Bargain basement deals

Sure, shares may be heading for their third consecutive year of falls, and savings rates remain stubbornly at their lowest levels for almost half a century. But it is often in the darkest of times that fortunes are made. For anyone with money in their pockets, there are bargains galore. And not just in the stock market. The last time mortgages were this cheap, the Beatles topped the charts and London was at the heart of popular culture. Life assurance, too, is less expensive than a decade ago. Even credit cards are edging towards respectable value. Get The International Pack for free for your first 30 days for unlimited Smartphone and Tablet access.

Already a member? Fantastic deal. Priceonline can be glitchy and didn't always display every result when we checked. So if you're buying something expensive, it's worth checking the EU sites individually too. You'll also need to convert prices from euros into pounds yourself. But you can get free delivery via Amazon Prime. The beauty is you can sign up, order, then just cancel the trial before Amazon charges you. To check, log into your Amazon account, click on 'Prime' and see if you're offered a day free Prime trial.

If you're unsure, add the product to your basket and make sure delivery's free before checking out. Check your bank statement once you've cancelled, because mistakes happen. See below for how to get a refund if you forget to cancel your Amazon Prime subscription before your free trial's up.

You may think that's obvious in some cases, as you can play a film on your TV for all to watch. But we're talking about being able to take advantage of your Prime benefits or read an e-book on more than one phone, Kindle etc. This is a great way of splitting the cost of purchases or a Prime subscription without having to share login details. Whether you've spotted some trainers on a blog or a playhouse in a shop, we've a nifty trick to check if similar items are available on Amazon for less.

Though of course, be mindful that feeding the giant can threaten smaller businesses. Tap the search bar followed by the camera symbol, point your phone's camera at an item and hit 'Start'.

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The app will search Amazon for matching objects and list lookalike items for sale. When we tried it, the app found similar items with varying degrees of success. When it does work, it can be a handy way of finding a visually similar item. You can also use the app to scan barcodes, which can be a more reliable way of getting a closer match. So if you've seen something with a barcode, such as a game or a coffee machine, scan that instead. To do it, open the Amazon app, tap the camera icon in the search bar, then scroll right until it says 'Scan barcodes'.

Your mobile now becomes a barcode scanner, via its camera. Point your phone's camera at the code and you'll see it on screen — the app will scan the code and then list identical items for sale. Never assume Amazon will be cheapest, so while this is a fun tool for a quick check, if you're doing a serious price comparison, look elsewhere too.

Read more on eBay's photo search and barcode scanner. With cashback sites, you sign up, then click through them to buy something or get financial products. Yet it's rare to get cashback on Amazon shopping via these sites — perhaps because it has no problem attracting custom. But you don't need to be a parent. The child can be yours, a grandchild or a friend's. It can even be a twinkle in your eye that you plan to have one day though you need the child's name and actual or expected date of birth to withdraw the cash.

In most cases you'll need to withdraw money into a separate child's account — a Child Trust Fund, junior ISA or a child's bank or building society. If none of these accounts can accept top-ups from your KidStart savings, you can simply use your own current account. You MUST be legitimately saving for a child though. KidStart says it has ways of checking and if it suspects you're not, it could wipe the savings in your account. This usually works, but as with any cashback site, there can be issues tracking your visits, so see it as an added bonus. KidStart won't pay Amazon cashback when you buy or use gift cards, or use 'Subscribe and save'.

We started the account before our first child was even born. Yet we've tricks to slash the price Even better, we've heard some Amazon Prime users have been offered a free day three-book trial. Bizarrely, it's often cheaper to buy a Kindle book first and then opt for the audiobook as an addition, rather than just buy the audiobook outright. To try this, go to Amazon and search for the title's Kindle e-book. Below the 'buy now' button, there's usually a button to 'Add an Audible narration' at an extra charge.

Compare the total cost with the audiobook's normal price to see if it wins. Don't assume buying the Kindle book first will always be cheaper though, and if you buy books frequently weigh it up against the cost of a subscription.


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Already own a bundle of Kindle books? If you get through a lot of audiobooks, subscribing to Audible can work out cheaper, so weigh up if it's worth it.

We suspect list prices are so high because Amazon wants to encourage people to subscribe. This can work out cheaper than the 'buy the Kindle book first' trick above too, though it depends. If you've bought CDs or vinyl, you're entitled to the downloads of most of them for nowt back to Not every single CD is eligible, though we've found the vast majority are - it depends on Amazon's agreement with the music provider.

Amazingly, I still like a lot of them — cheered me up. It's not always such a success though. You may find it encourages you to spend more online precisely what Amazon wants you to do. A couple of credit cards reward spending with loyalty points that can be swapped for Amazon vouchers.

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The easiest way to do this is to set up a direct debit to repay in full. You'll be subject to a credit check when you apply. There are loads of ways to earn free Amazon vouchers, and even better, most don't take much effort. If you're saving up for something big and it's cheapest on Amazon , this can be a great way to nab a discount, or even get it completely free. MSE Sarah's Eight ways to grab 'free' Amazon vouchers blog includes snapping photos of job ads, doing quick online tasks and signing up to survey sites.

If you're feeling lucky, another potentially rewarding hobby is to enter free online competitions to win Amazon vouchers. You need to sign up with a valid. Just follow the steps to add links and banners to your website. When someone clicks on Amazon from your site and makes a transaction, it's recorded and you're paid different rates of commission depending what products you sell and what categories they're in.

The service is free — simply select the item and how regularly you want it delivered. You do need to save your payment details to your account. There is no minimum subscription length, so you can set up your order, get the discount, then cancel. A clever bit of retail spin, this. Yet dig through the list and some deals are quite decent.

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So it's worth checking — sign in to your account to see all available vouchers, as some are specifically targeted at different users. You can combine two Amazon discounts to grab a big saving on nappies and baby food, when you have five or more subscriptions delivered on the same day to the same address. Don't assume Amazon's cheapest though — compare first. There's no minimum commitment, so if you want, you can simply cancel after your first delivery.

It's aimed at parents, though is open to all. Confusingly, Amazon Prime and Family are essentially the same thing. The difference is Family members get Prime automatically, while Prime customers can get Family membership by clicking to sign up free to the club. OK so it's not a MoneySaving tip exactly, but it is possible to give charities a boost at no extra cost to you. Simply click through to Amazon from a charity's special link, log in and click on the product you want.

Then when you do your shopping through that URL rather than the normal co.

You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for Amazon Smile " on their product detail pages. While Amazon lists free delivery on some products, you must select the 'free delivery' box at checkout.


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  • If not, the default delivery option is first class.