer a coupon for $40(originally $200) and then they need at least 100 people to buy it so people get the coupon. Otherwise, nobody gets a coupon if they don’t reach the quota. Groupon usually has a lot of spa/massage packages so definitely a plus if you’re into that stuff.

Gold Star – Gold Star helps people get out more to live entertainment, like theater, comedy, sports, music, performing arts and even things like wine tastings, sushi making classes and rodeos by offering people low prices for these events.

Deals Plus – Deals Plus is an online community of bargain hunters, tracking down the top deals and coupons and sharing them with each other online.


Written by lordsinsurancelog

December 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Discounts, Opinions