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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to get Free Shipping on Amazon with Filler Items

I have to apologize for anyone coming to this post for the lack of images.  Somehow, all my blog images from June of 2014 onward were deleted, despite multiple backups and cloud storage through Google and Picasa.  I am still researching this and hoping to find them, but I will likely have to take new photos and re-upload them to this blog post.  Please be patient with me until I do so.  Again, I am very sorry. -Ashley

Okay, I want to start by saying that I am not being paid by Amazon to write this blog. I'm also not being given anything for free by Amazon. I am not affiliated with them at all, besides the fact that I love Amazon!

Have you heard of Amazon Prime?  You pay about 80 bucks a year, and you get free 2-day shipping on all Prime items on amazon, no item limit and no minimum amount. You see the Prime symbol next to those items, and that's what it means. In addition to the shipping perks, Prime members get free videos and movies for streaming, and a ton of free Kindle books to rent.  If you don't subscribe to Amazon, you can buy at least 25 dollars worth of stuff in your cart and you still get free shipping.

There are a few items, however, that you cannot get under the Prime deal unless you spend at least 25 dollars in your cart still.  Those are Add-on Items.  They're usually rather small items that would be difficult to ship alone, and so you can only buy them with other things. You see this logo next to the items:

If you try to check out on Amazon without the minimum amount of Prime items in your cart, then you will see this message:

There is an easy solution to this problem, and that is to simply add more items to your cart!  But how about those times when you only need to add a dollar or two to your cart, and you don't need anything on Amazon that is so cheap?  This is why someone invented filler items.  There are whole websites dedicated to filler items.  I used to use, but the website has, since the advent of the add-on program, been extremely unreliable in pricing.  The other problem I find is that the items on the filler item websites are just like random car parts and springs and stuff, with the occasional pen or something thrown in.  Today, I'm going to show you how to get better filler items and use them to your advantage for that sweet sweet free shipping!

First, I recommend that you create a wish list on your Amazon account just dedicated to filler items. This way, once you find a really awesome filler item that you can actually NOT just throw in the junk drawer, you can buy it multiple times if you like.

Your next step is to find some items to put in the wish list.  This is an optional step, but it works best so you don't have to keep repeating your searches.

 A quick reminder: please keep in mind that Amazon prices change periodically, so some items I show you in this blog post will inevitably change price over time.  I apologize for any future inconsistencies.

Now, on to the filler items!

The first and easiest thing to do is to just conduct a search on Amazon for the words "filler items" and see what comes up. 

You can see that a few items right off the bat are pretty useful. Who doesn't need tape and sharpie markers?  I have added those to my special filler item list and plan to use them in the future. I already bought a pack of sharpie markers, and they're great for everything.  You can choose between ultra-fine point and the regular fine tip.

You may want to narrow your results a bit, and you do that by going to the right of the screen and choosing a department.  I chose art and craft supplies.  Then, I went and sorted by price (low to high, of course!).  The last step is to go to the left of the screen and check the box for Prime only items to show in your results. 

You want to look for items that you are actually going to use, that's the idea here.  In my results shown above, there are several gift bags, pens, and tissue paper for wrapping.  I would definitely buy a gift bag or two, because those are always useful--especially around the holidays!  Other items you can search for are things like body wash, sponges, straws, stationary products, cabinet and drawer hardware (which sometimes is as cheap as a penny!), and more. Get your list ready now, so you can use it when you need it.

Another tip is to simply browse by category, choose prime only items again, and then sort from low to high. I found a few filler items by browsing this way, and I have shared them below. I tried to keep them all at 5 bucks or less.  Some of them are definitely worth spending a little extra for:

One of the best filler items is scissors. I always need these, and I am always losing them.  If you don't need scissors at your home, buy these kids' scissors for 67 cents and donate them to a nearby school!

Westcott Classic Kids Scissors, 67 cents

Hide-a-Spare Key Fake Rock, $4.98
I thought this was a great item, just because a lot of people use them, and this is cheaper than you would get any hide-a-key kit at a store. Amazon also has a thermometer with a secret spot for a key inside that you can mount on your house, so check that out also!

50 Piece Assorted Picture Hook Kit, 2.97

Who doesn't need more hardware for hanging pictures?  Perhaps I'm just one of those people who moves stuff around a lot, but I consider this a junk drawer staple.

Anyway, you get the gist of it at this point.  If you find a great filler item, be sure to share it in the comments!  Happy online shopping!