What do you order with Amazon Prime?
January 12, 2014 9:15 AM   Subscribe

What do you order with Amazon Prime?

I signed up for Amazon Prime last week because it made a lot of sense for a specific order.

I live in Queens so shopping is a pain without a car. This week I ordered a bunch of specific cat food that was 2/3 the price and saved me from having to carry it back to my apartment. I am sold on the service but would like help with ideas on what to order.

Is there anything you regularly buy from Amazon that is a great deal or a great convenience? Is there anything that is substantially cheaper on Amazon that now makes more sense I can get it in two days? Basically anything heavy, bulky or repetitive is great for me because I don't have to lug it back to my apartment. And of course, saving money is great too. Thanks!
posted by milarepa to Shopping (73 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty much everything makes more sense on Amazon. I don't have prime yet (getting it in a couple of months), so I'm currently just getting super saver shipping. But, for example, the same spices I get at Whole Foods are 30-50% cheaper on Amazon. When I see I'm running low, I just order it online.

Friends who subscribe start to order everything--really everything--from Amazon. A single iPhone lightning cable. A box of pens. A bag of flour.

Don't focus on the weight! Everything is cheaper on Amazon. Think of it like Fresh Direct for everything other that fresh fruit, veg, and meat.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:24 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I order pretty much everything on Prime. Driving is a hassle for me, so a lot of random household goods that I can't easily get at a CVS/Rite-Aid and would otherwise to go Target for, I get from Amazon.

Some of my recent orders have included:

* LED light bulbs
* Cat food
* Hairstyling product
* Weatherstripping
* A salt-and-pepper grinder

...and, of course, a lot of books and electronics.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:25 AM on January 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

All cleaning supplies, I am so obsessed with user reviews, it's like a whole new world of cleaning wonder. I mean, be careful, it's an addiction (with my crew, too ...)
Jars of goodness I can't find in my local grocery, like some great dressing that's made in Boston.
Beauty supplies. I always check Amazon before I spend money at Sephora.
Drugstore stuff.
All appliances.
Household stuff I don't need to judge or touch -- kitchen mats, underrug no-skid things, extra pot hooks for the kitchen rack, etc.
Tights and socks and undies I already know from previous purchases will work.
Batteries! Anything tool-esque since I am clueless and love the reviews.
I could go on and on, really.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:27 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Toilet paper and paper towels.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:27 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:27 AM on January 12, 2014 [13 favorites]

Cat food, cat litter, toilet paper, paper towels, vitamins/supplements. I love Amazon Prime!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:28 AM on January 12, 2014

Wanted to add: Those are just the things that I get with the Subscribe-and-Save function. With Prime itself, just about anything I can buy at Amazon I get through Prime, and I do a LOT of shopping at Amazon for all kinds of stuff - from cat food to CPAP mask liners to printer paper to jeans. Prime is absolutely worth every single penny to me.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:30 AM on January 12, 2014

I love getting the refill heads for my sonicare toothbrush through Amazon. The ones I order come in their hassle free packaging, so that means no struggling with nasty plastic clamshell packaging.
posted by shesbookish at 9:32 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, cat food. God, I love prime. I never have to go to Target anymore.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:33 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anything that you need to buy infrequently that you tend to forget to pick up at the grocery store when you run out. Yesterday I Amazon Primed a four pack of toothpaste and some shampoo, for instance. For heavy things like cat food and litter, it's been a revelation.
posted by chrchr at 9:34 AM on January 12, 2014

I did a free trial and used it for stuff I'd normally buy at brick and mortar stores because with Prime, most items would come with free shipping. Generally stuff is cheaper online, but shipping makes it cost more (and take more time). With free two-day shipping, I basically just started buying more stuff on Amazon. Until my trial was ending, then I couldn't justify the annual fee.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:37 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anything I would buy at CVS - vitamins, cotton swabs, shampoo, hair stuff, lotion
Almost anything I would get at Target - cleaning supplies, random house stuff - there is a much better selection and with reviews you aren't just rolling the dice and hoping that the stain remover your buying isn't useless or going to ruin your clothes

Rather than keep a shopping list I just log into Amazon and add it to my cart or wish list. Since I live in a big city it's usually cheaper and quicker than my other options of buying it at CVS or the supermarket near me and it'll be here usually before the weekend rolls around when I can go shop in the burbs.

Also I find that buying what I need online prevents me from buying a ton if impulse purchases at Target in the process of buying the three things I actually need. Same with food shopping. I go to the grocery store way less and end up buying a lot less junk food as a result.
posted by whoaali at 9:37 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Pet medication, all electronics, household/kitchen small appliances, clothes, shoes, pet food, books, filters (coffee maker, fridge), batteries, toys (gifts), printer supplies, phone cases, web cams, chargers, pretty much everything other than groceries.
posted by HuronBob at 9:38 AM on January 12, 2014

Pretty much everything that I can wait a couple days for. My protein powder, my razor blades, my running shoes, my lace replacement for my running shoes, winter gloves, Christmas presents for other people, guitar picks, a foam roller, socks, underpants, a Chromecast, a winter hat...

That's just the past few months, mind you.

It's going to sound weird and RIDICULOUSLY yuppie but Prime really is life-changing in that Amazon pretty much has anything at a reasonable price so if you can wait a couple days and it's not perishable, it's usually much easier to order it off Amazon and wait. We still do the grocery store because perishables and the wife likes to see and touch whatever we're buying foodwise but pretty much everything else comes via Prime.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have toilet paper, paper towels, tea, coffee, canned tuna (my usual lunch), cat food and dog food on auto-delivery.

Like others, I order virtually everything else that I can on Amazon: all weather floor mats for my car, light bulbs, batteries, coffee mugs, coffee filters, dog collars, pregnancy tests, too many other things to name. Why go to the store when Amazon is cheaper and gets delivered right to your door?
posted by corn_bread at 9:40 AM on January 12, 2014

Amazon Prime kind of gets to be a way of life. Before adding something to your shopping list, you'll find yourself checking to see if it's available at Amazon. If you can wait two days for it, you'll buy it there.

A few years ago, if you had asked my kids where we get things, they would have named a variety of stores. Now they'd say "From a brown truck" (or Costco).
posted by dinger at 9:43 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh god, everything.

Stuff where you know that there's both a hefty markup and a limited range at physical stores -- SD cards, cables, batteries, etc. Pet supplements. Protein bars. Stuff where there's a prospect of driving/wandering around multiple stores, or where you know what you want but really don't know the most appropriate place to buy it, or know the only place in town that sells it is WalMart...

Not groceries, and not bog roll and kitchen roll subscriptions, because that's easy enough to buy with groceries. I have to renew soon, and don't know whether I want to support Amazon's warehouse workhouses, because it's too bloody easy.
posted by holgate at 9:49 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

i agree that in your situation it is pretty much always cheaper to go with prime - but for people who, like me, live in the flyovers, a note - prime is fairly often not cheaper than target for me. what i do is load everything into my amazon cart and then go shopping and price match at the store. when i'm done, i submit the amazon order for anything that was cheaper.

but, yeah, so much from prime :
toilet paper
costco olive oil
giant bottles of premade spaghetti sauce
otc pills
posted by nadawi at 9:52 AM on January 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

I order so much from Amazon Prime, my delivery man probably thinks I have issues.

Here's what I have bought: diapers, wipes, various toys for my kiddo, shampoo and conditioner in huge bottles, coffee, iPad and iPod charging cables, make up (cover girl, not the high end stuff), cleaning products, a replacement knob for my stove since my daughter lost one of them, knee highs, collar stays, garden hoses, power strips. Seriously anything I need that I do not need THIS MOMENT, I order through Prime. And since overnight shipping is only 3.99, I can go that route if needed too and not feel overly guilty

It is wonderful because I can order things as I think of them since I am not paying for shipping.
posted by polkadot at 9:54 AM on January 12, 2014

Put me in the "lots but not everything" category. I've found that health and beauty products and some household good, especially, aren't priced competitively on prime unless you want to buy in bulk (I often don't). I've found that checking walmart or target's websites will often give you a ballpark on in-store prices versus amazon.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another vote for "everything!".

With no car, unreliable public transportation, freezing weather, and a highly dependent homebound spouse, it's just easier to order online. Petfood, cat litter, training pads, medical supplies, laundry soap, literally anything and everything. I don't know how I would manage without it, to be honest. If you can think of it, you can order it. Do it :)

(If you do have other options, then keep tabs on current pricing so you know what is and isn't cost effective)
posted by batikrose at 9:59 AM on January 12, 2014

if you live in a city without easy access to target etc prime is a lifechanging thing. if you live in the suburbs and make a weekly trip to the grocery store and target, you're probably not going to understand the appeal. surprisingly target does have some things cheaper than amazon (i was pricing out brita filters, paper towels, tissues, and target has them cheaper than even subscribe and save prices, so unfortunately i'm saving those for our once-monthly car rental and target trip).

but we do subscribe and save toothpaste and cat food and everything like that. amazing and wonderful and amazon prime really is a lifestyle for city dwellers.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:03 AM on January 12, 2014

I live in a lovely small, rural town and really do my best to support local business and have a lot of reservations about Amazon's business practices--but the lure of Prime is a powerful thing. I have to admit that my life is much better for it, as I can find exactly what I need, and not just what happens to be on the shelf here. I end up buying pretty much anything that I don't need in the next three days (that two-day promise gets broken a lot) and that won't freeze/broil on my front step. I will also put in a word for the free Prime video streaming, which works very nicely.

I don't buy groceries, though, as I enjoy grocery shopping every day at the very pleasant food coop near my office (which has now become the highest-grossing business in town, which I guess is a lesson for brick-and-mortar retailers in the Age of Amazon--that it needs to be something that enriches people's lives now, not just cheap commodities on a shelf).
posted by HotToddy at 10:08 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh my god. Another vote for "everything". I love prime so much. I do subscribe and save a lot. I tend to buy toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, household cleaning items, cat food and litter, caffeine, etc., etc. The trick, of course, with subscribe and save is to make sure you have 5 items every month for the 15% discount (which, for me, puts amazon below target on almost everything except dog food). plus, if you go ahead and register for amazon mom (with or without an actual baby, see this), you get 20% off.
posted by LittleKnitting at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Everything, as everyone else has said. But also things that are ridiculously higher priced at regular stores where there is not enough inventory to support my needs. Example: Lactaid tablets. I don't want a single box of 24 tabs for 19.99, which is usually all that is available in Duane Reade. I want 10 boxes of 96 tabs each for $200, which goes in the closet I have dedicated to bulk purchases. Also contact lens cleaner, of which there is usually 1-2 little bottles available at the drugstore. No, I want 20 of them which will last me a year and then Prime automatically reorders it for me.
posted by elizardbits at 10:19 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Prime to buy things I'd otherwise have to get at Target or an electronics store - household supplies, random cords and electronics, etc. As you use it more, you'll find that it becomes a bit addictive - when considering whether to walk/drive to X store, you immediately begin to wonder if you could get it even cheaper on Amazon, without the hassle of the store.

I do try to differentiate between the products that I would otherwise buy at big box stores and those that I'd otherwise buy at smaller, local stores. As Prime becomes more popular, I do worry about the local bookstores and toy stores and such eventually shutting down. So when the alternative choice would be buying the product at a local bookstore or such, I try to do that rather than Prime (even if it's a bit more expensive). I consider it an investment in living in the kind of city I want to live in.
posted by leitmotif at 10:29 AM on January 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm in Queens too and in walking distance from Costco, but I've given up my membership there in favor of Prime. I get smaller things from Prime too, of course (nthing the "everything" comments).

Do note that some items don't qualify for Prime, and there are some that now are called "add-on items" that qualify only if you're spending a $25 minimum. Those are usually things I put in my cart when I realize I need them (change an odd light bulb, put one or two in my cart) then wait until a day or two later when I'm getting something I'd be getting anyway. If I really need that thing in a day or two, I can always think of something I'd stock up on soon anyway (toilet paper, batteries, vitamins, etc.).

I had to go to a Target while traveling recently and found myself inclined to buy lots of things I didn't need. Since I was flying home, I had familiar restrictions on what I could carry, but as others have mentioned, it can cut down on impulse purchases.
posted by whoiam at 10:30 AM on January 12, 2014

Don't forget, Amazon Prime also gets you access to thousands of streaming shows and movies. I use it interchangeably with Netflix. There is a lot of overlap, but also many shows that are not available on Netflix. I use the Playstation 3 app to watch shows on my TV.
posted by catatethebird at 10:40 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I buy almost everything from Amazon. The only things I don't buy are fresh fruit and cheese. Everything else Amazon has and it's a gigantic time saver. I play a lot of video games and I love that Amazon Prime offers release day delivery.

Once you've gone Prime, you'll never go back....
posted by parakeetdog at 10:47 AM on January 12, 2014

It's so great for small things that you don't know specifically where to go to get them, or which would necessitate a specific trip to an irritating big box store.

It's also great for things you need within the next couple of days, but know you can't make the annoying trip to a specific awful store which will be a hellish experience anyway. We had a cold snap here in LA a while back, and I ordered a space heater from Amazon. I had it in less time than it would have taken to find a day that week I could schlep to Bed Bath And Beyond, and I didn't have to worry about half of Los Angeles buying up all the stock.

One thing it did not work well for this year:

My Christmas shopping. I wish I'd either ignored the lure of Prime shipping and ordered 10 business days in advance, or just bought everything locally and brought it with me. Between the delays and the fact that 2 out of 3 items arrived completely broken (a first for Amazon, IME), Amazon Prime pretty much ruined my Christmas gift giving.
posted by Sara C. at 10:48 AM on January 12, 2014

My husband likes to wear a specific style of Dockers, and there's no guarantee that if i go to Kohl's or wherever they will have the specific style in the right size and color, and even if they do I would have to wander around looking for them. It's way easier to just go to amazon and buy the exact same ones as i bought the last time. Also, any slightly unusual personal care or household type items, that you may or may not find in a store. If Amazon has it, i will pay a premium to avoid driving to multiple places looking for something. Also, anything embarrassing to buy in person.
posted by katieanne at 11:03 AM on January 12, 2014

Putting tampons, coffee, and paper towels on my Subscribe and Save has made me a much, much nicer and happier person. I also get vitamins, Luna bars, batteries, Sonic Care heads, office supplies, popcorn (Amazon has surprisingly cheap popcorn)....

Sara C, one of my Amazon shipments arrived broken too this Christmas, but I think that was because UPS was so overwhelmed this year, rather than a problem on Amazon's end. (And I say that as someone who really, really loves her UPS guy.) Luckily, I had time to re-order.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 11:08 AM on January 12, 2014

Like everyone else, pretty much everything i can. My recent Amazon orders include:

Two external hard drives.
A kid's bed.
A treadmill.
A 12-gauge bore snake.
A Roku.
A book.
A coffee grinder.
A pocketknife.
More diapers.
A bathroom scale.
A flashlight.
A HDMI cable.
More diapers.
An iPhone mount for a boat.
A replacement air filter for a lawnmower.
A washer/dryer stacking kit.
A pellet rifle.
A water heater.
A service manual for a car.
Car wash solution.
A baby gate
A spotting scope.
A hair trimmer.

If Amazon carries it, I'll buy it from Amazon.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:13 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh, yes, I absolutely don't blame Amazon specifically, but without the lure of Prime, I wouldn't have been a complete dumbass and ordered a bunch of breakable stuff to be shipped across the country from where I actually live for December 23 delivery. There are limits to what Prime can do.

In sum, Prime is great for mundane stuff, not great for the one day of the year where everybody in America is trying to get precious things shipped for delivery on a certain date.
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on January 12, 2014

I'm also navigating a new Prime account and like nawadi discovered that the price of cat food from Target was exactly the same as the cost via Prime. Since we're at Target a lot, I'm going to have to do some comparison shopping. However it sounds like you could especially benefit from heavy items- canned goods, cat litter, bottled juice - all stuff that it's nicer not to lug yourself.
posted by PussKillian at 11:16 AM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Amazon is particularly good for things your local store won't have in stock, or won't have a good selection of. I wouldn't have found a countertop dishwasher locally, and would have had to look all over the place to get the well regarded whirlpool dehumidifier I use locally (if it is available at all). Or the niche (and only recommended for people using it to look at scads of text on a computer) cheap Seiki 4k tv. And none of these would be particularly convenient to schlep home even with a hatchback car (least of all the dish washer).

And going through three cans of wet cat food a day, the convenience of getting a months' supply dropped on my doorstep is fantastic. Which reminds me...
posted by wotsac at 11:32 AM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have a car and live less than a mile from a proper grocery store, Target, and CVS. Pretty much everything that isn't perishable comes from Amazon. I'm not very good at predicting when we'll run out of certain things like toothpaste, and sometimes I like to browse for things like makeup, or I need to touch/feel textile stuff, and I go to Costo once a month mostly for perishables but might pick up two years' worth of deodorant, but otherwise I don't really go to any other stores.

I've been to Best Buy and Staples once each in the past year or longer, both of them last month when I was monitor-shopping and wanted to see what the on-screen menus looked like. But neither store had the size/type I wanted and I ended up getting one on Amazon.

If you want specifics, and you're especially interested in Subscribe and Save items, I haven't delved very far into that but I do have subscriptions to microwave pork rinds.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:53 AM on January 12, 2014

An entire dumbbell set! Which Amazon shipped in ascending order of weight. Every day the UPS guy had a 5-pound-heavier to bring up the walk to our front door. He must have been wondering if I was going to go to 100 pounders or not even stop there. (I was not.)
posted by MattD at 12:06 PM on January 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

I have a Costco membership, and I tend to use it for a lot of the things that people are listing here (paper towels, toilet paper, detergent, etc). But, I also do use my Amazon Prime membership a lot on top of that.


A new skillet (burned the old one horribly :( )
Quite a lot of socks
A thermos
A new lunchbox
A 25 pound box of fatwood for the fireplace
A bunch of Christmas presents from people's wishlists
An external hard drive for my parents (it is GREAT that I can have things shipped directly to them for free)
An auto timer for holiday lights
A triple pack of Biofreeze for back pain
A Folding Eucalyptus Wood 3-Piece Outdoor Bistro Set -- a small table and two chairs. This last one was completely free, because I'd been saving up Amazon points.

In addition, we recently used the Prime streaming feature to enjoy the series Luther.
posted by instead of three wishes at 12:11 PM on January 12, 2014

Like most posters above, we buy a ton on Prime!

As you mentioned, heavy bags of pet food are way easier to get on Amazon! We have dogs, and their poop bags are cheaper on Amazon.

I buy a lot of Lactaid and Citrucel, and they're both substantially cheaper on Amazon.

Also my fiance has bought some giant things that I would expect to have huge non-Prime shipping fees, like a bike and a desk.
posted by radioamy at 12:23 PM on January 12, 2014

I bought my mattress and bed frame on Amazon; free 2 day shipping on a 100 pound memory foam mattress? Yes please!
posted by Comrade_robot at 12:55 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Almost anything that isn't perishable or needed that day or that I don't need to see in person before buying. Cat food and litter, laundry soap, and cleaning supplies are particularly nice. I find I can get awesome bargains on multipacks of my favorite cereals and granola bars.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:33 PM on January 12, 2014

Everything. But really it's most useful for things that would otherwise require a special trip to a store for like one or two items. This could mean consumer electronics, or guitar strings. The packaging tends to pile up, so I don't use it for routine things like coffee and soap I can get on the way home from work but it blows my mind that I once had enough free time in my life to drive 15 minutes each way to the store that carried the particular razor blades I like.
posted by Random Person at 1:42 PM on January 12, 2014

You folks getting cat food: how big a bag of dry food are you ordering? I can't find anything on Amazon over 18.5 lbs. I can get a 25 lb bag at Costco for $23.
posted by caryatid at 1:45 PM on January 12, 2014

Way too fucking much. We joke about the UPS driver cursing us as he drives up our long gravel driveway to drop off razor blades. Let me make this recommendation -- add stuff to your shopping cart as you need it, then pull the trigger once in a while. Don't go for a slow steady drip of consumer products.

Mr. Llama is drunk on Amazon Prime. There is a package from Amazon at our house every damn day of our lives. It's half funny, but I also know it's sort of environmentally grotesque and I think it affects how much money he's actually spending, because it's just so satisfying. (He knows; we've talked about it.)

Anyway -- we order anything that's inconvenient to go get. I like graph paper, for instance. I can't find it at grocery stores, Target,etc. Rather than mess around taking a special trip to ??? I just order it off Amazon. I've ordered Dr. Hauschka lip balm off Amazon -- too much trouble to drive around looking for it. Art supplies.

Prime is great, it really is, just be careful that you don't get high on impulse buying like poor Mr. Llama, who is going to have to go to rehab.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:30 PM on January 12, 2014 [4 favorites]

Just ... everything. It has dramatically changed our shopping patterns for the worse. The only stuff we buy locally pretty much is coffee, food, and things that are hard to get otherwise or not worth the time (stuff you need to see in person: clothes except for shoes, etc.). I had a bit of shame yesterday hauling 6 months of accumulated flattened boxes to the recycling center.

It's bubble 3.0 when you buy 2x40 lb bags of lump charcoal on Amazon Prime on Wednesday and have them show up on Friday evening.

Though right now Google Express is free in the bay area and they do Costco/etc. So if I could be bothered, that.
posted by rr at 2:41 PM on January 12, 2014

The only reason I go to Target anymore is to buy Sudafed, because of course effective cold medicine is one of the few things you can't buy online.

It's a good thing, too, because trips to Target tend to come with a lot of impulse purchases attached, and buying stuff on Amazon Prime doesn't.

I'm one of those people who gets deeply anxious when the last package of toilet paper is opened, and now with Prime and Subscribe&Save, we never run out of TP, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, dishwasher tabs, dental floss, razor blades, shower gel, soap, and so forth.

I've noticed my shopping pattern now is as follows: fire up Amazon, enter search, select "Prime Available", select "4 stars and above" then sort "price low to high" and find the sweet spot on the value curve, whether it's a frying pan, a shower head, or a toilet seat.
posted by ambrosia at 2:56 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Holy crap, I am obviously underutilizing my Amazon Prime account! I just had one of those insane realizations that I am playing the game the wrong way!
posted by jadepearl at 2:56 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

What cat litter deals are people finding on Amazon? A 25 lb box of Fresh Step on Amazon is $29.95, almost three times the price at Walmart, Petco or Kmart.
posted by Majorita at 3:04 PM on January 12, 2014

Beyond the simple "everything" - we use it a lot for things that we might not make a special trip to go get, but we really would like to have. Example:
Me (while making dinner): I hate our can opener.
Husband (while sitting at his computer): A new one will be here in 2 days.

Had we not had Amazon Prime, I probably would have put up with the crappy can opener for a lot longer because I wouldn't have thought to put it on a list of things to get. Most of the time Prime can get me something faster than I would be able to make time in my schedule to go get the item.

I don't generally buy groceries or things for which a specific color or other physical feature matters a lot to me personally (e.g., towels, bedding). But apart from that, we buy A LOT on Prime. Much like many modern conveniences, I can't imagine my life without it.
posted by Terriniski at 3:05 PM on January 12, 2014

Response by poster: Ok, I just bought several hundred dollars worth of crap. Apparently this will save me money. But really, this helped a lot.

I will be back next week for advice on what wireless laser printer I should be buying from amazon for my mac.
posted by milarepa at 3:26 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I often buy Vitamins, electronic knick nacks and clothing.
posted by justinleon at 3:57 PM on January 12, 2014

What cat litter deals are people finding on Amazon? A 25 lb box of Fresh Step on Amazon is $29.95
Amazon's prices for individual items swing wildly from day to day. So, you have to be careful with Amazon, but it's easy to be so. For example, that item typically sells for like $11.50.
posted by Flunkie at 4:20 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

ALL the things!


coffee maker
cleaning supplies
meat thermometer
kitchen gadgets

BTW, order from smile.amazon.com/ It's the same as amazon.com but .05% of your purchase goes to the charity of your choice.
posted by michellenoel at 6:12 PM on January 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

I work at a grocery store so I don't buy perhaps as much as I should from Amazon Prime, just wanted to add that some things are now "add-on" items, meaning you can't order them from amazon unless they're part of an order of at least $25.
The best thing might be to make a "grocery list" style wishlist until you have $25 worth of stuff. You can also have them alert you if the price changes! Maybe it's obvious but I didn't think of it until just now (and almost talked myself into $30 worth of tampons earlier this week).
posted by rubster at 6:21 PM on January 12, 2014

Bookshelves, mattresses, a monthly mitzvah, and pretty much all of my Christmas shopping.
posted by bac at 6:49 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love Amazon Prime, and like most others that have already contributed, I buy a lot of stuff from them because of it.

BUT, Amazon definitely does not have the best deals on everything. It's usually fairly comparable, but there are a number of times where there's a significant markup versus what you can find elsewhere, especially with items that are supplied by a third-party seller that takes Prime. In some cases it is literally the exact same price as I can find on another site with the shipping included (e.g. on Amazon Prime something might be $15, and elsewhere it's $10+$5 shipping). For anything on the more expensive side, it can be worth your while to comparison shop.

As others have noted, what works best for me is to accumulate items in my shopping cart, and use that to comparison shop at my leisure. Your cart will roam with your account; Amazon never empties it for you unless an item goes out of stock, and then it only removes that item.
posted by Aleyn at 7:09 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sex toys and other intimate items. I like visiting places like Pleasure Chest and Babeland, but it's also nice to be able to buy these kinds of things online—and, as many others have said, read reviews. And if you prefer not to shop in public for this stuff, well, even better!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:12 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing the everything answer. I know it kills local business, I know you can't touch it and feel it online, but there's no greater feeling than remembering you needed UV filters for your camera, ordering it at 11 p.m. at night, and then having it appear 2 days later at your doorstep with free shipping. Add the Amazon Prime movie streaming and last-minute Christmas presents, and I'm hooked.
posted by adverb at 8:22 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm going to admit that I only skimmed the posts but I don't see many mentions of the fact that with Prime you also get access to a ton of free streaming video - pretty decent selection, too.

To answer the main question - I get pretty much everything other than groceries and things I need immediately from Amazon.
posted by Gev at 5:05 AM on January 13, 2014

Everything non edible.
posted by squirbel at 6:42 AM on January 13, 2014

Stuff that I'd have to make A Trip to get, because Prime lets me shop at night.

If I am going to a given store anyway, I can add something to my list, but if the item I need to buy requires its own trip then I am often out of luck. I have a bunch of kids and a full-time job downtown so I only go out to run errands maybe one night a week or on the weekend. (Making extra trips to comparison shop simply does not happen.)

At night I can trade away a few minutes of sleep for shopping time, but the stores are all closed…all but the ones on the Internet, that is! And so I end up at Amazon, buying everything that I can wait two days to receive.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:25 AM on January 13, 2014

If you have Amazon Prime, do check out the Kindle First program, which lets you choose one of four selected ebooks per month, free.
posted by Lexica at 11:39 AM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

In the past few months:

- Dr. Marten's Wonder Balsam Shoe Polish
- Drinking straws in fun colors that are of a wider circumference than anything I could find in a store
- Lotion that I could only find on Amazon
- The new Owen record
- Infrared thermometer gun with laser sight (omg so much fun)
- 10lbs of soy wax flakes
- Lint roller
- Silk pillowcases
- Copper foil tape
- Microfiber lens cleaning cloth
- 1lb of copper masonry nails
- Pill shaver

Because of the rating/review system, basically everything I've ordered has always performed wonderfully. Gone are the days of taking a gamble of choosing between x or y brand of product because that's all the store sells. I've also cut down on those horrific Target trips that begin with, "oh I only need a couple of things" and end with me hobbling out of the store 3 hours later and $200 poorer.

I get distracted pretty easily so I really like the fact that as someone else mentioned, Amazon will never empty your cart and you can save items for later if you're not ready to immediately purchase. I can just stash things in there so that it's not on my ADD brain to remember that at some point in the near future I want to buy a fish spatula.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 2:38 PM on January 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

OK, this thread just triggered my Prime need and I spent $140 on
dog chews
25 lb bag of Pinnacle dog food with subscription
Soggy doggy super sham
new shower curtain liner
pumice scour stick
2 spring window curtain rods

Must stop, I have another couple hundred in Save for Later!!!! Aargh!!!
posted by thinkpiece at 6:23 PM on January 13, 2014

Another thing that's great about Prime is that it makes sending gifts a lot easier. I'm really bad about remembering to buy/wrap/mail gifts to people out of town, so Prime plus gift wrapping is killer.

You can add quite a few (unlimited?) credit cards and shipping addresses, so I buy stuff for work with my work credit card. Hell, I used a coworker's card to buy a couple of laptops for the office since he didn't have Prime and needed them next day.

One thing I really like is the "family" feature. My fiance is technically the main holder of our Prime account, but I'm a "family member" - I can use my own Amazon account and order whatever I want and have confirmations come to my email, etc., but I get his Prime benefits.
posted by radioamy at 8:55 PM on January 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

Holy smokes, @radioamy, I did not know that was an option! THANK YOU!

I just logged into my wife's Amazon account (with Prime) and invited myself / my own Amazon account (without Prime) so now I have it, too. Awesome!
posted by GatorDavid at 10:43 PM on January 13, 2014

A few recent examples of why I love Prime:

The battery in our car key fob was dying. I opened it up and it looked like a small coin-style 3v battery. After the gym, I stopped at the nearby hardware store and realized I had no idea which number I needed -- there were about 5 different options with minute differences between them. FAIL. Went home, figured out the number and looked at the price on Amazon. $1.85 for a package of 5. Good data point. Went to the coffee shop, decided to stop at anther hardware store. They didn't have the version of battery that I needed. FAIL. A few days later, went to the gym, stopped at that first hardware store, and they too were out of stock on my model. FAIL. Decided to say 'screw it' and did what I should have done all along -- buy the stupid batteries on Amazon. Two days later, a package of five was in my mailbox, which would have been $3.99 each in my local store, had they managed to carry them.

Repeat this ridiculous dance for purchasing (just this month): oven lightbulb, dog food, dog heater pad thing, USB cable for my camera, filters for my camera lens, bobbins for my sewing machine so I don't have to make the trek to godforsaken Jo-Ann's Fabrics, a thread organizer, printer paper, 11lbs of farro, huge pack of toothpaste and spare toothbrush heads, razor blades, dozens of books, a bluetooth speaker/mic for my car, and the list goes on. I still try to purchase as much as I can locally, but Amazon Prime is freaking genius.

It has also helped with indecision problems when faced with three options of roughly equal price. On Amazon, I can see that one clearly has better reviews or has features that I need and didn't think to look for on the box. It has helped me make faster and better consumer decisions, ultimately resulting in (a) better quality of life and (b) fewer bad purchasing decisions.

O Prime, How I Love Thee.
posted by barnone at 8:52 AM on January 14, 2014

Yeah, remember all those little things around your house that you would love to use, but they are in need of a new battery/lightbulb/needle/cable/filter/adapter, and you can't be bothered to go to every hardware store in town to find just the right doodad?

Amazon Prime.
posted by Sara C. at 9:27 AM on January 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Some things (grocery and drugstore items) are *way* more expensive on Amazon. Everything else, yeah, stupidly cheap.

I cue up things I want, but don't need right now, using the mobile app. I also pick up *heavy* things, and let the UPS dude bring them to my door. (I've tipped him a case of beer on occasion, though.)

Best one? Cat litter. In 40 lb bags.
posted by talldean at 12:28 PM on January 14, 2014

Also there is A Thing that it seasonal and tasty and somewhat difficult to find in stores but easily buyable on Amazon which I am not going to list here because I want it all for myself.
posted by elizardbits at 1:42 PM on January 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

This and this are the cat litter brands I buy on Amazon. The closest in-store equivalent is Fresh Step crystals, which run $15 for an 8-pound bag.

Other things that might not jump out as "Amazony" purchases: pots and pans, coffee beans, insecticides, deodorant, toothbrushes, and my kid's school uniform clothes.
posted by kostia at 7:16 PM on January 14, 2014

Shopping where I live is less than great and I hate looking for stuff at stores, so I buy everything on Amazon. I don't even bother to do price comparison in many cases, with free shipping Amazon almost always comes ahead, and their return policy, customer service and reliability trumps other stores which may be a few dollars cheaper.

Biggest purchase to date: a washing machine.

Biggest price difference: cellphone charger, 1/5 on the price on Amazon than in the electronics store.
Also, refilled printer toner.
posted by sockpuppetdirect at 5:58 PM on January 20, 2014

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