Tricking Amazon into an extra 5% off

amazon gold box dealsDid you know that if you go to Amazon’s Todays Deals page, login to your account, and scroll down to the section titled “Yan’s Quick Picks” (that of course would be your name) the merchandise offered there is priced at a 5% discount off the ongoing sale price?

Amazon builds this list daily based on your past activity. Things you have purchased in the past are used as the basis when this list is compiled. You can see what kind of stuff gets there by visiting the “recommendations” page (click on the “recommendations” link on the top of the Amazon home page when you are logged in).

The neat thing about the Quick Picks is that they can be easily influenced by simply claiming an ownership of a similar item to the one you want to buy. For example if I wanted Sony PSP I would go to the PSP 2GB Memory Stick product page, scrolled down to “Rate This Item” and clicked on “I own it” check box. If after doing so you go to the “recommendations” page you will notice quite a few PSP related products including this PSP 2000 Console.

Some of these items will be making their way to your Quick Picks page the next day and going forward. To help Amazon decide what to add there you may want to remove the items you don’t need by marking them as “Not Interested”. The first time around this procedure took me a while since Amazon logged quite a bit of my past activity. You can speed things us by using the “Fix this” link which tunes up the criteria used for the recommendations.

Sony PSP at AmazonI followed the steps above and surely enough the Sony PSP showed up the next day in my Quick Picks. The price was $161.49 which is 5% or $8.50 off the on going sale price ($169.99). Is 8 bucks worth a day wait for you? It is for me and I wish I knew about this trick before I bough my Sony camcorder this past holiday season. 5% on a pricey item like that comes to pretty good savings.

There are a few things that you need to remember before you try this out. You are required to make at least one purchase at Amazon before you start seeing anything in your Quick Picks list. Only one Quick Pick can be redeemed per day. Once you add the item to your shopping cart you have 60 minutes to complete the checkout process before the savings expire. You can find other restriction at this page but these above are the most important ones.

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5 Responses to “Tricking Amazon into an extra 5% off”

  1. 1 Mike Allen May 28th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Interesting “feature” that I’m sure Amazon will address soon enough now. As your title suggests, it is tricking Amazon and if enough people do it their vast database of ratings will become almost worthless since they will become based on fraudulent clicks attempting to manipulate a 5% discount instead of actual owner ratings. I also don’t want to lie and say I own the product when I don’t. It’s unethical.

    In other areas, I wonder how Amazon addresses this issue and the minimum pricing requirement some manufacturers place on their products? Seems that Amazon’s system will not be able to discount those items or they (Amazon) would be in violation of their pricing contracts that I assume exists.

  2. 2 Lance May 28th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    It seems a reality check is in order. Amazon records our every click and bombards us with “deals” and “special offers.” Is it ethical to keep up with all the books we own or even look at? If smart consumers figure out ways to save a buck more power to ‘em. Long live!!!

  3. 3 Yan May 28th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    I don’t really see it as a big deal. First of all you don’t need to rate products, just claim the ownership, so no harm done there. Next, why Amazon is using my past activity to offer me these wonderful recommendations? To improve their chances of selling this stuff to me. And also *possibly* to make the case of not paying the affiliate commission, if there is one. So I don’t really see any crime done in helping Amazon to pick the products I really want to buy. The alternative for them is – I will spend my money elsewhere.

  4. 4 Turn One Pound Into One Million May 30th, 2008 at 9:13 am

    What a fantastic tip – a bit cheeky but why not!!

  5. 5 Alex Jun 12th, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Here’s another tip – you get free shipping with $25 minimum order. If you don’t have $25 of merchandise available, add a filler then cancel online (you have to catch it before the order was processed) and you will still get the free shipping.

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