In 1995, a gentlemen by the name of Jeff Bezos launched a company out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington and in less than five years completely changed the way we viewed shopping. The company history is quite impressive, but it’s becoming more and more common to stay home and shop from the convenience of your apartment or house and know whether you’re a Mom, Student or Standard Customer you know you can get free two-day shipping on anything you buy. Not to mention that Amazon is able to leverage their incredible vendor relationships to save you up to 90% off what you pay in the store. The sheer number of brands, categories and products is overwhelming at times, because it’s literally the world’s largest department store. Today’s post will go over some of the tricks and techniques I use to leverage Amazon to help you look smart, eat smart and especially spend smart.
Aside from the more than 253 million products that Amazon offers, the best way they can help you save time and money is with Amazon Prime. If you are already a Prime member, you know what I’m talking about (maybe you want to gift a subscription to a friend?), but if you’ve been on the fence, or simply don’t know about the program, here’s some of the benefits you’ll receive:
Amazon even has special Prime subscriptions for Mom’s (includes diaper, baby & child care discounts) and Student’s (includes a free six-month trial and a 50% membership discount with a .edu email address required to verify). The benefits are pretty staggering when you look at all the benefits you receive for the cost associated with your membership. You, quite literally, have a library subscription, movie subscription, music subscription, photo storage subscription, TV subscription and access to free two-day shipping all with your Amazon Prime membership. The membership costs only $99/year, you can cancel at anytime and includes a 30-day free trial which you can cancel at anytime (student’s receive a six-month free trial and membership costs only $49/year). It’ s hard to estimate exactly how much savings you would experience from an Amazon Prime membership, because it is correlated to how much shopping you do on Amazon and how many of the benefits you utilize, but it’s very easy to see how the membership can easily pay for itself and a great way to spend smart.
I tend to dress reality conservatively and utilize my accessories to add flare or pop to my outfits. One of my favorite accessories to help tie my style together are watches. While I have a wishlist of items that I hope of purchase in the future to look smart all of the watches I have today are extremely functional and adaptable no matter what I’m wearing. It’s very rare that I use another source for watches aside from Amazon. In fact, all of my watches, including the extra bands and case that I use to hold them, were all purchased from Amazon.
My collection includes:
|Rudiger Leipzig Watch||Stuhrling Stainless Steel Watch||Timex Weekender||Kenneth Cole Chronograph Watch|
I use Amazon almost exclusively to help fuel my watch passion. Their large variety of brands and over 150,000+ unique items makes them a great resource to help you look smart. Not to mention the fact that Amazon quite frequently offers 10-70% discounts off the list price which will help you spend smart while growing your style.
Amazon’s Exchange and Return Policy
Amazon Prime and the variety of products available make them a great shopping resource. However, one of the other lesser known features that I leverage is Amazon’s great return policy which allows you to return virtually anything sold or fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery. That means with your Amazon Prime membership you get free shipping and return shipping which makes them one of the best companies to shop and try new ways to look smart and eat smart all while being a savvy spend smart shopper!
I recently talked about my love for the cell phone company Republic Wireless. When I switched carriers I ended up buying a new phone and then searching for cases to protect my investment. In stead of fighting traffic, spending the time and resources to travel to the store and be limited to whatever inventory was at the electronics store, I decided to leverage Amazon to help me determine which cell phone case I would choose. I was able to, in a matter of 10 minutes, select six (6) different brands and products, with free shipping thanks to Amazon Prime, and received my order two days later. I was able to pick exactly the product I wanted (I’m personally partial to the OtterBox brand) and return the other items for free.
How Can You Save Time & Money
Ultimately, you can leverage Amazon Prime and the Exchange and Return Policy to save both time and money. Often times it’s perceived to be cheaper simply to run out the the store instead of ordering online because of the shipping costs. However, if you’re a volume shopper, and leverage the other benefits, including to return or exchange items you don’t like, the $99 (or $49 for students) per year fee is negligible. The cost for fuel along with the wear and tear on your car can really add up if you’re not able to do all your shopping in one day or during your normal drive home. Not to mention the time involved simply to drive to the store, locate the item(s) and then checkout. You’re talking about a 30 minute or more savings of time simply by ordering online instead of going into the store.
Now I do realize that many people need to physically see, smell, taste or touch the product before they buy it. Depending on the product, I feel exactly the same way. However, that’s where I’m able to use the great return and exchange policy from Amazon, even if you don’t have a Prime account, which gives me the confidence I’m going to get exactly what I want and not cost me anything. The only cost you’re incurring is the time it takes you to search for your products in relation to the cost and time it takes you to find it in the store. Those reasons are why I believe Amazon is one of the best resources to help you look smart, eat smart and spend smart while helping you save time and save money.
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