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Happy Thursday! Welcome to a new series of articles intended to help you budget and save money. While most will be about food and cooking, I know from personal experience that making a budget work means figuring out how to save in every area, so we’ll take adventures into other territories, too. Today is one of those adventures: I’m going to talk about Amazon Warehouse Deals, which can be a great way to save money without much work!
What are Amazon Warehouse Deals?
You probably know that Amazon offers pretty generous returns. So what happens to all that stuff once it gets back to the Amazon warehouse? Well, in many cases, it ends up on Amazon Warehouse Deals! (At least they gave it an obvious name, right?)
In some cases, the boxes have been opened; items might be repackaged, or they may be in the original box with a few scuffs. If the item itself has any damage or marks, it will be noted. In most cases, the items are in like new condition.
What’s about shipping and returns?
Believe it or not, the items are eligible for Prime shipping. (If you don’t already have Prime, you can grab a 30-day free trial here; just put a calendar reminder to re-evaluate and cancel if you decide to do so. I set mine for 3 days before memberships are set to renew, to allow myself a buffer.) And the returns are the same as Amazon’s regular return policies. So basically… it’s just like shopping regular Amazon.[thrive_optin color=”blue” text=”Sign up for my newsletter!” optin=”26″ size=”small” layout=”horizontal”]
What should I look for?
Anything and everything! In this example, I searched for a programmable thermostat. When you are on an Amazon item page, look for the wording “x used & new from $x.xx” and click on it. On a desktop, this is on the right under the buttons to add the item to your cart or to a wishlist. On mobile, it’s above the item description, questions, and reviews, but below the item photos and color/size/type selection menus.
Now you’ll see a list of available sellers. There are a few cues that let you skim quickly: First, look for the Amazon Warehouse Deals logo. You can also keep your eyes open for the Prime logo. There’s also the “Fulfilled By Amazon” box. All of these can help you sift out other sellers quickly. If you’re mobile, it looks a little different but you can still look for the Prime and Amazon Warehouse Deals logos. Note that other sellers use Amazon fulfillment and Prime shipping, so the 100% sure way is to find that Warehouse Deals logo.
Once you’ve spotted them, you can see the condition and a description too. The thermostat in this example has cosmetic damage to the item itself – it may be scuffed or scratched or something. But it’s a 15% discount over the regular Amazon price! So if you don’t particularly care about minor appearance issues, you may decide it’s worth it to you to save almost $3.50. If so, just click that Add to Cart button.
Is there some way to just browse what’s available?
Well… yes. There are lots of items to peruse if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. However, when I’m truly trying to save money, I find it’s best to search for specific things I want and stick with those. If I browse, I find things here and there, and it’s easy to justify when it’s “such a great deal!” Your mileage may vary, so here’s the Amazon Warehouse Deals storefront.
What are the drawbacks?
Well, they don’t provide photos of the actual item, so you can’t know for certain what the exact issue is until it arrives. I’ve found they’re pretty good at describing the condition, but there’s a difference between a giant scratch on your new stainless steel Instantpot and a tiny rough patch on the back of an alarm clock. Still, Amazon’s return policies are fairly good (make sure you read them for the item you’re considering!), so usually you can return it if you’re disappointed.
Also, sometimes, the items are out of stock. If it’s something you need right away, you may not be able to find an Amazon Warehouse Deal. But if you can wait a week or two (in the example above, the thermostat won’t be in stock in used condition for another 8 days), you can score an amazing price.
Have you shopped Amazon Warehouse Deals? What did you think? Come talk about it in our Facebook group!