Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Amazon Subscribe & Save

Here is my shill/tip of the day:

Use Amazon's Subscribe & Save program.

By subscribing, you can get Olay Regenerist Night for $14.58 (which certainly meets or beats the lowest sale prices I've seen locally). In some subscription categories there's a plethora of products to choose from; in others there are just a few products or the products are only available in bulk -- I noticed this particularly for toothpastes. I don't want to commit to a specific toothpaste for the length of time it would take me to go through a 4-pack of big tubes. As a result, this Subscribe & Save progam doesn't work for all my toiletry needs.

When I find a product I want that's eligible for the Subscribe & Save program, I sign up for the longest possible interval between deliveries. (Delivery schedule: 1 unit once every 6 months.)

Then, when I need more, there's a page I can use ("Manage Your Subscribe & Save Items") where I see the following information for each product for which I have a subscription:

• Last ship date: June 18, 2008
• Estimated order placement date: December 18, 2008
• To skip the currently scheduled shipment but still receive the following shipment, click Skip this shipment.
• Running low already? click Send your next shipment now.

So if I'm running low on moisturizer, I click "Send your next shipment now" and the moisturizer arrives at my office door in about a week or so. On the same page I can cancel the subscription altogether by making it inactive.

Amazon says that the Subscribe & Save program is in "beta" mode, which is probably why it is not super visible on their site:

"In addition to being the second letter in the Greek alphabet, the word beta is also often used to describe a project or process that is being tested. With that in mind, we'd like to introduce you to a new program we call Subscribe & Save. During this beta phase we'll be making more products available for subscription ordering and gathering input from customers like you to ensure Amazon.com provides the best possible experience for online shopping.

"Even though Subscribe & Save is in beta, our program is completely functional, so feel free to browse our selection of eligible products and place new subscription orders through Subscribe & Save. But be sure to come back often, as we'll only be making our new program better.

Once it's out of beta mode, I hope it will have more options. I love the idea. The 15% discount and free shipping are awesome.

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