Big Savings at Amazon When Using Subscribe and Save
Lately, we’ve been buying more and more of our household supplies from Amazon rather than Drugstore.com. Even as early as college, Drugstore.com was my go-to store, because I could save big at Drugstore.com using five easy shopping tips. That’s all been changing as Amazon offers more diverse items, lower prices and more importantly, subscribe and save.
Introduction to Amazon Subscribe and Save
Even though Amazon subscribe and save has been around for a while now, a lot of people are still not familiar with it. The basic premise is that shoppers tend to buy the same household goods on a regular basis whenever they run low on supplies. For example, you may buy a 12-pack of toilet paper every month or the same Colgate brand toothpaste every two weeks. Companies, such as Amazon, realize this and want you to keep buying from them instead of buying from them today but from Drugstore.com next month, because of a sale. Think how profitable it would be for Amazon if you committed to buying the same toilet paper from them every month from now until the day you stop needing toilet paper AKA never. They wouldn’t have to waste ad money to get your business or offer sale prices to prevent you from jumping ship.
That’s where subscribe and save comes into play, and Amazon markets this feature as a convenience for its customers. By automatically billing and shipping you the same household supplies you need every so often (at a time interval set by you), you’ll no longer have to worry about running low on something or adding it to the shopping list. On top of that, Amazon will give you a discount when you buy items through subscribe and save. Of course, Amazon also benefits as mentioned earlier so win-win for everyone.
Maximizing Amazon Subscribe and Save
As savvy consumers, however, we’re not content with ordering the same items from the same store every so often. We might buy Downy today, because it’s the best value at the moment, but we will happily change to Snuggle next time we buy fabric softener if Snuggle is on sale. Of course, we’ll also buy it from the store that’s offering the lowest price. When we do buy from Amazon, however, we still want to take advantage of the subscribe and save discount. As a result, here are some tips for maximizing savings when using Amazon’s subscribe and save feature.
Tip #1: You can cancel subscribe and save at any time
As soon as your item ships, you can cancel your subscription. That way, you’ll have realized your subscribe and save discount without committing to buying more of this product from Amazon in the future.
Tip #2: Subscribe to at least five subscribe and save items to get 15% off all the items
Amazon gives you a 5% discount on all subscribe and save items but if you subscribe to five or more items, you’ll receive a 15% discount instead. For most of us, it’s probably not hard to think of five household items we need to buy on a regular basis. If you don’t have five items that you need to buy, however, see tip 3.
Tip #3: Subscribe to extremely cheap filler items to get to five subscribe and save items.
Let’s say you have four subscribe and save items, but you can’t think of a fifth item you need. You should not just leave your subscribe and save order at four items and receive a 5% discount. Instead, you should go add an extremely cheap filler item to meet the five item minimum for a 15% discount.
This $1.20 Kraft barbecue sauce is a perfect example of a filler item. If your four items order is $40 and you receive a 5% discount, your final price will be $38. If you add this barbecue sauce, however, your five items order is now $41.20, but you will receive a 15% discount. Therefore, your final price is just $35.02. By adding more items, you are actually saving more money. Simply Google, “Amazon subscribe and save fillers,” to find a list of good filler items since it changes all the time. Finally, please donate your filler items if you don’t plan on using them rather than just throwing then away.
Tip #4: Change the shipping date of your subscribe and save items to get your supplies quicker
When you purchase subscribe and save items, Amazon will pick an “optimal” delivery date. What’s optimal according to Amazon, however, may not be optimal for you if you want the items quicker. Therefore, once you’ve placed the subscribe and save order, simply look under “your monthly delivery day,” and change the delivery date to a day that’s more convenient for you as long as it’s at least seven business days away. In the example below, Amazon has already picked the fastest delivery date for me but if they didn’t, I can change it easily.
Tip #5: Stock up on discounted Amazon gift cards ahead of time
When Amex Sync had a Best Buy deal, we loaded up on Amazon gift cards essentially getting a 10% discount. When the Amex Sync Best Buy deal came back, we bought more Amazon gift cards at a 10% discount. When the recent Amex Sync Amazon deal emerged, we bought 10 $75 Amazon Electronic Gift Cards at a 33.3% discount! Opportunities to buy Amazon gift cards at a good discount come around once in a while so take advantage of those moments. You don’t even need to worry about having multiple gift cards lying around, because you can instantly load the gift card to your Amazon.com account, and the credit will sit in your account ready to be deducted for any purchases.
The Main Point
By using all five tips with subscribe and save, we’ve found that Amazon is consistently beating Drugstore.com in terms of overall price and value. That’s even after factoring in the use of cash back portals, such as Mr. Rebates, ShopDiscover, and Top Cash Back, which tend to give a high cash back rate when shopping at Drugstore.com but zilch when shopping at Amazon.
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