If you shop on Amazon often, you’ve probably wondered who would ever buy from a 3rd party seller when the price they offer is the same as Amazon’s. But due to high fees, did you know that often 3rd party sellers will sell to you directly at a price lower than Amazon? While this might not make sense on small purchases, it’s a pretty killer frugal hack to get a lower price on significant purchases like HDTVs, laptops, appliances, cameras, and portable electronics. Use this tip not only on Black Friday, but on all your holiday shopping. Here’s how it works…
1st Step: Find Amazon Items Sold by a 3rd Party
The key to making this hack work is to check the price of items on Amazon that are also sold by a 3rd party. Get in the habit of doing this every time you shop, especially on significant purchases. You want to look for items that are sold at the same price by Amazon and the 3rd party seller. When you find this, you stand a great chance of having the 3rd party undercut the Amazon price.
2nd Step: Contact the 3rd Party Directly
When you contact the 3rd party, typically done via email, tell them you found the item on Amazon but would rather buy from them directly. Be polite and simply state the facts. Because most online stores are paying Amazon a selling fee in the 5-15% range, they will often discount their products by 10% or more to get your business.
So essentially you save them money, yourself money, and everyone wins. Well, except Amazon, but I think they’ll be okay.
What About Free 2-Day Prime Shipping?
While you might not get the item delivered in 2 days when buying directly from an Amazon 3rd party seller, you still stand a great chance of getting free delivery. The majority of 3rd party websites do indeed offer free ground shipping.
Plus, many do NOT charge you sales tax if they are not based in the state you live in. Be sure to crunch the numbers as the sales tax savings could easily make up for any shipping charges.
I’ve personally done this close to a dozen time over the past couple years and have scored a “lower than Amazon” price about 75% of the time. This has easily translated into savings in the $300-$400 range for just a little bit of my time. A total no-brainer in my book. I most recently did this on a new pool sweep and saved a quick $45 in the process.
While I didn’t get free 2-day shipping, and had to settle for 5-7 day free shipping, I wasn’t in a hurry to get the product so it really didn’t matter.
By Kyle James