Here’s a consumer hack to get free shipping on just about anything from Amazon.com.

(Nov 2013 Update – Minimum Free Shipment purchase is now $35 (was $25) on Amazon.)

First, I’ve got to tip my hat to Darrow Kirkpatrick– I modified one of the spending-deferral methods he promotes in his book “Retiring Sooner: How to Accelerate Your Financial Independence”.

Darrow’s method works like this:  If you think you want to buy something now, don’t.  Add it to your Amazon.com ‘Wish List’ instead, then consider purchasing it later.  It’s the electronic equivalent of Window Shopping, but even better- You’ve made a tangible list of the bling that you like.

Here’s my twist on this tactic- Use the Amazon ‘Wish List’ to ‘Prime’ your account for free Amazon shipping.  Gang up some of your desired goodies in your ‘Wish List’, then leave them there for safe keeping.  The next time you find something for less than $35 25 on Amazon that you need right now (or real soon), throw in an item or two from your ‘Wish List’ that will put you over the $35 25 total- which qualifies you free shipping!

You can also put recurring, boring items (like Napkins and Dog Food) in your Amazon ‘Shopping List’.  This is just like the ‘Wish List’, only items in the ‘Shopping List’ are assumed to be recurring and don’t leave the ‘Shopping List’ once you purchase them or put them in your Cart.  ‘Wish List’ items will disappear from the ‘Wish List’ once they are added to your Cart.

Note that this is not converting your account to all the benefits of Amazon Prime, which among other  things includes free 2-day shipping and free video streaming of over 40,000 videos.  If keeping track of recurring or desired items in the Amazon Shopping List/Wish List sounds like too much work, you can always try out Amazon Prime for free with a 30-day trial if you want to.

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