Don't miss out! Get Chief Family Officer's free daily roundup:


  • Check out Chief Family Officer's Patriotic Holidays Pinterest board for fun recipes, crafts, and more!
  • Recently read and enjoyed: Siblings Without Rivalry {my kids are fighting a little less, and I'm handling it a lot better!}
  • Enter for a chance to win a $15 Target Gift Coin! And click here to see all of our current giveaways.

  • Money-making Tip: Update your listings if you sell on Amazon


    I’ve written before about selling on Amazon, and how it’s my favorite way to sell used items like books, video games, and DVDs. Not everything is worth listing, but one thing that’s great about Amazon is that it’s pretty much a “list and forget it” kind of thing. If an item sells, Amazon will send you an email, but unless and until that happens, you don’t really need to think about it.

    However . . . I’d noticed that it had been a long time since I’d sold anything at Amazon. So a couple of weeks ago, I went through the two grocery bags where I kept the items listed for sale at Amazon and checked the listings. Many of the items were no longer worth selling – there were too many similar items, so the price had dropped considerably since I’d created my listing. I deleted those listings and moved the items to my pile of things to donate.

    For most of the remaining items, I had to drop the price to bring it in line with other sellers’ prices that had been posted since I’d last checked. I also updated a couple of listings with more detail about the condition of the item.

    The effort has paid off. In the couple of weeks since the update, I’ve sold half a dozen items and keep having to go to the post office – adding about $50 to my savings account in the meantime.

    If you’re interested in learning about selling on Amazon, check out my previous series on selling at Amazon, and these updates.

    How to Save Money on Amazon Purchases


    Amazon is my go-to online store because of their great selection and competitive prices. But even though Amazon isn’t accessible through any cash back portals (like Ebates or Mr. Rebates), I was convinced that there must be a way to save money on my purchases there. Here’s what I figured out:

    Use gift certificates. Amazon gift cards and e-certificates are the main way I save money every day at Amazon.

    • My favorite way to get Amazon gift certificates is through Swagbucks. I use Swagbucks’ search engine and redeem my Swagbucks for Amazon gift certificates – a $5 gift certificate is only 450 Swagbucks and should take less than a month to earn if you use Swagbucks often. Learn more about Swagbucks here.
    • The other way I get Amazon credit is by buying gift cards at Ralphs. My credit card gives me 5% back on grocery purchases, and it doesn’t know that I’m not buying groceries when I buy a gift card. So I get 5% of the face value of the gift card back from my credit card issuer. Plus, Ralphs also gives me 1% back each quarter through the Ralphs Rewards program – and sometimes there’s a promotion that gives me back even more. So I can save at least 6% by buying gift cards at Ralphs before I shop at Amazon.

    Use price tracking sites or extensions. If there’s something you’ve had your eye on but are able to wait for the price to go down further, you can track Amazon’s price with sites like Price Protectr or a Firefox add-on like PriceDrop. For example, I’ve been tracking the DVD set for the ninth season of JAG for a couple years now, waiting for it to hit a rock bottom price. (I missed most of the season when it aired and USA has pretty much stopped showing repeats.) It’s something I’d like to have, but am in no rush for, so I’m letting PriceDrop keep an eye on the price for me.

    Ask for refunds when warranted. I like to buy groceries from Amazon when they have really great deals but on two occasions now, I’ve been less than satisfied with my purchase because some of the inner packages were damaged. You can’t return food to Amazon, but I’ve successfully requested refunds for the damaged products.

    Take advantage of special programs and promotions. Amazon has different programs and promotions that can help you maximize your dollars.

    • My boys are getting older, but I love the Amazon Mom program. I’m sure I would have purchased many diapers through it if it had been around five years ago. As it is, I’ve still purchased enough wipes and other items to extend my free Prime shipping benefits to almost the twelve month maximum. And I loved having Prime benefits during the holidays, when I bought several items priced below $25 and got free two-day shipping.
    • When items are eligible for a special deal, Amazon puts a “Special Offer” link on the item page, so keep an eye out for it. For instance, there’s often a Buy 3, Get 1 Item Free offer in the kitchen utensils and gadgets section.

    Lots of freebies. Of course, Amazon offers lots of free downloads in the form of MP3s, Kindle books, computer games, and Android apps. I post most of them here, but I do suggest you be somewhat selective in what you download or you’ll be overwhelmed. Amazon also sometimes offers credits for MP3s and Instant Videos, and I post those for you as well.

    What’s your favorite way to save at Amazon?

    This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Some Amazon Deals + Diaper Code Giveaway


    Today’s Deal of the Dayis any season of Stargate SG-1for $13.99. I’m not much of a Stargate fan, but I love the format of this deal, where you can choose your favorite season. I hope Amazon continues to use the format with other TV shows too.

    Amazon is also having a sale on gluten-free products.Get up to 30% off General Mills gluten-free itemswith code GENMILGF and Subscribe & Save (you’ll see the Subscribe & Save option on the item page where you add something to your cart). You’ll enter the code on the checkout page, and you cancel Subscribe & Save anytime after your order ships – click on “Your Account” at the top right of any page, then “Manage Subscribe & Save Items” in the Orders section.

    You can also get 25% off Glutino and Ian’s gluten-free productswith code GLUTENFR and Subscribe & Save. Or get 25% off Nature’s Path gluten-free itemswith code NATPATGF and Subscribe & Save.

    I mentioned Amazon Moma few weeks ago – it’s a free program that gives you 30% off select diapers and wipes and free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime.You can see the qualifying diaper and wipes here.

    To help a reader score the best deal on diapers at Amazon, I’ve got a 20% code from the November issue of Parents magazine which you can stack with your 30% off Amazon Mom discount (one unit only; code expires 12/31). Just fill out this form with your name and email address and I’ll contact you if you’re the winner. Giveaway ends at 9:00 pm PDT on October 22.

    Disclosure: I’m an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

    Amazon Music’s 12 Days of Christmas


    Through December 17, Amazon will have a daily music dealplus a chance to win a special prize, like concert tickets. Here are the deals starting with today, which is Day 3:

    Day 3 (12/8):
    Bob Dylan Supports Feeding America – You Can, Too
    Christmas in the Heart CD and MP3: $6.99

    Day 4 (12/9):
    Enter to Win Tickets to See the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    Night Castle CD: $9.99, MP3: $7.99

    Day 5 (12/10):
    Enter to Win a Backstage Meet-and-Greet with John Mayer
    Battle Studies – CD:$7.99; MP3:$8.99

    Day 6 (12/11):
    Enter to Win a Backstage Meet-and-Greet with Carrie Underwood
    Play On – CD:$7.99; MP3:$9.99

    Day 7 (12/12):
    Paul McCartney Exclusive Video, Free MP3 Download, and Gift Card Sweepstakes
    Good Evening New York City – CD:$8.99; MP3:$7.99

    Day 8 (12/13):
    Enter to Win a Caribbean Cruise Getaway with Lyle Lovett & Friends
    Natural Forces – CD:$9.99; MP3:$7.99

    Day 9 (12/14):
    Enter to Win Tickets to See Celtic Woman
    Pre-order “Songs from the Heart” and Get a Free Exclusive MP3 Song

    Day 10 (12/15):
    Enter to Win Tickets to Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble
    Electric Dirt – CD:$11.99; MP3:$5.99

    Day 11 (12/16):
    Enter to Win Tickets to See Joshua Bell at Carnegie Hall
    At Home with Friends – CD:$9.99; MP3:$7.99

    Day 12 (12/17):
    American Idol Day
    Enter to win Tickets to See the Season 9 Finale

    Disclosure: I’m an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

    Changes to Amazon Marketplace: Charge When Ship


    I’ve written before about selling used items on Amazon Marketplace, which I think of as my online garage sale. In a nutshell, I decide what items I want to sell and how much I want to sell them for, create a listing on Amazon, and wait for someone to purchase the item.

    Recently, Amazon instituted the “Charge When Ship”system, which requires sellers to confirm shipment of orders before they can receive payment from Amazon. Amazon assumes the risk of nonpayment by the buyer, which creates security for the seller. At the same time, Amazon provides a better customer service experience for buyers, by creating an incentive for sellers to ship promptly and notifying buyers when their order has shipped.

    There’s a delay of a couple of hours between when you notify Amazon that you’ve shipped an item and when the payment appears in your account. Nothing else has changed, so you can request a disbursement once every 24 hours or wait until Amazon does it automatically for you.

    Worth noting: Money Saving Mom recently wrote about selling books, and recommended a site called Cash4Books as an alternative to sites like and Amazon for certain books. Also, The Family CEO recommended selling on eBay, something I’ve stopped doing just because I don’t think the money is worth the stress. But I can see definitely that for some people, and certain items, the income is worth the stress.

    Coupons Inc.
    Ad via Logical Media – Make Money!

    A new way to sell on Amazon: Trade-Ins


    I love selling my used items on Amazon, and I’ve written before about how to do it. I think of it as having an online garage sale. But because of the cost of shipping, and especially the obligation to get an order in the mail within two business days, I’m relatively picky about what I list. Working full time means it isn’t always easy to get to the post office, and most books must be presented to a clerk because they’re over 13 ounces and being shipped Media Mail. (Read more about the 13-ounce rule.)

    I had a DVD that wasn’t worth selling back, but I was intrigued by the “trade-in” option over on the right of the item’s Amazon page. You can read more about Trade-Ins here.

    It’s really quite easy: You tell Amazon that you want to trade in your copy by clicking on the trade-in option. Amazon will give you two pages to print – the first is your free shipping label, and the second is a packing slip that you’ll need to include with the item. It’s actually much like doing a return, if you’ve ever done one with Amazon.

    Less than a week after I sent the DVD, I received a $1.25 credit to my gift certificate balance. It’s not much, but I’m definitely going to keep this option in mind in the future for things I want to get rid of quickly or that aren’t worth selling myself. I already have a few things in mind that have been listed on Amazon for a while without selling.