10 Amazon Shopping Tricks

1 Get an Amazon Prime subscription

$80 a year will pay for unlimited 2-day shipping on most of the items for sale through Amazon. Want to take it for a test drive? Amazon offers the first month for free.

2 Take advantage of Instant Video

Prime subscribers have access to Instant Video, Amazon's Netflix-like service. It boasts thousands of titles and an iPad app to watch them on the go.

3 Buy a Kindle Fire and get a free Amazon Prime trial

You can pick up one of Amazon's tablets for as little as $159. In addition to getting the device, you'll also get a one month free trial for Amazon Prime. We have a feeling you'll be sold after that.

4 You don't need a Kindle device to read your books!

ReUnlike other hardware manufacturers, Amazon doesn't care what device you use to read the books you buy. You can get Amazon's Kindle app on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and Mac. Even better, the apps remember where you left off, so you can start reading again on any device.

5 You can share your Prime account with up to five people

You can share your Prime account with up to five friends or family members. From Amazon.com, navigate to Your Account > Manage your Prime account, then invite people from there. They'll have to enter your birthday to confirm that they know you, but after that, they'll enjoy all the same benefits that you do as a Prime subscriber (except Instant Video access).

6 Subscribe to things you buy often

Amazon lets you subscribe to certain items you'll need to buy over and over, like toothpaste, paper towels, or toilet paper (yes, toilet paper!). In exchange for agreeing to buy an item on a continuing basis, you get that item at a little bit of a discount. If an item is available for subscription, you'll see the option upon checkout. You can also set how often you'd like the item delivered. Amazon will also email you before shipping the item, so if there's still a lot of toothpaste left in the tube, you can delay your order.

7 Buy things used and new to save money

Amazon lets third-party merchants sell through its site, often at a decent savings. Browse the "used & new" offerings on a given item to see what kind of discounts you can get. As an added bonus, some third-party merchants will boast "fulfillment by Amazon," which means Prime subscribers can get those items with free two-day shipping.

8 Use coupon codes

Sure, you can save a lot of money by hunting around Amazon, but if you're looking for some old-fashioned coupons, there are a bunch of sites that gather coupon codes. One of our favorites is RetailMeNot. You can find Amazon discount codes

9 Track the price of an item and buy it when it drops

Does an item on Amazon seem too expensive to you? Check out Camcelcamelcamel, a site that follows Amazon items you're interested in and sends you an email alert when the prices drop.

10 Not a Prime subscriber?

If Prime doesn't interest you but you still want free shipping, Amazon offers this on all orders over $25 in the US. To help you break that $25 mark, use a service like SlickFillers to find items at specific prices to push you into the free shipping territory.