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3 Amazon Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money

3 Amazon Shopping Tips That Will Save You Money

Amazon is arguably the most popular eCommerce retail website in the world. It’s pretty hard to beat in terms of product range, discounts and sales, free delivery, speed of delivery, support, and pretty much anything else.

With such a fantastically competitive offering it’s easy for us Amazon shoppers to become complacent and assume we’re already getting the best possible prices on everything we buy there. But we’re not. Here’s why!

With so many different sellers on Amazon – there are currently a few million third party sellers competing via Amazon’s online marketplace – it is virtually impossible to search through every new offer all the time. There’s so much information there that the truly awesome deals can get hidden in all the white noise.

That’s why, if you’re serious about saving money when shopping for top quality products, you have to start making use of the some online tools and services that can do the job for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of free services that can save hundreds of dollars (possibly more) on your next big shop.

Find The Best Deals On Amazon Best Sellers

Ok, so it’s quite easy to find lists of best selling items all over the Internet. From the NY Times best-seller lists, to Amazon’s top 1000, lists of top selling products are ubiquitous. But finding the best deals and biggest discounts on these best selling items is not so commonplace. Fortunately, there’s a freely available tools that does just this.

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RankTracer’s Amazon best seller page not only returns a list of the best selling products on Amazon, it also goes through each product and finds the best deal or discount to return to you at the same time. This means that your best seller list now has extra information directing you to the biggest available savings on those products.

Here’s an example of their results showing the biggest deals on the best selling books:

amazon-best-sellers-books

    So far so good. But what if you don’t necessarily want to buy one of the top 10 items in a given category?

    Fortunately, this tool offers two methods of searching for discounts on products; the first is ‘by category’ (i.e. books, electronics, clothing, etc) and the second is by keyword (i.e. ‘pressure cooker’, or ‘frozen princess doll’). This makes it a cinch to narrow down the search to any specific product you like and find the best available deal on it.

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    I decided to look for discounts on a gift for my niece (she loves Frozen), and here’s a few deeply discounted items I found:

    amazon-best-sellers-frozen-crocs

      amazon-best-sellers-frozen-toybox

        amazon-best-sellers-frozen-dress

          Not bad for twenty seconds worth of effort, right? That’s about $48 in savings over three products. Not bad considering the total list prices for all three comes to $94.97 – making those discounts a touch over 50%.

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          But what happens if there is a specific thing you want to buy but there’s isn’t currently a discount or sale on offer? Well, if you don’t mind being patient and waiting a bit you can either check back each day or you can automate the process of tracking a product’s price over time and receive alerts when the price drops.

          Track Product Price Drops

          There are a bunch of Amazon product price tracking tools available online. The one I use is CamelCamelCamel because it is quick and easy to use and, above all, free. To get a feel for the type of data they can provide on Amazon sales prices, here’s price data for the same ‘Disney Frozen Enchanting Dress – Elsa‘ item shown in the previous section:

          amazon-best-sellers-ccc-frozen-dress

            What’s super interesting about this graph is that it show the dress actually went down to as low as $6.14 sometime in late October/early Novermber of 2015. Basically, the current price ($15.77) is about average – it’s been a lot cheaper and it’s been more expensive too.

            It’s worth noting that RankTracer’s Amazon best seller page actually returned a better price for this item. CamelCamelCamel quotes a best price of $15.77 today, whereas RankTracer quotes the best price at $13.49.

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            Go To The Source

            If you’re serious about really finding the best bargains available it may be time to go straight to the source. Amazon’s staff do a fantastic job of coming through popular products and finding the ones that offer simply massive discounts (sometimes more than 60%) and add ’em all to their Gold box deal page.

            You can also make use of their wide range of filters and search criteria to help find items you’re interested in. The problem is that there is no real search feature and the list is created by someone else – meaning you may not find the items you’re after. I narrowed down the Gold box deals to girls fashion hoping to find the Frozen dress:

            amazon-best-sellers-goldbox-girls

              Hmm, not ideal.

              So while the Gold box page offers incredibly low prices and massive deals that will save you plenty of cash, it can’t offer every product in their catalog and so can end up being of limited use. But, if you’re searching for gifts and not specific items then this page is absolutely perfect.

              So those are my top three tips for getting the most out of your Amazon shopping. How much money have you saved by using the above-mentioned tools and resources? What other strategies do you use to save money on Amazon? Share your tips in the comments.

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              Last Updated on March 3, 2021

              Top 6 Hacks on How To Build Credit Fast

              Top 6 Hacks on How To Build Credit Fast

              When done right, credit can open doors and provide a lifestyle that you never imagined possible. Anything from flying around the world in first-class and staying at 5-star hotels entirely for free to starting and scaling businesses. It’s also an area where it can be easy to make mistakes and hard to recover from without the right information. In this article, I will break down how you can build credit fast so you can open doors in your life!

              When you start to think about improving your credit score, you have to answer three important questions first:

              1. What are you trying to achieve by having good credit?
              2. What really is your credit score?
              3. How is your credit score calculated?

              What Are Your Credit Goals?

              Having a high credit score is great, but ultimately, your credit score is a tool in your personal finance arsenal that you can use to open doors. The first question you should ask yourself is “what will a higher credit score do for me?”

              I work with many clients directly at Freedom Travel Systems to help them fully leverage the power of their credit so they can enjoy free luxury travel and start or grow their business. For my clients and many others, here are a few common goals many credit-savvy individuals have:

              • Free Travel – getting access to travel rewards cards so you can get tons of free travel and even get first-class flights, hotel suites, and luxury amenities all for free
              • Start/Grow a Business – getting access to business credit so you can start and grow a business with 0% or low-interest financing that does not impact your personal credit
              • More Approvals – getting approved for credit cards, auto loans, or mortgages so you improve your lifestyle or build your personal wealth
              • Better Rates – getting better interest rates on any loans you get will save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime

              What Is Your Credit Score?

              Your credit score is simply a 3-digit number that tells potential lenders how reliable of a borrower you are. Keep in mind that lenders, such as banks and credit issuers, stay in business by lending. Their goal is to find the people that have the highest probability of paying them back and they assess this primarily through your credit score.

              What’s important to know is that there are two major scoring models used to create your scores. These scores are your FICO Score and your Vantage Score. More than 90% of lenders rely on your FICO score, so when you are checking your score, you want to make sure you see the actual score that the lenders use. And no, checking your own score does not hurt your credit!

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              Then enters the 3 main credit bureaus, which are essentially agencies that collect credit information on you. These are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These bureaus then apply a scoring model to the information they have on you and voila, you now have a credit score! Bureaus sometimes have different information on your report, which is why you will see 3 different scores.

              How Is Your Credit Score Calculated?

              Next, you need to understand how the credit score is calculated. This will provide a high-level overview, but there is more detail to each of these factors alone.

              There are 5 main factors in the calculation of your credit score:[1]

              1. Payment History (35%) – This refers to the amount and percentage of on-time payments you have.
              2. Utilization (30%) – This is how much revolving credit you use as a percentage of the total revolving credit issued to you. Note that installment loans like auto-loans or mortgages do not count towards this while credit cards do.
              3. Age of Credit (15%) – This refers to how long your credit history is, primarily your “average age.”
              4. Credit Mix (10%) – This is how many different types of credit you have. For example, there are credit cards, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, personal loans, and lines of credit.
              5. New Credit (10%) – This primarily refers to how many inquiries you have for new credit.

              Top 6 Hacks on How to Build Credit Fast

              Now that you’ve learned more about your credit score, here are the top 6 tips on how to build credit fast.

              1. Don’t Close Your Cards

              Many of us are taught that getting a new credit card is bad and having too many will hurt your score. In fact, the opposite is true. You want to have many positive accounts reporting to your credit report. Logically, this makes sense because having more accounts with more on-time payments shows that you are a more reliable borrower. You just don’t want to open too many accounts too quickly since that can hurt your “new credit” factor.

              Instead of closing a card, what you should do is simply keep the card open and put a small subscription service on it monthly. Why? Because each time you have an on-time payment, it helps build your payment history, the largest factor of credit.

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              If you close a card, you are missing on potential on-time payments, age of credit, credit mix, and also lowering the total credit lent to you so your utilization percentage may go up. If you have an annual fee on a card you don’t like, see if there is a “no-fee” version of the card and downgrade it to that card rather than close it.

              2. Use Autopay to Never Miss a Payment

              This one is easy to do and easy not to do. Go into your credit card account and set up auto-pay. You can choose to either pay the full amount, the statement balance, or the minimum payment. Personally, I like to set up autopay to pay the minimum payment so that I never get a late payment. Then, I go in and manually pay the statement balance each month by the payment due date.

              This helps me personally see my spending and have a manual review of my charges while ensuring, not have to pay interest, and still get the benefit of making sure that I never miss a payment if something goes wrong. Think about it, if you were to have a medical or family emergency, the last thing you want to experience on the back end of that is a late payment and a drop in your credit score. So, set up autopay.

              A pro tip is to update your payment due dates across all bills and accounts to be the same so that you can “time batch” the process and have one time a month where you sit down and handle your payments. You can do this by simply contacting the credit card company or doing it online.

              3. Get a Credit Limit Increase to Lower Your Utilization

              One of the factors that get most people into trouble is using too much of their allotted total credit. Their utilization, which is the percentage of revolving credit they use, goes up, and their score tanks. You should aim for less than 30%, and in an ideal world, less than 10%.

              To help drive this down, call your credit issuer and ask for a credit limit increase. This will help increase the total amount of credit extended to you and drop your utilization. Oftentimes, they will only give it to you when your utilization is fairly decent (less than 50%), so work to pay it down as best as possible before doing this. You should ask if the credit limit increase will give you an inquiry as some banks do a hard inquiry while some do not. If they do a hard inquiry, it is often better to just get a new card altogether or pass.

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              4. Add Authorized Users to Increase Your Age, Add History, and Decrease Utilization

              This is one of the best hacks out there as it helps with the 3 biggest factors of improving your credit: payment history, utilization, and age. This concept is also called “credit piggybacking” where someone with great credit history on a card adds an authorized user (AU) to the card. When the AU gets added, the credit history and information from that card are added to the AU’s report!

              This is extremely helpful for people with young credit because it can drastically increase your age of accounts. It can also help many people with limited payment history or high utilization.

              Please be aware that anything good or bad on that account you are added to will show up on your report. So, you want to avoid any cards with negative marks or high utilization. That being said, it is a one-way street, so nothing that you do with your credit can impact the primary account holder.

              This is so valuable that there are companies that sell AU accounts. I always suggest starting with your family and/or personal network first as there are likely people in your network that can help!

              5. Space Out Your Application Strategy

              New credit is the smallest factor of credit, but it still matters! If you are looking to build up your credit, you should space out your applications. If you apply for too much credit in a short period, it looks very needy in the eyes of the lenders. For this reason, it is safest to apply for cards slowly over time unless you have really studied more in-depth how this works. A good rule of thumb is once every few months.

              If you are in the credit game for the hopes of getting tons of credit card points for free travel, which is what I personally take full advantage of, you will want to familiarize yourself with the different bank rules and card promotions to put together the right application strategy. Applying blindly will waste inquiries and leave tons of benefits on the table!

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              6. Review Your Report for Negatives

              If you have any negative or “derogatory” marks on your credit report, this will hurt you drastically. They do impact you less as they age, however, you should review your credit report to ensure that everything on your report is 100% accurate and actually yours. Wrong information ends up on credit reports all the time and you will want to take personal responsibility for making sure it is accurate.

              The “burden of proof” is on the credit bureau to confirm that any information on your report is in fact accurate. If you find inaccuracies, you can dispute that with them, or you could consider getting a credible credit repair company to help you.

              Final Thoughts

              There you have it, the top 6 tips on how to build credit fast so you can get closer to reaching your goals. Now that you’ve learned more about how credit score works and how you can improve yours, you’ll hopefully be able to make better financial decisions and achieve your financial goals quicker.

              More Tips on How to Build Credit Fast

              Featured photo credit: CardMapr via unsplash.com

              Reference

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