The only catch – apart from the fact that the stuff is not technically "new" – is that Amazon does not make it easy to find these discounted offers, so you have to play a little hide and seek, which is not always easy. Sometimes it can even be so difficult to find out whether or not a certain item is available through Amazon Warehouse that it almost seems as if Amazon is deliberately hiding the discounts.
That's why I'm going to help you navigate through the labyrinth of Amazon lists and show you how to continue until you find the best deal. Once you have mastered this hack, you will never again have to pay the full sale price of an Amazon item.
How do I find specific items from Amazon Warehouse
If you look like me, I know exactly what I am looking for 99% of the time I buy on Amazon. If you already have something specific in mind but want to see if there is a discounted Amazon Warehouse option available, then these are your investigative skills.
First pull the item that you want to buy in the same way as you would normally do on Amazon, but do not add it to your shopping cart yet. Search the page and keep your eyes open for words like "New and used", http://www.cnet.com/ "Buy used", "New and used offers" or simply "Used".
Usually a price is also mentioned that represents the cheapest available option (but excluding taxes or shipping costs). If you're not lucky to find the link, try the "find" function of your browser (usually Control-F on Windows PCs and Command-F on Macs) to search for these keywords.
Once you find the link, look for items with "Amazon Warehouse" listed as the seller and an Amazon Prime logo that appears near the price. If Amazon Warehouse has more than one item in stock, there is sometimes a separate list for each item, especially if the items are in different conditions.
Why Amazon Warehouse stuff is so cheap
Like other major retailers such as Walmart or Target, Amazon incorporates many customer returns that it can no longer sell as a newcomer, regardless of whether the buyer purchases it. item has been returned or even opened.
That is why everything that Amazon Warehouse sells is listed as used, even if the product itself has never been touched. Regardless of the state, stuff used is simply worth less – sometimes a lot less. And that's good for you.
What to do if you get a lemon
Of the dozens (if not hundreds) of Amazon Warehouse lists that I have bought over the years, I only encountered problems with a handful of them – a Bluetooth adapter for my car that would switch off randomly, a wireless router that did not send a signal, a very well-worn puppy harness with dog hair tied to it; those kind of things.
When that happens, I simply return the item as if I had a defective product and then order another. Certainly, it is a bit more hassle, but given the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars I have saved in this way over the years, it is worth the extra.
The truth is that most Amazon Warehouse items are in perfect condition – – many have not even been taken out of their package so much, such as the Ring 2 Doorbell that I received for $ 65 (it costs $ 139) or the Baby Trend stroller for which I paid $ 81 instead of $ 105. Even for items that were removed from the box, Amazon goes through everything the company calls a "rigorous 20-point inspection process", after which each item receives a quality rating and is priced accordingly.
Some items may have cosmetic damage or missing parts, accessories, instructions, or assembly tools, but Amazon will describe any damage to the product or packaging, as well as any missing element along with the condition, so you won't be surprised. For example, when I ordered a 100-watt Pyle amplifier for $ 29, I knew that the accessories were loose and that the amplifier would be repackaged. Who cares? I saved $ 15.
The different quality classes and what they mean
Amazon has five different qualities that it assigns to items that it sells. Here they are with a brief explanation of what Amazon means to them.
Updated: This is the highest rating that an Amazon Warehouse item can receive and is comparable to what other companies refurbished & # 39; could call it. Renewed items have been carefully inspected and tested and determined to look and function like new and come with a 90-day replacement warranty or a refund guarantee. The "renewed" Roku Express Plus that I ordered was never opened.
Used, as new: No noticeable stains or spots on the item itself, although the packaging may be damaged, incomplete or missing. All accessories are included and any damage to the package is described in the list. The box for the Like New Evenflo locking port on which I saved $ 6 was a little broken, but I've seen a lot worse on the Walmart shelves. The gate itself was immaculate.
Used, very good: Item has been used lightly, with minimal visible indications of wear, but otherwise in good condition. The packaging may be damaged, incomplete or the item has been repackaged. Missing accessories are detailed on the list. I saved $ 4 on a Very Good Bosch Icon wiper blade with, like, one scuff on it.
Used, Good: Item shows moderate traces of use, packaging may be damaged or the item repackaged, and accessories, instructions, or mounting aids may be missing. Another Bosch Icon wiper blade that I received was only in good condition, but I saved $ 15 on it, and to be honest, I can't tell each other now that they're on my car.
Used, Acceptable: Very well behaved, but still fully functional. Major cosmetic defects, packaging problems and / or missing parts, accessories, instructions or tools. I received an Echo Dot for $ 23 which was considered acceptable. I think it has a scratch near the power port, but now it's on my bedside table where it does its job well, and usually in the dark, for less than half the cost of a new one.
How to choose the right quality
If multiple listings with different qualities are available for the product that I want to buy, I think about what I will use it for. If it was purely functional and I didn't care about the cosmetic condition, such as hair clippers or a cordless drill, I would choose the cheapest option, period.
If it was something that I would display, such as a kitchen mixer, side table or wall clock, I would read the descriptions a little better and look for items that are rated as Very Good or as New.
But frankly, a price that is low enough for almost anything can make me tolerate some scratches or wear. Not to mention my experience, Amazon tends to stay on the side of caution and to mark items as Good or Acceptable that the average person would regard as very good or as new.
No official guarantee, but your mileage can be very high  One of the benefits of purchases through Amazon Warehouse is that the standard 30-day replacement or refund policy from Amazon applies, which is useful if you have a lemon. Amazon warns that because these products are considered used, they are not supplied with the manufacturer's original warranty.
That said, if the product is not already registered in someone else's name, there is a good chance that problems you encounter in Amazon's 30-day window can be solved with a call to the manufacturer.
Amazon Prime members still receive free shipping
you will not receive a larger discount on Amazon Warehouse Deals, but will receive free shipping, just like with other Prime-in eligible items, that's why I still pay for Prime, although most of my purchases come from Amazon Warehouse.
Most of the things that I have purchased through Amazon Warehouse ships and arrive within the same one to two day window, I receive new items, although some orders take longer to fulfill. If that is the case, the extra processing time is usually indicated on the list, so I know what to expect.
External sellers and other deals
While wandering around looking for Amazon Warehouse Deals offers, you may have discovered even more discounted offers not sold by Amazon. What you came across are items sold by external retailers whose only relationship with Amazon is that their items are for sale at Amazon's marketplace, just like eBay.
Amazon & # 39; s buyer protection, however, is considerably lower than that of eBay. eBay guarantees customers their money back in the event of a dispute, and although Amazon will eventually do the same, the process is a bit more complicated, so be careful. Generally, if I cannot find a sufficient deal on Amazon Warehouse, I go to eBay and search for the item there instead. eBay is a bit more transparent about both its suppliers and the merchandise they sell. If I'm going to buy garage-sale unlike Amazon's never-used used one, I prefer eBay.
Originally published last year.