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How to Pay Less Than 30% for Almost Anything

How to Pay Less Than 30% for Almost Anything

I’m going to show you a super easy, step-by-step process for ensuring that you never pay more than half price for any new book (even if it’s an absolute best-seller that everyone is trying to buy) or product.

I’m not talking about wasting hours scouring discount and deal sites for great prices either. Amazon already does a great job of offering low prices across a range of items so getting a good price is a given.

Fortunately, with only a tiny bit of extra effort you will be able to squeeze far more out of your shopping budget. Here’s how you do it.

1. Getting Started

We’ve all shopped on Amazon, right? Here’s a typical buying page for a really popular best-seller by Elon Musk:

Amazon Product Buying Page

    There are a couple of important things to notice about this page that will help you save more cash in the coming steps:

    • The List Price is $29.99 but we can buy it now for $17.84
    • It is also available New from $13.69
    • It is available Used from $11.22

    So, right here, right now we can buy a $30 book for about $14. That’s a little under half price already. So far so good.

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    2. Price Tracking & Alerts

    The Amazon marketplace is extremely fluid and volatile. Prices for products can change on an hourly basis, as Amazon competes with other sellers to offer the best prices. This is where we can gain a bit of extra advantage over other shoppers.

    Instead of spending time checking back each day to see what the new price is, we can use an accurate price tracking service that will notify us of price drops (and increases – these will be important later on) in virtual real-time.

    Set up a price alert watchlist of all the items you want to buy for both price drops and increases.

    Here’s a screenshot of the sales and price changes for the aforementioned book using RankTracer – an extremely accurate tracking service that updates hourly so you are never more than a few minutes behind the latest price changes:

    Sales & Price Chart

      Chart showing hourly sales & price changes Amazon book (Tesla, SpaceX …). Courtesy of RankTracer – Amazon Sales & Price Tracker[1]

      Not all products have the same pricing profile, however. It’s important to note that some items swing wildly from day to day, or even hour to hour. Here’s a price chart showing changes for a popular entrepreneurship book entitled ‘The Third Wave‘:

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      Sales & Price Chart for Amazon Book

        Chart showing hourly sales & price changes for Amazon book (The Third Wave). Courtesy of RankTracer – Amazon Sales & Price Tracker

        As you can see, that is a bit more volatile, and prone to changing price more often, and in this instance becoming consistently cheaper. Each product will, of course, be different. The important thing here is to know when the price drops and when it increases. Once you know that, we can take the next step – buying low.

        3. Buy Low

        Looking at the charts above you can see that there are better (and worse) times to buy than others. But, with your price alerts coming in via email, you’ll be able to buy the items you want at the best possible prices.

        I was thinking of buying a new notebook recently, so I tracked a few to see their prices over time. Here’s one for the Samsung Chromebook:

        Chart of Samsung Chromebook

          Clearly buying any time between December 3rd and December 7th would have been ideal, as it would have resulted in an additional saving (on top of the best price you might find shopping on a random day) of just under $250.

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          So we can save money by buying low. Great.

          Unfortunately, buying low is where most people stop going. After all, doing things like this will mean you save plenty of cash on the Christmas shopping. But, if you really want to ensure you pay less there’s one more step to take.

          4. Sell High

          Once you’ve finished reading your book (or no longer need the item purchased), it’s time to sell it back via Amazon.

          Becoming an Amazon seller is quick and easy, and you can get started over at Amazon’s Seller Central website. If you are going to sell less than 40 items, then it is completely free to sign up – although there are small charges per item sold. Selling more than 40 items will require a paid plan that should cost about $39.99 per month, although you can explore the different types of seller accounts at their pricing page.[2]

          With your seller account set up, it is now possible to re-list the products you bought – most likely listing them in Used condition.

          At this point our price tracking comes in handy because it can tell us when prices are high so we can sneak in with a slightly lower offer in order to radically improve the chances of making a sale.

          Take a look at the original screenshot of the Elon Musk book sales page and notice that there were used copies being sold from $11.22. Given that we could have purchased it for $13.69 (according to RankTracer’s price data), and we can sell it back for $11.22, we have effectively bought it brand new for the grand total price of $2.47.

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          Take into account other costs, like Amazon charges, and you are probably still going to get away with paying less than $4. For a book listed at $29.99, that works out to less than 15% of the list price.

          You can squeeze as little or as much out of this process by waiting for the lowest low prices and selling at the highest high prices. But, on average, spending between 10% and 30% of the asking price should make anyone very happy.

          This trick works for any product that can be sold used. Obviously, consumables like food and drink probably won’t fetch a reasonable price in used condition. Simply watch your price alerts, wait for the right time to buy and sell, and start saving money big time.

          I’d love to hear how much money this saves you in the long run. Drop a comment here and share your huge savings stories to make the rest of us jealous.

          Featured photo credit: Roderick Eime via flickr.com

          Reference

          More by this author

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          Last Updated on April 19, 2021

          40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

          40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

          Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

          1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

          Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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            2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

            We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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              3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

              Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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                4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

                Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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                  5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

                  Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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                    6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                    We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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                      7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                      This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                        8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                        One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                          9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                          If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                            10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                            Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                              11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                              Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                                12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                                Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                                  13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                                  You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                                    14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                    With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                                      15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                      Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                      Black-Bean-Cilantro-Mango

                                        16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                        If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                          17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                          The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                            18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                            If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                              19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                              Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                                20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                                I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                                  21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                                  Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                                    22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                    You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                                      23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                      Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                      Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                        24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                        Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                          25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                          Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                            26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                            If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                              27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                              Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                                28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

                                                                Quinoa-Brussels-Sprouts

                                                                  29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                                  You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

                                                                  Butternut-Squash-Chili

                                                                    30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                    Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                                      31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                      Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                        32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                        Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                          33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                          Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                            34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                            If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                              35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                              Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                                36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                                Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                                  37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                                  You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                                    38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                    Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                                      39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                      Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                        40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                        You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

                                                                                        stuffed-sweet-potatoes

                                                                                          Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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