Friday, May 29, 2015

Saving Money With Amazon -- My Top 5 Finds

I'm obsessed with Amazon. One-click ordering, with two-day delivery, is oh so satisfying.

I've ordered a lot of really cool things from Amazon. Last November, I snagged a copy of the best Thanksgiving movie ever, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, for a paltry $4.63.

"Those aren't pillows!"$4.63 for this classic? Del Griffith would be proud.

In July 2014, I picked up a pre-assembled Zoeller sump pump for just under $400. It's a high-end model that a basement specialist assured me I couldn't find for less than $800. Uh, hello, did he not think I'd take that as a DIY challenge? And, yes, it's kept everything dry this spring.

The basement specialist wanted about $1,500 to install this setup in my basement. I picked this beauty up on Amazon for $400. It came with terrific instructions and a control module. It was fully assembled.

Make sure you download the Amazon app on your smartphone. A lot of retailers have price-matching policies. So, just by comparing in-store prices with Amazon, you can save some significant money. Case in point: I had to purchase name badge refills for a work event in March. Office Max had 100 badges for $99. Amazon had the same product for $50. I was able to price match Amazon and paid $100 for two 100-pack bundles. Keep in mind that to price match Amazon, most retailers will require the product be Prime eligible. 

Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Amazon finds.

5. Cheapo sunglasses: I've never been willing to part with $100 for a pair of sunglasses. I'm likely to lose them or scratch them. So, I'll usually head over to Walmart and plunk down $20 for a pair of budget shades. This summer, I started thinking $20 was a bit exorbitant. Amazon to the rescue. I now own three pair of shades. Total spent was around $20 for all three.

4.  G-Shock watch: I purchased my first Casio G-Shock from Kohls. I bought a low-end model and paid around $80 for it. That night, I noticed Amazon had the same watch for $40. My eyes were opened. I promptly returned it and bought a slightly nicer one for $60. The same watch retails at Kohls for $99. 

3. Cree flashlights: These little things are amazing. Cree refers to the type of bulb they use, not the actual brand. You can get them on Amazon for around $5 each. At retailers, they cost a lot more. I purchased the Hausbell brand lights. They're extremely small, but put out a lot of light. And, they only take one AA battery. I've bought four so far. I'll probably buy another half dozen in the next year or so.

2. Tempered glass screen shields: Here's another product that has a tremendous markup if you buy it retail. My parents purchased tempered glass screen shields from AT&T when they bought their phones. They paid about $80 per shield. I picked up two for a total of $20. The thing is, they're super easy to install. Just make sure the screen is clean. Then place it on like a sticker. They claim to offer some drop protection too. The tempered glass is supposed to break, saving the actual screen under it. Lastly, they're a vast improvement over the old plastic shields. These things feel like you're actually touching the phone screen. And, they're extremely clear. 

1. Video game downloads: This is one of the best deals I've ever come across on Amazon. I picked up the latest two installments of Assassin's Creed for Xbox One for $30. That's two full games for less than the cost of one new game. If I'd purchased physical copies in a store, that would have cost me about $90. 

I think these download cards were part of a previous Xbox One bundle that didn't sell as well as anticipated. I've yet to come across a similar deal. Though, I did pick up the recent Tomb Raider game for $20. This was a physical copy. Retail price at the time was around $40. Not as great of a deal, but still that's a good savings. Lastly, if you're an Xbox Gold subscriber, make sure you're buying the cards from Amazon. The retail price if you renew through Xbox is $60 for a year. You can get the cards for around $35.

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