Any of you who have shop on Amazon, probably know that they sell, food, toiletries and household items. In fact, these are the same items you would find at Target or Walmart. It can be difficult then to determine who has the best deal! When trying to figure out how to get the most for your money, there is more to consider than just the price. You should look at sales tax, shipping, travel costs and even personal time.
The first thing that I consider is sales tax. Sales tax is not charged on Amazon (in most areas), so that can be a way you can save on your purchase. For instance, if you see Horizon Milk for $1 each at Target (assume no coupon available), but $1.05 each on Amazon, you may think Target is less expensive. Is it? Considering that my sales tax is 8.5%, that means I would pay $1.09 at Target, but only $1.05 at Amazon. In this case, Amazon is less expensive.
Another great way that I find I save through Amazon is using the Subscribe & Save and Amazon Prime features. When you select to purchase something through Subscribe & Save, it means that you agree to have product shipments in select intervals (1, 2 or even 6 months). When you use this feature, you get another 5% knocked off of the price. Not only that – you will get your order shipped for free. The beauty of Subscribe & Save is that you can cancel the service before they send it out to you again – so you don’t end up paying a price that you don’t want to. Don’t worry – you will get an email reminding you before the order ships!
What is great about Amazon Prime is that you can get your orders always shipped for free. You do pay an annual fee, but if you shop on-line frequently, you can save even more than the cost of the service – which puts you ahead in the end. Don’t forget to sign up for your favorite store loyalty programs too as they sometimes offer free shipping to members – which again — means more savings for you!!!
I also always look at the cost for me to pick up my item As mentioned above, you can get free shipping if you use Subscribe & Save, but you can also get any order shipped for free when you have an Amazon Student or Amazon Mom Account. These two accounts get you a free trial membership to Amazon Prime, where any order will ship for free, regardless of size. Remember that free shipping means that do you not only get it delivered to you on your front step, it also means that you didn’t have to get into your car, and expel fuel to go and make your purchase. Again – more saving in fuel costs!
Always comparison shop. When you find a hot deal on Amazon or another site, compare that to your local store’s price. Make sure to add in sales tax and shipping costs to ensure you really are getting the best deal. Remember that the lower price may not be the best option when you have to add in shipping costs.
Another thing I always keep in mind is my personal time. I have to remember that for me to get into the car, drive the store, make my purchase and drive home not only costs my gasoline and wear and tear on my vehicle, it also costs me time. In most instances, I can make my on-line purchase in a matter of minutes, where as a “short trip” to the store usually takes more than 30 minutes of my time. Time that I would much rather spend with my family than standing in the checkout line at my local store.
So, make sure that you do the math and compare your on-line prices with your actual prices. You just might be surprised to learn that you really CAN save more by purchasing on-line.