Posted by Elisabeth Leamy, Tue Jun 21 2016, 06:18PM

How to find and use Amazon's little-known coupons

You went for the convenience.  Will you stay for the bargains?  Amazon has come to embody its ambitious name by offering nearly every product under the sun and getting it to you before the sun has risen and set on more than two days (if you’re an Amazon Prime member.)  But did you know you could be getting that nearly instant gratification for less?  

It’s true —IF you know where to look— and even more so if you’re armed with some savvy tips and tricks.  Hats off to Kyle James of Rather Be Shopping who first alerted me to Amazon’s coupons and covered those and other tricks in this blogpost.  Now, onto the tutorial.  

Amazon Coupons 1.0

As a consumer advocate, I love that Amazon offers coupons, but wish they were easier to find.  First you have to click on “Today’s Deals” which is located on the home page, beneath the search box.  Then, yet another band of choices opens up beneath that, which includes the link for “Coupons.”  Of course, you can also use this hyperlink to Amazon’s coupon page.

The coupon page is organized to show the “Most Popular” at the top and then “All Coupons” down below that.  You can also search by category.  The categories are Prime Pantry (Amazon’s basic grocery service), Health and Personal Care, Grocery and Gourmet, Beauty, Office and School Supplies, Home and Kitchen, Pet Supplies, Automotive and Industrial, Electronics, Lawn and Tools, Sports and Outdoors and Toys and Baby.

Searching by category is somewhat more efficient, but still overwhelming, because some categories contained as many as 894 coupons when I looked!  For example, I had to scroll through hundreds of organic, vegan and grain-free dog treats before I found the ONE coupon that might be useful for my daughter’s two pet gerbils.  (Oh, she wanted a dog, so we got her two.  Two gerbils!)  

I kept wishing there was a way to search Amazon’s coupons by key word —like, hello, gerbil!— but no dice on Amazon’s own coupon page, at least as far as I could find.  Which brings me to Amazon coupons 2.0, the advanced version.

Amazon Coupons 2.0

I’m not the only one who wished for a way to search Amazon’s coupons and deals in a more efficient fashion.  Unfortunately, I just talked about it, while the folks at a website called tackled it.  Jungle-Search is an independent search engine just for Amazon. The site lets you enter keywords, brand names, percentages off, maximum prices, Amazon fulfillment versus independent seller —and more. 

Searching by key word or brand name: I saw printer cartridges in my Amazon orders list and that seemed like the perfect mundane —and maddeningly expensive— product to look for on Jungle-Search.  Sure enough, Jungle-Search found me the Epson 273 Multi-packs on Amazon for $39.90 instead of $47.99. 

Searching by percentage off: If you’re looking for a type of product rather than a particular brand, then a great strategy is to use Jungle-Search to set a percentage off that’s your goal.  For example, when I shop for clothing, I’m not excited by piddly discounts of 10-30 percent off.  So, in my case, I would set a minimum percentage off of 40% and see what I can find.    

Amazon’s “Discount Percentage” Tool.

If you’re too rushed (or lazy!) to open a separate browser window and try an outside search engine, at least experiment with Amazon’s own “Sort by” tool.  At the top of each set of coupons you’ll see two boxes labeled in barely noticeable light gray.  One says “Sort by” and contains what I consider useless things like “Newest” and “Most Popular” but also contains, at the very bottom, “Discount Percentage.”  

Click on this and your chosen coupon category will be rearranged with the biggest percentage discounts at the top and the smallest at the bottom.  It’s clunky, though, because some discounts are listed in dollars off and others in percentages off.  I had to actually do the math to confirm for myself!

Combine Subscribe and Save with Coupons.

OK, there’s one final way to make those Amazon coupons work hard for you.  Found this excellent tip via Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar.  I always preach that the best deals are when you use not one, but two —or more— savings methods in combination.  Coupon kings and queens call it “stacking.”  In this case, Amazon offers hundreds of discounts on mundane household products like toilet paper and paper towels if you subscribe, which means you sign up to have them delivered periodically, rather than having to remember to buy them each time you run out.

So first look for these types of items in the coupon section.  I chose laundry detergent and found one with a coupon for $2 off.  Then I clicked through to the subscribe and save price and found I could save another $1.27 by making it a repeat order rather than a one-time purchase.  Of course, don’t do this if you don’t want or need the recurring product, but what a weight off your mind —and your wallet— if you do.