Save Time and Money with Amazon Wish Lists

posted by Andrea | 10/20/2015

amazon wish lists

Many of you already know how much I love making lists (and that I try to buy everything online). So it should come as no surprise that I have multiple Amazon Wish Lists 🙂

Amazon.com is often my second stop (Craigslist is first!) when I’m looking to buy anything online. I love that I can compare prices, read reviews, and get notifications if the price drops on a product I’m interested in.

I also love that as a Prime member, I get free shipping all the time, lots of free ebooks and movies, and access to exclusive deals.

However, my favorite thing about using Amazon is how easy it is to create, update, and share Wish Lists. 

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As you can see from the screenshot above, I have multiple Wish Lists — one for myself, one for Dave, one for each of my kids, and one “shopping list” for basic things we need around the house (groceries, paper products, batteries, etc.)

Any time I think of something I’d like or hear the kids mention something they want for their birthday or Christmas, I add it to the appropriate Wish List. And any time I run out of something around the house, I simply add it to my shopping list. Then, when people ask what to get us for birthdays and Christmas, I just send them our list. Or, when I get Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks, I can stock up on the items on my shopping list.

In my opinion, it’s an extremely efficient system that has saved me loads of time, money, and energy shopping (and you all know how much I hate shopping!)
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Use Wish Lists to buy gifts for others.

In Dave and my immediate families, we have 6 birthdays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (plus Christmas!) — so there is a lot of gift giving that happens during those few weeks. Because of that, I like to “shop” all year long for items I hear people request. However, I don’t necessarily love having closets full of Christmas gifts in March or April. So instead of actually buying the items, I put them in my “Shopping List” so I don’t forget.

If there is a super good deal, I get an email alert so I can snatch it up (you can use this website to watch for price drops). Otherwise, I just wait until we’re closer to the holidays to check out — and I never have to leave my house! Best of all, if you’re buying a gift for someone who lives far away, you can ship it directly from Amazon.com (usually with free shipping) and send it as a “gift” so they don’t get the receipt or other price information.

In many cases, Amazon allows you to search by email address or full name to find a friend’s Wish List, wedding, or baby registry — so you don’t even need to ask and ruin the surprise!

We had several people send us gifts from our Amazon Wish List after James was born — and not only was it fun for Nora and Simon to open the packages, it was nice for me that the gifts contained the exact items we needed and wanted (no returns necessary!)

Add items to your Wish List with one click.

Even if you don’t shop exclusively at Amazon.com, you can still add almost anything you find online to your Amazon Wish List if you download the free “Add to Wish List” bookmark. This is especially useful when shopping for others (as I mentioned above).

Just click on the “Wish List” dropdown menu in your Amazon account, and find “Save Items from the Web”.

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Once you click on that, a little box will pop up instructing you to drag the Add to Wish List button up to your bookmark bar.

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After you have the bookmark, you can just click the “Add to Wish List” button any time you see ANYTHING you want to buy anywhere on the internet and it will let you add it to one of your wish lists and even write a note (like who the gift is for).

In the example below, I added this J.Crew sweater to my Wish List, but put “for my sister” in the memo section so I’d know who I was thinking of buying it for (sorry Stacey, this is just an example. I’m not really buying it for you!)

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Set up a Wish List for your charity.

If you have a charity or other non-profit organization, it might be worth setting up a Wish List for items you need and want. You can then share your wish list via your website and social media (using an Amazon.com button like I have below) — and instead of monetary donations, people can then buy and donate the items on your list. I know a few non-profits who do this and it has worked out very well for them.

I don’t know all the details as I’ve never done this myself, but it’s definitely worth checking into!

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Oh, and if you’re a Twitter fan, you can even use the hashtag #AmazonWishList (along with your product link) to add an item to your Wish List directly from Twitter (read more about that here)!

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If those reasons aren’t good enough to entice you to start your own online wish list, here are a few more things I like about using Amazon Wish Lists:

  • No paper around the house — YAY!
  • I can’t lose the list or forget where I put it 🙂
  • I can quickly and easily share the lists with anyone (and then they can simply click and buy if they’d like)
  • I can add or remove anything from the list with one click
  • I can move items to different list with one click

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I realize online shopping isn’t for everyone; however, even if you don’t actually buy anything through Amazon, it’s still a great place to store your gift ideas so you don’t forget (not that any of you have ever forgotten anything before!)

I’m certain there are other fabulous online list-making tools — I’ve just been using Amazon for so long that I’ve never bothered to look for anything else; however, feel free to share any other options in the comments! (And no, this is NOT a sponsored post)

Do you use online Wish Lists? If not, what method do you use?

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19 comments

  1. Kelly S

    10/29/2015

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have used an Amazon wish list for years as a catch-all for things, mostly books to reserve at the library. But, I never thought to divvy it up, nor use it for the “tell grandparents gift ideas” purpose. I was sick this weekend and used some of my time resting to revamp my lists, and itis so helpful! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no problem — glad to help 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your sickness, but I’m glad you’re making good use of your resting time! Feel better soon!

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  2. Laura @HowToGYST.com

    10/24/2015

    Another great site for monitoring price drops is CamelCamelCamel.com. One of the best things about it is that it tracks the price of items so you can see what its highest and cheapest prices were. It gives you a much better idea of whether the price you want to pay is realistic (or if you could potentially get it much cheaper). It also shows you a graph of the price over time, so you can spot trends (for example, you might notice that the price drops every 6 weeks). And then, similarly to the one you’ve linked to in the post, it emails you when the price drops to your target.

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  3. Pixie508

    10/21/2015

    I don’t know what we’d do with out Amazon lists! My husband and I and our kids each have one, as do all of my ILs. It makes life so much easier at birthdays/Christmas when I can just pop on their lists and see the kinds of things they want and take care of it. I should add that we don’t always buy each other the exact stuff listed, but sometimes I use it to trigger my own creative juices 🙂

    I maintain it all year long, so I add and subtract things as we go. I love that I can also add my own things, so on mine, it says “Gift cards to X, Y, or Z” as well as a few tangible items I’d like, and on the kids it asks for money towards their swim school, or memberships to various places (in addition to listing their clothing size and a few toys/books), so family members know what they want/need.

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  4. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    10/21/2015

    This is exactly what I do! In fact, I just emailed Nathan’s amazon wish list to his grandparents last week, as they are starting to think of Christmas shopping. It’s so handy for all of us! Another tip, is that I’ve started using Giving Assistant when shopping on Amazon, and earning extra cash back for all my purchases there. It’s really easy to do so and has saved me quite a bit of money. I had an article on my blog about it awhile ago (3 Little Known Ways to Save on Amazon). Plus, we share a Prime membership too. It’s a great way to save more from the convenience of our homes.

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  5. Pascale

    10/20/2015

    Thanks Andrea,
    I didn’t know we could secure our membership cost nor did I know that we could share a membership. Thanks for explaining. I use Amazon’s wish lists to remember items that I like, but don’t plan on buying right away.

    As for the credit card issue, we had the same thing happen to us in a restaurant while we were traveling to the US, but were able to call our credit card company and they were able to cancel the fraudulent charges right away.

    We also had our email account hacked while shopping online, but since then I’ve kept an e,ail address solely for purchases and other mail that I don’t want to receive on my main account.

    Hope this helps the people who are leery of online shopping or who had issues with thir credit card

    [Reply]

  6. Erica

    10/20/2015

    I love Amazon wish lists – I have a bunch of different lists set up for things that I want to buy on Amazon that are in different categories, such as health and beauty, ebooks etc. Plus I have gift idea lists for my husband. I need to actually go through the lists though and see if I still want/need some of the things on them, and maybe start sharing some of the lists with people.

    [Reply]

  7. Becky

    10/20/2015

    Hi Andrea, have you ever experienced fraud / your credit card stolen by shopping on-line? I recently had my credit card number stolen and shop on Amazon a lot. Of course I don’t know if it was on Amazon or not but now I am leery of shopping on line. Has this ever happened to you?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Nope, I never have (and I pay EVERYTHING with credit cards and do a ton of online shopping).

    If you’re leery of using a credit card online, just use PayPal — you can buy almost anything anywhere with PayPal, and it’s free to set up an account!

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    Jenn S. Reply:

    You cannot use Paypal on Amazon unless you get the Paypal Debit Card. That said, Visa and Mastercard have secure-pay services that work kind of how Paypal does in terms of shielding your details; you can ask your cardholder about them. 🙂

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    Liane Reply:

    I was so worried about this too after having my card number stolen at a pizza parlor by an employee who took photos of people’s cards. Gotta love iPhones!!! So we use an American Express account specifically for Amazon. It’s not used elsewhere and it is the sort of card that is not revolving. Meaning pay the day it is due or face late fees. I’m pretty diligent about paying bills on time but this one I’m super diligent! If anything shows on the account that is amiss I know it the same day! I have the Amex app on my phone and it texts me every single activity. Peace of mind worth any price but this app is free. My PayPal got hacked too! So I only use it at eBay. Sorry if too off topic.

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  8. Pascale

    10/20/2015

    Hi Andrea,
    I love Amazon too and I have a question for you.
    When we moved to Michigan last Fall, we decided to subscribe to Amazon Prime for a free two day shipping service. However, this year, the membership increased dramatically making it over $100 with taxes. I know you’re frugal and you use Amazon. Do you use Amazon Prime? What are your tips to save on membership cost?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Pascale,
    Yes, I use Amazon prime — but I secured my service at $75! My best tip to save money on a Prime membership would be to share the membership. You can legally share the membership with 1 or 2 other people just by entering their email address in your account. The only “catch” is that only the main person on the account has access to streaming movies, tv shows, and the ebooks. However, that would definitely be the best way (in my opinion) to cut the cost dramatically!

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  9. Kelly in Oregon

    10/20/2015

    YES! We do this also. I rarely buy anything for myself, if I spot a product I want in a blog or somewhere, I just add it to my wish list. Having a wide variety of items in various price ranges makes shopping for me really easy, and I’m never disappointed with a gift I receive! Most of my other family members are on board with this now as well! Plus I keep a “secret wish list”, which is items that I think I might like to buy myself one day but I’m still thinking about or not sure about.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I love the “secret wish list” idea 🙂

    My parents aren’t super up on the latest technology, but they are getting better at online shopping. However, I still have to send them the link to my Amazon wish list in order for them to remember to look at it. Progress… 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Liane

    10/20/2015

    I love Amazon prime! I do want to caution readers that it is probably best to stick with products that are labeled Fulfilled by Amazon. I got burned twice on purchases from Marketplace sellers. One item was an o’cedar mop head. I did not receive the item in the photo. Since it was a mop head I filed a complaint but used it anyway. (Currently the mop has blue writing printed on the cloth strips and the older ones had green. The one I received was so old the plastic bag was sticky and brittle.). The other thing was a bottle of Laura Mercier body wash that was so old it had turned brown, but since I have bought it in the past I was aware it tended to do that. I made a note of the seller and will avoid her. My complaint to her went unanswered. My reviews reflect my feelings about this sort of practice.

    I mention this because there are unscrupulous sellers on Amazon who do offer Prime shipping.
    I love the wish list feature and use it all the time. I also have taken advantage of Prime Pantry.

    There is one other aspect of Amazon Prime readers should be aware of. Amazon has contracted with the US Postal Service for deliveries on weekends for Pantry purchases. In my area letter carriers whose job was to deliver first class mail to our curbside mailboxes are now forced to handle enormous heavy packages. My little letter carrier has been on our route for so many years that she knows all our names including the dog! I felt so badly for her having to wrestle a 30 lb. box up my very steep driveway. I could not lift it myself. I had to unload it in the garage and sort the various cleaning products and paper goods prior to bringing things in.

    Keep this in mind when ordering. I still use my lists for gifts, plus I have one for things I need for my motorhome as well as people. I have not, in the last year or so since Amazon now ships to the local post office rather than directly to me via UPS and then the post office must deliver it, received a single order in two days. It gets delivered to the local post office but letter carriers bring parcels on their routes along with regular mail, instead of delivery by parcel post. You can not choose shipping options, either. I’m seriously thinking of dropping Prime.

    Another recent trend which apparently Amazon is aware of is that sellers are barraging customers for reviews, often beginning on the day of purchase. I generally reply via email explaining that I cannot review something I don’t yet have, and then block the person.

    One nice thing about Amazon fulfillment did happen. I looked over my granddaughter’s wish list and ordered things for her birthday. They all arrived 10 days after I ordered. I contacted customer service and I was refunded my entire purchase. It was ove $100.

    I’m not trying to paint Amazon as a villian here, but I wanted to point out some very real issues for anyone who may want to pay the hefty fee for Prime.

    You don’t need Prime to use the wish lists. Just make sure you order in plenty of time for gifts. The post office service is not very reliable. If you order early in the week you may get UPS. Like in the “old days”.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the tips Liane 🙂

    [Reply]

  11. Jaime

    10/20/2015

    We do the exact same thing in our house. As you mentioned,it’s a great step in clutter-free gift giving as you know what you give and receive is genuinely wanted!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Amen!!!

    [Reply]