People use Amazon to help them find the best deals and save money. Not only can you comparison shop between sellers, but you can also join Amazon Subscribe and Save. This is a great option for budgeters looking to save money on items they buy regularly. In addition to reducing your monthly expenses, you also have the flexibility to opt-out at any time. However, there are always drawbacks to any savings program. While it may seem like a good budgeting tool, there is also an ugly side of Amazon Subscribe and Save.
What Is Amazon Subscribe and Save?
Amazon Subscribe and Save is a service that offers bigger discounts when you agree to automatic deliveries from the same seller on a routine basis. Thousands of items are eligible for this discount through their marketplace. You can view them in the Subscribe and Save Store.
There are no fees to join. So, you can browse through offers in a range of categories from groceries and household items to personal care products. If you find a good deal, simply choose which items you need, add them to your cart, select how often you need them delivered, and see how much you can save. Then, your items will automatically ship based on the schedule you set.
What Are the Benefits?
The program has several benefits for frequent online shoppers. Depending on the size of your shipment, the discount varies between 5% and 15%. If you are ordering most of your groceries and health supplies online, this can save you a ton of money each month.
The Amazon Subscribe and Save program also has flexible delivery options. You can customize your schedule from monthly deliveries to every six months. If you don’t need the items, you can also postpone, reschedule, or cancel deliveries before shipment.
And, they offer free shipping on all eligible items. This allows you to bypass one of the largest fees and objections to shopping online.
What Is the Ugly Side of Amazon Subscribe and Save?
But, as with all things in life, there are two sides to every story. For every benefit, there are also drawbacks to consider.
You can’t lock in prices.
Even though you may agree to the price at the time you join, there is no way to guarantee you will get the same rate in the future. Prices fluctuate, and they may change between your deliveries. When prices decline, this is to your benefit. However, when they increase, you will be paying more for the same products. If you don’t realize there has been a price increase, you could be paying more than you think.
Although Amazon sends a confirmation email before shipment, you may miss price changes if you don’t read them. Most people would prefer to buy the same product from another seller who has a better price. But your delivery is on an automated shipping schedule, so Amazon will only cancel or edit orders when you intervene.
It doesn’t guarantee the lowest price.
Even though it may have been the best price available when you made the initial purchase, that doesn’t guarantee the lowest price on future shipments. Prices constantly fluctuate and new sellers are always looking for new customers. When you stay with a single seller, you could miss out on other deals by comparison shopping. Your regular order may not be the best deal out there.
Changing your order can affect your discount.
Although you may have received the largest possible discount on previous orders, canceling or postponing items could affect your savings. In order to receive the full 15% discount, you must have at least five items in the shipment. If you reduce your shipper and have less than five things in your cart, you will get a smaller discount.
How to Make the Most of Amazon Subscribe and Save
While you can’t deny the ugly side of Amazon Subscribe and Save, the trick is learning how to maximize its benefits to your advantage.
1. Review your budget to see if the savings make sense.
If you want to find out if the program is worth the time and trouble, you need to evaluate your expenses. Once you know which items you order most frequently, how much you currently spend for them, and compare prices, then you can decide if it is worth the savings.
Although it may not be worth it for cheaper items, applying it to more expensive household and personal products could save you a significant amount of money. However, you don’t want to pay more or receive items you don’t need. Therefore, you should review and edit your list before each shipment. Compare current prices and remove any items you don’t need.
2. It’s better for items that can be stored long-term.
The truth is that you will probably receive products more frequently than needed. Although this isn’t a huge deal for most items, it can equate to a lot of wasted money if you are ordering fresh produce.
So, Amazon Subscribe and Save is probably best used for non-perishable items such as paper products, cleaning supplies, pet food, diapers, toiletries, health and beauty products, and other things that will eventually be used.
3. Make sure you always have at least five items.
Another way to ensure you get the most out of the program is to ensure you meet the minimum standards. You need to have at least five items delivered to receive a maximum discount of 15%. But, you don’t want to simply add items to reach the quota. If you aren’t using the products, then you are just throwing your money away.
4. Review your shipment details.
Next time you get a shipment notification, don’t delete the email without reading it. Make sure you look at the details and review the prices. This is the time to make changes and ensure there won’t be any surprises.
5. Look for digital coupons.
If you love clipping coupons, then there is more good news for you. There are tons of sites and forums that share virtual coupons. You can apply Amazon coupons to save even more when you check out.
Although Amazon Subscribe and Save can help your budget, you need to know how to navigate the fine print to maximize your savings.
- 10 Things You Shouldn’t Pay For
- Record Setting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
- 4 Qualities of a Good Online Store
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.