If the Black Friday crowds and Cyber Monday countdown sales give you more headaches than holiday fun this Thanksgiving weekend, you'll love this Amazon shopping hack that you can use 365 days a year. I regularly save anywhere from a few cents to over 70% off the retail price for practically everything I buy on Amazon by looking for the item I want on Amazon Warehouse Deals, and so can you.
The only catch is that Amazon is not It is exactly that these discount lists are easy to find, so you have to learn where to look. In fact, it can sometimes be so difficult to find out if a particular item is available through Amazon Warehouse that it almost seems like Amazon is deliberately hiding it.
That's why I will help navigate you through the maze of Amazon listings and show you how to drill down until you find the best deal. When you master this hack, you never want to pay the entire retail price of any Amazon item again.
How to Browse Amazon Warehouse Deals
If you are not looking for something special – say you are just looking for gift ideas or killing time during your lunch break – you can get to Amazon's Warehouse Deals landing page by going to Amazon .com and search for "Amazon Warehouse" or "Warehouse Deals." From there, you can browse the categorized lists just as you would at any online retailer.
How to find specific items from Amazon Warehouse
If you are something like me, 99% of the time I shop on Amazon I know exactly what I am looking for. If you already have something specific in mind but want to see if there is a discounted Amazon Warehouse option, this is where your sleuthing skills come in.
First, pull up the item you want to buy just like you normally would on Amazon, but don't add it to your shopping cart yet. Scrub the page and keep your eyes peeled for words like "New and used", http://www.cnet.com/ "Buy used", "New and used offers" or simply "Used."
Usually, there will be a price listed as well, which represents the cheapest alternative available (but not including tax or shipping costs). If you're not lucky enough to find the link, try using your browser's "find" function (usually Control-F on Windows and Command-F on Mac) to look for these keywords.
Once you find the link, look for items with "Amazon Warehouse" listed as a seller and an Amazon Prime logo displayed near the price. If Amazon Warehouse has more than one of the same items in stock, there will sometimes be a separate list for each, especially if the items are in different conditions.
Why Amazon Warehouse stuff is so cheap
Like other major retailers like Walmart or Target, Amazon takes in a lot of customer returns, which it can no longer sell as new interior, no matter why the buyer sent the item back or if it has even been opened.
That's why everything Amazon Warehouse sells is used, even if the product has never been touched. Regardless of its condition, used items are only worth less – sometimes much less. And that's good for you.
What to do when you get a lemon
Of the dozens (if not hundreds) of Amazon Warehouse listings I've purchased over the years, I've only ever encountered problems with a handful of them – a Bluetooth adapter for my car that would be randomly turned off, a wireless router that didn't send a signal, a very worn puppy harness with dog hair stuck in it; stuff.
When that happens, I just return the item as if I had some defective product and then order another. Sure, it's a little more hassle, but considering the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars I've saved over the years in this way, it's worth the extra effort.
The truth is that most Amazon Warehouse items are in perfect working order – – Many haven't even been pulled out of their packages yet, like the Ring 2 door bell I got for $ 65 (it sells for $ 139) or the Baby Trend stroller I paid $ 81 for instead of $ 105. Even for things taken out of the box, Amazon puts everything through what the company calls a "rigorous 20-point inspection process", after which each item gets a quality grade and is priced. then.
Some items may have cosmetic damage or missing parts, accessories, instructions, or mounting 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 the accessories were loose and the amp would be repackaged. Who cares? I saved $ 15.
The different grades and what they mean
Amazon has five different ratings that it assigns to items it sells. Here are the brief explanations of what Amazon means to them.
Renewed: This is the highest class that an Amazon Warehouse item can receive and is on par with what other companies might call "refurbished." Renewed articles have been carefully reviewed and tested and are determined to look and function as new and come with a 90-day compensation or refund guarantee. The "updated" Roku Express Plus I ordered had never even been opened.
Used, as new: No noticeable damage or marks to the item itself, although the packaging may be damaged, incomplete or missing together. All accessories are included and all damage to the package will be described in the list. The box for the Like New Evenflo lock gate that I saved $ 6 on was a bit beaten, but I've seen it worse on Walmart's shelves. The gate itself was faultless.
Used, very good: The object has been used lightly, with less visible signs of wear, but otherwise in good condition. Packaging can be damaged, incomplete or the packaging repackaged. Any missing accessories will be described on the list. I saved $ 4 on a Very Good Bosch Icon wiper blade that had a scrub on it.
Used, Good: The object shows moderate signs of use, packaging can be damaged or the packaging repackaged and no accessories, instructions or mounting tools are missing. Another wiper blade from the Bosch Icon I got was just in good shape, but I saved $ 15 on it, and frankly I can't say one from the other now that they're on my 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 Echo Dot for $ 23 which was considered acceptable. I think it has a scratch near the power gate, but now it's on my nightstand where it does its job well, and mostly in the dark, for less than half the cost of a new one.
How to choose the right grade
If there are several lists of different qualities available for the product I want to buy, I think about what to use it for. If it was something purely functional and I couldn't care less about the cosmetic condition, like a hair clipper or a cordless drill, I would go with the cheapest option, period.
If there was something I would show, such as a kitchen mixer, finish table or wall clock, I would read the descriptions a little more carefully and look for items that are ranked as very good or as new.
But honestly, a low enough price on almost anything can appeal to me to handle any scratches or scrubs. Not to mention, in my experience, Amazon tends to err on the side of caution and mark items as good or acceptable that the average person would consider very good or as new.
Officially no guarantee, but your mileage may be very high  One of the benefits of purchases made through Amazon Warehouse is that Amazon's standard 30-day compensation or refund policy applies, which is handy if you end up with a lemon. Amazon warns that as these products are considered not to be used, they come with the manufacturer's original warranty.
As I said, if the product has not already been registered in someone else's name, there is a decent chance that any problems you encounter on Amazon's 30-day window can be solved with a call to the manufacturer.
Amazon Prime members still receive free shipping
Subscribing to Amazon Prime will not receive a larger discount on Amazon Warehouse deals, but you will receive free shipping just like you would for any other Prime eligible item, why I still pay for Prime even though most of my purchases come from Amazon Warehouse.
Most things I have purchased through Amazon Warehouse ships and come into the same window in one to two days as I get with new items, although some orders do take longer to fulfill. If so, the extra handling time is usually listed, so I know what to expect.
Third-Party Sellers and Other Offers
As you wade through the listings and look for Amazon Warehouse deals, you may have discovered even more discounted listings that were not sold by Amazon. What you have stumbled upon are items sold by third-party merchants whose only relationship with Amazon is that their goods are for sale on the Amazon market, just like eBay.
However, Amazon's purchase protection is significantly behind 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 little more complicated, so proceed with caution. In general, if I do not find one good enough at Amazon Warehouse, I will go to eBay and look for that instead. eBay is a little more transparent when it comes to both suppliers and the goods they sell. If I'm going to buy garage sales that are used in contrast to Amazon's never-opened second-hand, I prefer eBay.
Of course, Amazon will take part in this year's big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as well, with some offers starting as early as November 22. We've put together all of this month's Amazon deals in one place here, but if you're looking for deals you can take advantage of today we have a list of all Amazon deals available right now right here. But don't limit yourself to just Amazon when Best Buy offers are available now, as well as sales at Target.
Originally published earlier this month.