Last Updated: October 30, 2015 386

Amazon Review: An Exciting Online Shopping Adventure

Found In: Shopping

At present, Amazon has around 230 million active accounts. They started as an online bookstore in 1994 and moved quickly into other products. Today, you can find practically anything you want on Amazon from electronics to household and personal use products. They have international shipping and have branched out to other products such as Amazon Games, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Video, Amazon Art, Amazon Local, Amazon Wireless, Amazon Dash, Amazon Supply, Amazon Studio, and just this year, Amazon Home Services, Amazon Destinations, and Handmade by Amazon.

Features of Amazon

Probably the best feature of Amazon is its review badging option. If you have an Amazon account, you are allowed to rate your purchases based on a 5-star system. You can give feedback on your buying experience and you can read the feedback from other account holders to help you decide on a purchase. In multiple cases, Amazon reviews are powerful indications of the quality and service a buyer can expect to get from the seller.

Other user-friendly features are:

Search – This allows you to type in a word or phrase to find specific products and book titles

Content Search – If you type in certain words on the “Search Inside the Book” feature, Amazon will search for content on those words in all its books in its catalog. Amazon has over 130 publishers which have allowed Amazon users to conduct this kind of searches. You cannot print the text and there are limits to the number of pages that can be accessed but it is very useful for those who want to have an inside look into certain books.

Third Party Sellers – Amazon allows third-party sellers on its website which has made Amazon one of the most extensive shopping websites in the world. Third party sellers are registered under an affiliate program and referrals get a percentage of the sales.

Best Sellers List – Amazon also lists products that are ranked high in popularity. This helps buyers who are unfamiliar with a product or brand.

Amazon Prime – This is the Amazon membership that offers special 2-day shipping within the US, free of charge. Membership comes with an annual fee. Other benefits of being an Amazon member are discounted shipping rates to international destinations, 5% cash back with store card, free video streaming, free access to the Kindle Lending Library with no due date, ad-free music streaming, unlimited photo storage  on Amazon’s cloud drive, and same day delivery to 15 US cities. This membership can be shared by 5 people.

Amazon Locker – This feature is available only in Seattle, New York, London, and parts of California. It’s perfect for people who have to leave the house and have no other address to forward their purchases. Amazon will drop their purchases at the Amazon Locker and customers can just pick them up from the locker. Most Amazon Lockers operate on a 24-hour mode.

Amazon Smile – If you shop using Amazon Smile, a percentage (0.5%) of your purchases is given to a charity of your choice.

Kindle Family Library – Books, movies, and apps bought from the Kindle library can be shared with 1 other adult and 3 children without incurring additional charges.

And if you buy a product regularly, you can sign up for continuous delivery and get an additional discount.

What Can Amazon Do For You?

Basically, Amazon offers you an online shopping experience that is safe, convenient, and possibly cheaper than buying from your local mall or other websites.  From another angle, you can sell products on Amazon and make some money as a vendor. Amazon has 2 plans for vendors. One is the professional vendor plan and the other is for those who have less than 40 products to sell.

Tips & Tricks Using Amazon

You’ll like it.

  1. Do you have a prepaid credit card with a low balance? Instead of losing that money to the credit card company in maintenance fees, buy an Amazon gift card using custom amount. This type of gift card has no expiration date and so you won’t feel the pressure to spend it. You can also get an Amazon Gift Card by trading in an old phone, DVDs, books, CDs, and video games so if you have grown-up children with expensive toys they don’t use or need, this is a great alternative to holding a yard sale.
  2. Bought a phone or TV and found out later it’s cheaper somewhere else? Call Amazon and ask for a refund on the difference. However, you will have to successfully contact Amazon customer service within 7 to 14 days after shipment. Fortunately, they usually respond within 24 hours. This refund offer is also applicable to Amazon items (not third party products) you bought at a full price that went on sale hours after your purchase.
  3. Late delivery? Guess what? You can get a refund on shipping costs and a one-month extension if you are an Amazon Prime member.
  4. If you’re not a picky buyer and you want to save money, check out the Amazon Warehouse deals which offers refurbished items at much lower prices. Also, if you are in no rush to get your order, select the No Rush Shipping option and get $1 credit on your next video purchase.

Finally, forget about the Black Friday/panic buying rush (happening this November 27), Amazon has something better: the Amazon Gold Box and the Amazon Coupon Page. These are all-year round sales and instant discounts on selected items.

How To Create An Amazon Account

It’s very simple.

  1. Open the Amazon website on your computer or mobile device
  2. On the upper right corner, you should see “Your Account” Click on “Start Here”
  3. A window will appear. Fill in details like your name, email address, mobile number, and password. Click “Create Account”
  4. You can now start to personalize your account. Go to “My Account. “ Select your preferred payment method: credit or debit card and input your billing and shipping address. Click Save
  5. You can go back to “My Account” and input your other personal details like your birthday, location, and upload a photo. You can also connect your new Amazon account to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. This can also be done under “My Account”

You’re now ready to shop on Amazon. Remember to give feedback on products you buy because it will not only help other buyers, it will add credibility to you as a verified Amazon buyer.  From one Amazon user, my most precious piece of advice is to shop around and not be boggled by the choices. It can get confusing at the start with all the suggestions and recommended products. In fact, it is not uncommon to find yourself deviating to a totally new line of products because of something that caught your eye while on the website. Use the wish list to tag every item you like so when you finally decide to buy something, you have an easier way to track down the items you liked in the past. It will also help you from succumbing to impulsive shopping!