3 Amazon traps that I have stopped being a victim of

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I spend less money and profit more from changes in my buying habits.

Key points

  • Amazon is one of my favorite sites, but it can easily lead to overspending.
  • Through trial and error, I have learned what it takes to avoid wasting money.

When I found out the cost of Amazon Prime was going to go up, I thought about canceling my membership for about four seconds. Then I realized that there was simply no way I was going to give up my Prime membership because I rely heavily on Amazon to function as a human being.

As a busy working mom who has little time or patience to shop in person, I turn to Amazon every time I need a gift for a kid’s birthday party, spare socks for my kids (for some reason, those are practically disposable at my home), school supplies, etc.

At the same time, though, I’ve been known to rack up a pretty big credit card bill in my day at Amazon. And as a budget-conscious consumer, that’s not a good thing. Fortunately, I’ve learned how to avoid falling into the trap of overspending on Amazon—that is, by avoiding these common pitfalls.

1. Get automatic deliveries of items I don’t need

Amazon Subscribe & Save is great because it allows you to set up recurring deliveries for items you use regularly. These days, I get a monthly shipment of coffee pods, snacks, household products, and body wash, so I don’t have to worry about running out or running out.

But there are certain items I’ve set up for autoship that I don’t necessarily need all the time. So now, I make it a point to review my Subscribe & Save items before they are processed for release. That way, if there’s an item I don’t need right away, I don’t have to pay for it upfront and store it at home for no reason.

2. Assuming that Amazon has the best price

Amazon often has the best prices, but that’s not a given. I used to assume that the deal I was getting on Amazon was the best or good enough. But over the holidays, I noticed several instances where Amazon definitely not we have the best price on clothes and toys. And while I’m not a fan of shopping, I’ve started taking the time to compare prices before making purchases on Amazon.

Okay, I’m not doing this for an $8 item. But if I’m spending $50 on a birthday gift for someone, I might do a quick search to see if Target or Walmart have the item for less.

3. Get sucked into sales

Amazon often runs promotions that can lead to impulse spending. So what I’ve done is institute the 24-hour rule.

If I’m tempted by an Amazon sale and the item in question is an impulse buy, I force myself to wait a full day before completing the purchase. If, at that point, I feel like it’s still worth the money (and the item is still for sale), I move on. Waiting often prevents me from clicking the “buy now” button and getting another charge on my credit card.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’d be lost without Amazon. But that does not mean that you are a fan of spending money unnecessarily while using the site. Avoiding these pitfalls has helped me avoid overdoing it at a time when everything has become so expensive. and while I am paying more for my Prime membership these days, I can justify it because of the convenience and gas savings it allows.

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