Shopping Discussion

Amazon "Subscribe and Save" - have I wasted my time? Pricing changes!

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 10th, 2018 5:24 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 27, 2008
912 posts
399 upvotes
Prince Edward County…

Amazon "Subscribe and Save" - have I wasted my time? Pricing changes!

I'm pretty disappointed, I thought I had a good thing set up with Amazon sub for a bunch of household consumables at good prices, with %15 off for getting 5 or more items.

But the prices seem to go up (and sometimes down) so much, I'm no super-price-tracker, but I guess I didn't realize that.

Some of the things I chose because they were cheaper than our local retailers, plus 15% off. Then they went up and are comparable. At those prices, I think I'll support the local merchants. I feel like I wasted a bunch of time fussing on Amazon. I guess if you are obsessed with prices and watch them like stocks and switch products, it might be worth it. I am unsubscribing.
13 replies
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
11339 posts
3560 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Having an ongoing S&S subscription is only about convenience if you need a certain item delivered to you at regular intervals. Assuming you signed up for S&S because of a cheap price, that's only guaranteed for the first delivery. Subsequent deliveries will be at whatever market price at the time of the next shipment, which you've found out, could be higher or lower.

Therefore, a true RFDer would use S&S only to guarantee and save on the first delivery of an item, and then after it's delivered, it's better to cancel the S&S and then sign up for it again when that item goes on sale again.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2009
4201 posts
4345 upvotes
Actually, you need to spend quite amount of effort for S&S orders unless you don't care about the price. You need to ensure the price is reasonable once the price is locked for upcoming delivery. However, imagine you have 100 S&S order, then the work to double-check the price is going to be tedious.
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2013
1817 posts
599 upvotes
Canada
Poutinesauce wrote:
Jul 13th, 2018 6:16 pm
SS is a total bait and switch. Amazon does this on purpose, and they don't care because they have a quasi monopoly on online shopping. Governments need to investigate and punish them.
On the other option is to do what I do and don't subscribe and save.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 14, 2007
8974 posts
856 upvotes
Toronto
MooseOnLoose wrote:
Jul 13th, 2018 9:07 am
I'm pretty disappointed, I thought I had a good thing set up with Amazon sub for a bunch of household consumables at good prices, with %15 off for getting 5 or more items.

But the prices seem to go up (and sometimes down) so much, I'm no super-price-tracker, but I guess I didn't realize that.

Some of the things I chose because they were cheaper than our local retailers, plus 15% off. Then they went up and are comparable. At those prices, I think I'll support the local merchants. I feel like I wasted a bunch of time fussing on Amazon. I guess if you are obsessed with prices and watch them like stocks and switch products, it might be worth it. I am unsubscribing.
Why not just order as needed? I don't think I'll ever use S&S unless I know it's something I will regularly need where the price won't change often if at all.

gbill2004 wrote:
Jul 13th, 2018 7:26 pm
On the other option is to do what I do and don't subscribe and save.
How could they be punished, you sign up to recurring delivery of the product. The buyer should know this and check the prices BEFORE the next delivery.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 27, 2008
912 posts
399 upvotes
Prince Edward County…
The reason it appealled to me is that we run a B &B and so go through a lot of supplies.

But I won’t be using S & S, it’s too irregular.
Jr. Member
Apr 30, 2007
145 posts
15 upvotes
Amazon also changes the price even though the advertise price is cheaper..

i.e. Even though you have subscribed for an item, they can (and did) charge your more even though the price of the product advertised is cheaper. I ended up cancelling and re-subscribing to get the current price.
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2009
939 posts
335 upvotes
Toronto
I only S&S for savings and free shipping then cancel. Hasn't been an issue for me.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
22611 posts
9180 upvotes
Ottawa
While not an S&S order, I just received my Amazon order and the price dropped by $5.50.
Not a bid deal, but it does add up over multiple items and I don't want to return every single item and end up being blacklisted.
What would you folks do?
Member
Jun 19, 2015
497 posts
304 upvotes
$5.50? I'd just eat the cost and forget the savings/hassle.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2009
4201 posts
4345 upvotes
The other problem of S&S is that only the first delivery is qualified for the rebate (ebates, airmiles, etc..). If you cancel it and re-S&S every month, then you can earn rebate every month.
mushisushi wrote:
Oct 3rd, 2018 1:28 pm
Amazon also changes the price even though the advertise price is cheaper..

i.e. Even though you have subscribed for an item, they can (and did) charge your more even though the price of the product advertised is cheaper. I ended up cancelling and re-subscribing to get the current price.
Member
Feb 4, 2007
336 posts
129 upvotes
S&S DOES email you to give you a heads up on current prices for your next order... when the prices shoot up, I remove the item from my subscription. It's dead simple to manage, and has been a great way for me to save hundreds of dollars a month.
Newbie
Mar 20, 2011
39 posts
22 upvotes
Langley, BC
Wow, I've just had to deal with this myself. I'm now convinced Subscribe and Save is a complete waste of time. I ordered this baby food - Similac Advance Step 1 Infant Formula
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0753G7BLB/

When the order got shipped out, the price was $44.63 - $46.98 - 5% S&S discount. Literally on delivery day (today, 2 days early than the day in the S&S panel), the price was reduced to $39.98. I just had to call Amazon and fight tooth and nail to get a refund for the difference, and they finally gave me a $7 refund for each one.

Keepa shows the price frequently alternates between $46.98 and $39.98 and often goes down right after the start of the month. Not sure if it's deliberately timed to avoid S&S shipment dates (for me this is the 12th of each month), since sometimes it happens earlier in the month, but still, whats the point of subscribing to get a 5% discount if you can get a 15% discount just by timing it right instead of a fixed date. https://keepa.com/#!product/6-B0753G7BLB

Do Amazon just think we're never going to monitor the price?

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