Smart Shopping for Amazon Prime Early Access Day
It’s hard to believe that at one time Amazon was just an online book seller. Now, the Internet shopping behemoth has become a go-to resource for many consumers looking for products beyond their geographical retail options. Amazon’s recent announcement of Prime Early Access Sale, spanning 48-hours between October 11th and 12th, is hoping to capitalize on consumers looking for a jumpstart to their holiday shopping. Here are a few tips to make smart purchasing decisions during the Early Access period:
With a plethora of purchase options on Amazon, it’s best to channel those metaphorical flea market vibes – aka comparison shop. High-priced, name brand items aren’t always the most attractive option, even though they may have a top ranking upon an initial search. Featured items are for the most part just ads, so taking the time to sort searches by price point, review rating, and relevance gives you options for finding the best fit.
In fact, delving a little deeper into the reviews section can often unearth some real useful feedback to inform your purchasing decision. These could include photos and follow up reviews that span a longer period of time. The depth of reviews that Amazon garners (due in part to its ubiquitous-ness), in and of itself is a great shopping resource not generally found elsewhere. Just be wary of reviews that seem like duplicates. The number of reviews an item has doesn’t necessarily equate to quality.
Set a Budget Before You Begin
Creating a budget for yourself before you begin shopping will help you make smarter decisions and help you structure those searches. Often times the dreaded buyer’s remorse stems from purchasing decisions that were made in haste and by surpassing a mental spending threshold. Creating a spending boundary for yourself will help you feel more empowered in the purchasing process.
In this same vein, we suggest drafting a list of items you are considering purchasing. While many “special offer” deals may seem appealing in their limited availability, a list will keep you focused on the items that you really want. Just because an item is touted as having a limited price point, that doesn’t mean it’s the best purchase for you.
Purchase from Amazon or Brands Directly
While there are a plethora of third-party sellers on Amazon, Amazon keeps a more watchful eye on its own inventory. Items are more likely to arrive as advertised and returns are pretty straightforward. When you’re looking at a particular listing, make sure it says “ships from” or “sold by Amazon” either under the red price number or beneath the “Add to Cart” button. You can also filter by seller and choose “Amazon.com.”
Don’t Overextend Your Spending
While the Prime Early Access Sale is limited in time frame, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just over a month away. No deal is worth over-extending your bank account or incurring months of credit card interest fees. Other major retailers are also likely to offer discounts as we head into the holiday season. As appealing as an offer may sound, more opportunities for deals are always around the corner. You want to make sure you are making a purchase that you can afford and won’t leave you with financial consequences.
Consider shopping with Amazon Smile. Once activated, 5% of eligible items purchased go towards your favorite charity. Before you begin shopping, make sure you are navigating through the smile.amazon.com URL instead of Amazon.com. You can still use your regular Amazon account on the Smile account. Your shopping cart, Wish List, registries, etc. are all the same. And you can choose from over 1 million eligible registered 501c (3) nonprofits. As of 2022, charities worldwide have received $403 million dollars from the program.
The Amazon Early Access Sale can offer an early-fall opportunity for discounted items you may have been already considering, or the option to start planning for holiday gifts before the crush of post-Thanksgiving shopping. Either way, having a plan in place is guaranteed to help you make smart financial decisions and not overspend. So, before you open your Amazon app or browser this week, consider skimming a few web sites for more information. There are a number of major outlets that publish their top picks in categories like electronics, beauty, health, home, and entertainment. Use this as a starting point. Spend a little time browsing what is out there, before putting these tips to work.