Your guide to a better future
There’s no need for an Amazon Prime membership when you can get deep discounts with warehouse deals.
This story is part of , helping you make the most of your tech, home and health during the holiday season.
Amazon finished its major shopping events last year, but don’t fret; those deals will be back later this year. In the meantime, if you want affordable deals in 2023 that won’t break the bank, we’ve got three words for you: .
This little-known feature is one of our favorite hidden Amazon shopping tricks, and it’s routinely gotten us up to 70% off almost any kind of product. You don’t even need to be an to take advantage; you just need to know where to look.
That may sound too good to be true, but an Amazon Warehouse deal is actually just a (sometimes major) discount on returned, damaged, lightly used or refurbished items. And yes, free two-day shipping (one of the ) applies to most products, in case you need to rush for a last-minute gift. (P.S. Here’s what to know about .)
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to use this trick next time you’re shopping on Amazon.
We often begin Amazon searches on the , because it cuts out full-price listings almost entirely so you mostly just see the discounted items (we’ll get to one exception shortly). To get there, open Amazon using either a desktop browser or the Amazon mobile app and search for “Amazon warehouse” or “warehouse deals.”
Rather than getting a list of search results like normal, you should see a screen that looks a lot like the main Amazon search page, with a search bar, categories and so on.
This quick and easy approach works best if you’re not in the market for something in particular — say you’re just looking for or killing time during your lunch break. It can be a lot of fun to scroll through the various categories looking for stuff that pops out at you. If you’re shopping for something more specific, however, keep reading for pro tips on how to find it discounted using Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Just like other major retailers such as Walmart or Target, Amazon takes in a lot of customer returns, which it can no longer sell as new-in-box, regardless of why the buyer sent the item back or whether it’s even been opened. That’s why everything Amazon Warehouse sells is listed as used, even if the product itself has never been touched. Regardless of its condition, used stuff is just worth less — sometimes a lot less. And that’s good for you.
Shopping Amazon Warehouse deals will save you a fraction of the price on products.
Everything we’ve shown you so far works great so long as you’re a little flexible about what you’re looking for. If, on the other hand, you’re shopping for something really specific — like, say, an Otterbox case for your — it can be frustrating to limit your search to just Warehouse Deals listings. You might turn up nothing at all relevant.
Whenever you head to Amazon to buy an exact product, go ahead and search for it just like you would otherwise. There’s a way to check and see if a discounted Warehouse Deals version is available from any Amazon listing.
Don’t throw away those Amazon boxes just yet — if you do happen to receive an item that’s broken or doesn’t work, you’ll need to return it to Amazon.
Usually there’ll be a price listed, too, representing the cheapest option available (but not including tax or shipping costs). If you’re not having any luck finding the link and you’re on a computer, try using your browser’s “find” function (usually Control-F on Windows PCs and Command-F on Macs) to look for these keywords.
Once you locate the link, look for items with “Amazon Warehouse” listed as the seller and an Amazon Prime logo displayed near the price. If Amazon Warehouse has more than one of the same item in stock, there will sometimes be a separate listing for each, especially if the items are in different conditions.
Another thing to keep an eye on — make sure you always go back to the Amazon Warehouse Deals splash page before starting a different search. Otherwise, if you just search for another item from the search bar at the top of the page, Amazon might bounce you out of Warehouse Deals and into the full site.
Same goes for “recent searches.” If you searched for, say, “bunny slippers” across all of Amazon, then went to Warehouse Deals and searched for “banana slippers,” then decided you definitely want bunnies over bananas, don’t select “bunny slippers” from the drop-down menu that appears when you select the search bar. Those recent searches will search not just the same terms but the same Amazon sections as the original search. In other words, it’ll yank you out of Warehouse Deals and back to the land of full-price slippers. Instead, type the search in again on the Amazon Warehouse Deals main page.
Say you’ve been thinking about getting a new cordless drill for a while. You don’t care who makes it, you just don’t want to spend a lot of money. Or a new dog leash, robot vacuum, whatever. You’re not brand-loyal, just cost-conscious. That’s the perfect time to search from inside Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Do it just like you would on the full Amazon site — type your search terms in the dialog box, then select “Search.” Searching from the Warehouse Deals main page, your results won’t be cluttered with a bunch of full-price listings.
Except for one caveat: Amazon’s “sponsored” listings. Unless you have an ad blocker that specifically removes Amazon’s paid listing results (you can use the Amazon Ad Blocker Chrome extension), you’ll still see full-priced items peppered among the discounts. These non-discounted listings look almost identical to Warehouse Deals, except they’re labeled “Sponsored.” Sneaky, but that’s why I’m warning you.
Amazon Prime members don’t get any extra discounts on Amazon Warehouse merchandise, but they still benefit from free and usually pretty fast shipping.
Of the dozens (if not hundreds) of Amazon Warehouse listings we’ve bought over the years, we only ever ran into problems with a handful of them — a Bluetooth adapter for a car that would randomly shut off, a wireless router that didn’t broadcast any signal, a very well-worn puppy harness with dog hair stuck to it; stuff like that.
Whenever that happens, just return the item like you would any defective product, then order another one. Sure, it’s a bit more hassle, but considering the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars we’ve saved over the years this way, it’s worth the extra effort.
Truth is, most Amazon Warehouse items are in perfect working order — many haven’t even been so much as pulled out of their packages. Even for stuff that has been taken out of the box, Amazon puts everything through what the company calls a “rigorous 20-point inspection process,” after which each item is given a quality grade and priced accordingly.
Some items may have cosmetic damage or be missing parts, accessories, instructions or assembly tools, but Amazon will detail any damage to the product or packaging, as well as any missing element along with the condition, so you won’t be surprised.
Amazon has five different grades it assigns to items it resells. Here they are with brief explanations of what Amazon means.
The Amazon Warehouse listing for this product in Good condition costs $121.79. The same item in Very Good condition costs almost $7 more. Either option, however, seems better than paying $164.99 for it brand-new.
Renewed: This is the highest grade an Amazon Warehouse item can receive and is on par with what other companies might call “refurbished.” Renewed items have been closely inspected and tested and determined to look and function like new and come with a 90-day replacement or refund guarantee. The “refreshed” we once ordered had never even been opened.
Used, Like New: No noticeable blemishes or marks on the item itself, although the packaging may be damaged, incomplete or missing altogether. All accessories are included, and any damage to the package will be described in the listing. The box for the Like New we saved $6 on was a little banged up, but we’ve seen way worse on Walmart’s shelves. The gate itself was flawless.
Used, Very Good: The item has been lightly used, with minor visible indications of wear and tear, but is otherwise in good working order. Packaging might be damaged, incomplete or the item repackaged. Any missing accessories will be mentioned in the listing.
Used, Good: Item shows moderate signs of use, packaging may be damaged or the item repackaged and it could be missing accessories, instructions or assembly tools. Another we got was only in Good shape, but we saved $15 on that one, and honestly can’t tell one from the other now that they’re on the car.
Used, Acceptable: Very well-worn, but still fully functional. Major cosmetic defects, packaging issues and/or missing parts, accessories, instructions or tools. I got an for $23 that was considered Acceptable. It has a scratch near the power port, but on a nightstand it’s hard to tell and cost half price.
If there are multiple listings with different grades available, think about what it will be used for. If it’s something purely functional and we couldn’t care less about its cosmetic condition, like hair clippers or a cordless drill, we’d go with the cheapest option.
If it’s something for display, like a kitchen mixer, end table or wall clock, read the descriptions a little more closely and look for items that are rated Very Good or Like New.
But honestly, a low enough price on just about anything could woo you into putting up with some scratches or scuffs. In our experience, Amazon tends to err on the side of caution, marking items as Good or Acceptable that the average person would consider Very Good or Like New.
You can sometimes get Amazon Echo Dots for over 50% off their retail price.
One of the benefits of purchases made through Amazon Warehouse is that Amazon’s standard 30-day replacement or refund return policy applies, which comes in handy if you wind up with a lemon. Amazon does caution that because these products are considered used they don’t come with the manufacturer’s original warranty.
That said, if the product hasn’t already been registered in someone else’s name, there’s a decent chance any issues you run into past Amazon’s 30-day window can be resolved with a call to the manufacturer.
won’t get you a bigger discount on Amazon Warehouse Deals, but you’ll get free shipping just as you would for any other Prime-eligible item, which is why we pay for Prime even though many of our purchases come from Amazon Warehouse.
Most of the stuff we bought through Amazon Warehouse ships and arrives within the same one- to two-day window we get with new items, although some orders do take longer to fulfill. If that’s the case, the extra handling time is usually indicated on the listing, so you’ll know what to expect.
While wading around in the listings looking for Amazon Warehouse Deals you may have discovered even more discounted listings not sold by Amazon. What you’ve stumbled upon are items sold by third-party retailers whose only relationship with Amazon is that their items are for sale on Amazon’s marketplace, much like eBay.
Amazon’s buyer protections lag considerably behind eBay’s, however. eBay guarantees customers their money back in the event of a dispute, and although Amazon will ultimately do the same, its process is a bit more convoluted, so proceed with caution. Generally, if you can’t find a good enough deal on Amazon Warehouse, tab over to eBay and look for the item there instead. eBay is a little more transparent about both its vendors and the merchandise they sell. If you’re going to buy garage-sale used as opposed to Amazon’s never-opened used, eBay may well be the better way to go.
More from 12 Days of Tips:
Your guide to a better futureThere’s no need for an Amazon Prime membership when you can get deep discounts with warehouse deals.This story is part of 12 Days of Tips, helping you make the most of your tech, home and health during the holiday season. Amazon finished its major shopping events last year, but don’t […]
Your guide to a better future