7 money-saving Amazon shopping hacks

  • Lucie Lang/iStockphoto

    Amazon (AMZN) may be known as a retailer that offers low prices on everything from books to toys, but beyond that are also some little-known hacks that can save you both money and time.

    Some of these strategies are available only to customers who have signed up for Amazon Prime, however. That service costs $99 per year and includes free two-day shipping and free video streaming of TV shows and movies on Prime Instant Video. Of course, Prime isn't for everyone: It's most cost-effective for people who place at least 18 orders annually, according to Consumer Reports.

    For frugal Americans, there's another downside to becoming a Prime member, aside from the $99 annual fee (Amazon is offering Prime for $67 just for Friday, Sept. 25, to celebrate its five Emmy awards). Customers who opt for the service tend to open their wallets more -- a lot more. Prime members shell out about $1,500 on average each year, compared with $625 per year for Amazon customers who haven't signed up for the service, according to a report issued earlier this year from market research company Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

    Not all the following hacks are for Prime members, however. Some are basic strategies that will help no matter what type of Amazon customer you are.

    Read on to learn more.