What are some little-known perks to shopping at Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)? And why should shoppers care?
American consumers have plenty of reasons now to be cautious. Interest rates have risen sharply over the past couple of years, making some big-ticket purchases, like cars and homes, beyond the reach of many. Inflation has cooled a bit but remains near a 40-year high. Americans are carrying more debt than ever before, which makes saving a challenge. In addition, there are plenty of signs that the economy is slowing and may even fall into recession. If that were not enough, geopolitical concerns over the likes of Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan provide additional uncertainty.
So it is no surprise that many consumers are tightening their belts, even with the holiday shopping season approaching. Some turn to using coupons or shift to shopping at discount stores. Others eliminate spending on anything but the bare essentials. However, there are ways that shoppers can get more out of their shopping trips. Many retailers offer perks that shoppers may not know about or may not have taken advantage of. One of those retailers is Amazon.
Amazon is a true e-commerce colossus. It changed the retail landscape after it was founded in 1994, and dominates in several e-commerce categories. Benefits such as Amazon’s Prime Day sales events and its Prime membership program are well known and help make it one of the U.S. companies with the best reputations. Everyone knows Prime offers free shipping and access to video streaming and other media, but those are hardly its only features.
These are some little-known perks of shopping at Amazon.
1. No-Rush Delivery
Prime members are entitled to free two-day guaranteed delivery (or even same-day in some cases). However, members who select the free no-rush shipping option at checkout receive a discount that is applied to that order or a reward that can be used for a future purchase. No-rush items arrive within six business days. But don’t forget those rewards; they do expire after a time.
2. Prime Try Before You Buy
With this program, Prime members can select up to six items of popular brand clothing, shoes, jewelry or other accessories to have shipped to them. This includes items for children and babies. Members then have seven days to try on the merchandise and and determine what to keep. Return of unwanted items via several shipping options is free.
3. Prime RX Savings
Prime members can search, compare and save on prescription medications. Those prescriptions filled from the Amazon Pharmacy come via free two-day shipping. However, members can also present their digital Rx Savings card at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, including at Costco, CVS, Kroger and Walgreens. This program may be worth considering for those with high co-pays, medications not covered by insurance or no insurance coverage.
4. Subscribe & Save
Shoppers do not need to be a Prime member to take advantage of this benefit. Subscribers to this service arrange regular free deliveries of goods selected from hundreds of thousands of products. Deliveries can easily be skipped if need be, and individual subscriptions can be adjusted or canceled at any time. Plus, when receiving auto-delivery of five more products to one address, shoppers save up to 15%.
5. Lightning Deals
Amazon’s Lightning Deals are items that are discounted but available only in certain quantities and for a short time. This promotion also is not exclusive to Prime members, but Prime members do benefit from a 30-minute head start on most Lightning Deals. These deals can be found throughout Amazon, or check out Amazon’s Lightning Deals page to see what is available right now.
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