It’s a prime time for deals.
An estimated 75 million people will shop on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation, and online spending could top $3 billion, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Amazon is poised to take in a big chunk of their spend. Indeed, a survey from BlackFriday.com found that 32% of shoppers think Amazon will have the best deals on Monday, compared to 24% for Walmart and 15% for Target.
And there’s little doubt you’ll find a number of steals on the site come Cyber Monday. Amazon lists its deals here, and you can expect to save big on Amazon’s own products, such as the Echo Dot, which is selling for $19.99, among many other things.
But it’s important to remember — no matter what day you shop on Amazon — that you need to be a savvy consumer. Here are some mistakes that you may be making when you shop Amazon.
Mistake #1: You always opt for the “free” two-day shipping. Sometimes you need whatever it is you ordered in two days — but often you don’t. If you don’t, opt for the no-rush shipping. The reason: Amazon rewards Prime members with an order discount immediately or a promotional reward towards a future purchase when you do this (you can see the offer at checkout; rewards are automatically added to your Amazon account and automatically applied to qualifying orders). The downside is that your order may take six business days to get to you.
Mistake #2: You don’t time your purchase right. Amazon’s prices fluctuate so if you buy on a whim, you might be missing out on the best price. That’s why it’s always worth looking at a price-checking site like CamelCamelCamel.com, which will show you when prices for items tend to be lower and higher, says Courtney Jespersen, a shopping expert at NerdWallet.com — so you can time your purchase accordingly. On the site, you can look at “Top Price Drops,” and find what’s seen a big dip in price; electronics often appear on this page, some of which have price drops of 30% or more.
Don’t “need” the item you’re eyeing? Wait for the deal to come to you, by signing up for Amazon’s service that lets you watch certain deals, and, where you can get notified of its deals and other promotions, says shopping expert Trae Bodge.
Mistake #3: You’ve gotten overly seduced by Prime. Amazon Prime members — who, for $119 per year, get free two-day shipping on thousands of products, as well as other perks — spend nearly double ($1300 vs. $700) what other Amazon customers spend, according to data from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. One reason may be this: Once you’ve paid that membership fee, you may be committed to them and go there first — often without looking elsewhere. “There’s good reason to believe that people who aren’t Prime members are more likely to shop around and make purchases at Amazon only when it’s clearly the most convenient or cheapest option,” an analysis by Time shows. “They don’t automatically defer to making purchases at Amazon like Prime members appear to do.”
And CIRP data shows that Prime members shop on Amazon about 25 times per year, compared to 14 times for non-Prime members. “The difference in annual spending between Amazon Prime and other Amazon customers is driven by a number of transactions. Amazon Prime membership encourages much more frequent shopping, likely because the free shipping benefit knocks down a key barrier to buying online often and makes Amazon their first stop for online purchases,” the report revealed.
Mistake #4: You don’t comparison shop. Sure, Amazon has tons of great deals — Amazon, on average, offers prices that are 13% lower than other major online retailers, according to an analysis of 100,000 products across 16 retailers released this month by Profitero — but not on everything, as Profitero’s report reveals. And that’s why experts say it’s important to comparison shop. To make it easy, you can use a simple browser plugin like PriceBlink, which will show you if the item is priced differently at another retailer, and you can look at the item’s price history on CamelCamelCamel.com.