There are many different deal types available on Amazon and other stores, and this write-up should help you understand how to best take advantage of these deals. This guide is primarily for desktop users, though the majority of this can be applied for mobile as well.


Amazon Lightning Deals

Lightning Deals (LDs) range in duration (most are 12hrs nowadays, but used to be 6hrs), and have a limited number of items available at that price. You’ll often see a % claimed, and once it hits 100% you can join a waitlist in case additional inventory is added or orders are cancelled. If you add an LD item to your cart, you have 15min to checkout, or the item will be released back to Amazon’s LD inventory.

Oftentimes, when a really good lightning deal starts, it’ll show 100% claimed. That often means that consumers have added the item to their cart, but have yet to checkout. Once the 15min LD order timer ends, those items will be added back to the inventory, bring the % claimed back down.

Lightning Deals are found by viewing the Today’s Deals section on Amazon. The 3D printing content is typically found by filter down to the “Industrial & Scientific” Department (filter options along left side), then scroll down further and click the “Lightning Deal” link under Deal Type.

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Amazon Promotional (Promo) Codes

Most promo codes get entered in at checkout, and do not show up until right before you buy. Promo codes can oftentimes only be used once on a given Amazon account, though sometimes you can buy multiple items using the promo code when you checkout… but not always. Occasionally you can checkout multiple times with a given promo code, but this is rare. Each seller on Amazon has the flexibility to choose these different options.

Applying promo code from product page.
Applying promo code at checkout screen.

Additionally, there are sometimes promo codes that are activated automatically with the link provided. With these, you do not have to click a “redeem” button or manually enter the promo code in at checkout, but the “Promotion Applied” will still show up in the order summary. For these types, we’ll usually make a note that this is the case in the product description.

Auto-applied promo codes (I know, I know, I wish they were all like this, too).

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Amazon Coupons

If a product has a coupon, it’ll be displayed on the product page itself. You must select these (click to place a checkmark) prior to adding the item to your cart, though Amazon will not show the discounted price until right before you buy at checkout. Coupons sometimes will only apply the discount to one item when you checkout (though not always), and often times you can checkout again to get the same discount if you want multiple of a certain item. That being said, there are times that a coupon can only be used once on a given Amazon account.

Select coupon on product page.
Selected coupon showing savings at checkout.

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Amazon Single Use Promo Codes

Single use promo codes work more or less the same as a normal promo code, the only difference is the single use promo codes are longer and once you enter the promo code into Amazon it is locked to your account. It does not matter if you buy the product or not, that promo code can no longer be used by anyone else. These sort of promo codes are almost always given away when a company wants to do a very limited promotion to ensure that only so many of a product can be bought. Although we try not to do too many of these since they are somewhat of a pain to use, they sometimes can be significant discounts and are occasionally worthwhile.

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Amazon Prime Discounts

Many items have a discount for Prime Members only and will only appear and be available if logged-in to your Amazon account (with Prime Membership).

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Amazon Extra Savings (additional promotions)

Many items will also have promotional “add-on” items that can be found in the “Extra Savings” or “Additional Promotions Available” section. Usually these are modest discounts (like 5% off filament when buying a printer), but occasionally they’ll include free or heavily discounted items. When viewing a promotion of this type, you are presented a button saying “add both to cart”. While this option is often sufficient, sometimes there are multiple free or heavily discounted promotional items you’d like to include. To get more than one promotional item, don’t click “add both to cart”, but instead add each item separately by clicking each item link in the promotion section (the discount should still apply automatically). Recently, starting around May-June 2022, Amazon has removed the ability to do this for some promotions, so if you’ve followed the steps outlined above and it isn’t working, its likely due to a purposeful decision made for that promotion.

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