Amazon pumped, primed, and ready to shop!
July 28, 2010 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Free Amazon Prime membership? Excellent! But what should I be buying? (I've seen this question, but most of those suggestions are baby-related, and it's just me and my gentleman companion in this case.)

Much as I love online window shopping, I normally only use Amazon to purchase gifts and the occasional book or video game. Free 2-day shipping with no minimum purchase, however, definitely got me to thinking. I know you can get just about anything through Amazon, but the sheer massive potential has left me a little overwhelmed. I'm hoping to get some specific recommendations of awesome stuff to consider, and I'm open to just about everything, but I've particularly got my eye on the grocery section, since I've never made use of it before.
posted by Diagonalize to Shopping (25 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Do you realize you can filter your search results to include only those that are "Amazon Prime eligible"? That'll be more useful than our random suggestions based on knowing nothing about you.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:54 AM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]

Unless you're looking to burn money, just buy stuff you would otherwise buy in other stores or in person. Quite often Amazon is a bit more expensive than some alternatives, but the convenience wins. Amazon has become my go to for everything to the point that I will pay a bit more just to know I will get my item promptly.
posted by ydant at 9:56 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I signed up too, and I haven't had a lot of luck in finding fantastic deals. So far, we've shipped several birthday gifts that we might have otherwise picked up at the store. We also bought a box of band-aids so large that we shouldn't need to buy them for another decade. I've been underwhelmed by the grocery offerings that I've seen. They all seem to be for specialty items that we don't normally buy. I'd love to be convinced that I could save money on normal grocery items, even in bulk, but so far, no dice.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:57 AM on July 28, 2010

Best answer: For you and your gentleman companion, I highly recommend this ant farm.
posted by found missing at 10:00 AM on July 28, 2010

Best answer: What's worth buying at Amazon Grocery?

Note that I still haven't bought anything from there. I get 90% of my Amazon Prime usage around the holidays, where the free shipping starts to be rather unreliable and being able to buy gifts on December 22nd is worthwhile.
posted by smackfu at 10:01 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

We had a free trial the month before Christmas. We'd planned to get a new TV, and got a good deal on Amazon. Thanks to Prime, we got the TV delivered (carried into the family room) for free. AND I got a new, heavy, TV center delivered for free. Delivery on both of those would have been ridiculous otherwise. Also, almost every damn Christmas gift got ordered via Prime.

Is there anything heavy or bulky you've been thinking about buying? This is a good time to look for those items on Amazon.

And I might be a sucker, but the free trial got me to do a year of Prime. We were already heavy Amazon users (spouse works for them - full disclosure), but now I'm not trying to accumulate items to get the free shipping over $25 and then waiting a week or more for my stuff.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 10:04 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've had a prime membership since the introduction of prime. Things I use it for are:
* movies/books I can't find elsewhere
* shoes- they run a lot of clearance sales on high end shoes, and I frequently get $100 pairs for <> * last second gifts- I adore 1 and 2 day shipping for this
* small electronics- the 30 day no hassle return is really great
* office supplies- I like a certain kind of pencil, and I can get 12 packs of my favorite color

The biggest thing it's done for me though is help me curb my spending while I'm out places. Frequently I'll price something out at Amazon when I see it in a store, know it'll be less on Amazon, then tell myself I'll order it when I get home. I get home, and never order it.

I filter by only prime eligible, and that's been a huge help too.
posted by Zophi at 10:07 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

While free shipping is nice on heavy items, Amazon and partner vendors often raise the price accordingly. So it still pays to shop around, unless the convenience factors in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on July 28, 2010

Best answer: Stuff I have bought with Amazon Prime:

digital camera
computer desk
a scanner
blank journals

You can check out Today's Deals, the Friday Deals, Goldbox, etc. I've never found anything I really needed when looking - but you might.

Careful if you order food/drinks in bulk - sometimes it's cheaper at your local grocery store. But it's great to order things you can't find at your store.

Also, here are some sights that you can search/see deals on Amazon (and option to search amazon prime only):
posted by KogeLiz at 10:11 AM on July 28, 2010

OK, beyond just searching on your own ... I would get a vegetarian cookbook (or another book about eating food); great music by Esperanza Spalding, Regina Spektor, the Beatles, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Goldfrapp, Miles Davis, Beethoven, and Debussy; books about political philosophy, living, the mind, creating your own economy, and evolutionary psychology; and the sadly short-lived sitcom Stella.

Those are things I've either gotten recently or would like to get soon, and would recommend to anyone else. I came up with that list by haphazardly looking for things I like on Amazon. If you like what I like, great! But again, the way to do this is just start looking for things you like and hoping that they're Prime. Or maybe asking a more specific question.
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:11 AM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I guess I should have included a few useful details. We live in a major metropolitan area, but we don't have a car and we're somewhat removed from our usual shopping haunts. We're also in a fourth floor walk-up, so stuff we only have to carry up the stairs instead of a mile walk with a stair finale would be well and truly awesome.

It seems like regular grocery items aren't really that worth it, but Asian and other hard to find ethnic food items would probably be high on my Amazon shopping list. In the past, I've mostly just gotten books and DVDs for people as gifts, which is safe, but a little bland. Are kids toys worth it? Clothes? Jewelry? Beard trimmers? Is there random stuff like the ant farm that I'm just completely overlooking?
posted by Diagonalize at 10:18 AM on July 28, 2010

Probably the main reason I like using Amazon (and Prime) is that I can make sure I'm getting something that others can vouch for (or against). if I'm at a store, I have no idea what beard trimmer or blender or garden hose or type of tea is worth buying. On Amazon, I can usually find something with a good number of reviews to help find something that won't break / doesn't suck / isn't gross. Pretty much any time I think of something I want to buy, I at least do research on Amazon first, if not buy it.
posted by Tu13es at 10:59 AM on July 28, 2010

Best answer: I buy cast iron cookware because I think it is funny to get free shipping on heavy things.
posted by Dmenet at 10:59 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

You want us to tell you what to buy? Like... anything?

Here are some things you can buy that are eligible for Amazon Prime:

- Chain saw
- Swimming pool (for the roof, of course)
- A life-size cardboard cutout of a Jonas Brother
- 1000 Latex Gloves
- A lawn statue of a Chihuahua peeing
- A lime green tutu
- An inflatable sumo wrestler costume

I suggest you do what the rest of Amazon Primers do. When you think of something you'd like to buy, buy it from Amazon. DVDs, books, home stuff (we just bought curtains), etc. We can't tell you what to buy unless you give us some idea of what you are looking for.
posted by two lights above the sea at 11:07 AM on July 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Think about close family too. My mom is computer-challenged and doesn't like to order things online (no matter how easy). So I have her address and credit card loaded into my Amazon account and then can buy things for her with my Prime shipping when she asks me to.
posted by cecic at 11:21 AM on July 28, 2010

Best answer: Some used book sellers do "Fulfillment by Amazon" meaning that they send their used books to Amazon and then Amazon ships them to the buyers. This means that even though they are used they are still Prime-eligible. So you can get $25 books for, say, $2.99 + free shipping.
posted by resiny at 11:26 AM on July 28, 2010

resiny: Link?
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:27 AM on July 28, 2010

Best answer: The official page here.

As an example, scroll a little way down here.
posted by resiny at 11:35 AM on July 28, 2010

As an example of things to get, in the past few months we have bought:
Vacuum Cleaner
Various toys and puzzles for the kids
Hard to find RSA to USB converter to copy home movies from VHS to Computer
Laser printer
Weed whacker line
Jewelry for my wife
Memoryfoam mattress topper
Water filter for our refrigerator
Bean bag filling
Clothing on sale
Stuff for the kitchen (measuring cups, wood utensils, griddle etc)

My beard trimmer was in fact bought from amazon. Oh, and a neat nail clipper too.

In each case, the stuff was either hard to find/unavailable locally or was cheaper on (Especially since there is not tax on amazon purchases in our state) - or I was just too lazy to go to a store midweek.
posted by xufasch at 12:23 PM on July 28, 2010

I buy my stupid expensive hair shampoo/conditioner there, for less than half what my salon charges.

I think this is the type of answer the OP is interested in. What can I get more cheaply on Amazon than I could on my weekly run to the store.
posted by chrisamiller at 12:28 PM on July 28, 2010

I think this is the type of answer the OP is interested in. What can I get more cheaply on Amazon than I could on my weekly run to the store.

Oh, I don't see her asking that. She said it's not even that convenient for her to go to a physical store. Just getting them sent in the mail is probably going to be cheaper by default. And she didn't say anything about getting especially good deals (beyond Prime itself) -- just good ideas for things to buy.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:33 PM on July 28, 2010

Response by poster: As far as I'm concerned, good deals are exactly what I am looking for, although perhaps I should have made that more clear from the start. I just also happen to be looking for things I buy, but wouldn't ordinarily get from Amazon, which makes something like half-price shampoo a fantastic suggestion, both because it's cheaper and because it's not something I would normally think to order online.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:22 PM on July 28, 2010

I looked at my amazon history to see what I have ordered and I come up with

shoes - sale danskos
Mojo bars - I keep forgetting to leave snacks at work
digital camera
computer accessories that are small / cheap and otherwise not worth paying shipping on ordering from elsewhere

things I haven't bought yet but would consider
cat litter- because it's heavy and the grocery store is sometimes out
some mid range designer bags on sale - I think they've had Treesje
posted by oneear at 3:15 PM on July 28, 2010

I buy soup and dog food with their Subscribe and Save offers. Cheaper than getting it at the store and free shipping!
posted by little miss s at 6:38 PM on July 28, 2010

I guess the ferret beret is a little obvious, but I'll mention it anyway.
posted by found missing at 9:59 PM on July 28, 2010

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