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Cowboy Amazon? Yep.

We were surprised, too.

"Cowboy Amazon" sounds like a contradiction in terms. And in days past, it was. Amazon first gained its fame as a powerhouse for selling books, DVDs, and electronics.

But over time, Amazon has changed. Among other things:

As a result the Amazon website now offers merchandise of every kind, including a huge selection of horse and cowboy gear.


What This Means For You and Me

When you shop on the Amazon website:


Crash Course

If you're not familiar with shopping on Amazon, here are a few basics to know when looking at an individual product for sale:

  1. The brand of the item being sold. This may or may not be the same as the seller (see #4).
  2. Overview of customer reviews. The link will take you to details about the customer reviews.
  3. The price. (On this item shipping was free, but this may not be true in all cases.)
  4. The seller. On this item the seller was Amazon.
  5. More sellers. It's common for the same item to be for sale by several different businesses or individuals on Amazon. This is a link that will take you to information about what other sellers are selling this item for.

Below: Screenshot from Amazon

Amazon screenshot

Free Shipping?

Do you get free shipping on the items you purchase on Amazon? The answer is often yes, but not always.

If it sounds confusing it really isn't. Amazon is very transparent about shipping charges. Simply watch your screen and you'll probably find the information you need to know about shipping charges right in front of you. If you're confused, add the item(s) to your shopping cart where you can see all the final details clearly laid out in front of you (this is a helpful tip on any website you're shopping at). At Amazon it's easy to remove an item from your cart if you don't want it.


Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a service that offers its members free 2-day shipping as well as several other notable perks (including unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes and much more). Here is an overview of Amazon Prime on the Amazon website, and here is a link to their free 30-day trial.

Free Shipping
Probably the biggest appeal of Amazon Prime to most shoppers is its free 2-day shipping.

Remember, not all items are eligible for Amazon Prime's free shipping but a large percentage of them are.

Other Amazon Prime Features
There are numerous other features included with Amazon Prime in addition to free 2-day shipping including unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes, unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs, secure unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive, and much more. You can click here to see all of Prime's features on the Amazon website.

Amazon Prime Membership Fee
An Amazon Prime membership requires an annual fee. If you order from Amazon frequently you can save money, maybe a lot of money depending on how often your order, even with the annual free. If you order from Amazon infrequently, Prime is probably not a good deal for you.

For the most up-to-date information on the amount and included benefits, please see these pages on the Amazon website:


Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

On some items you'll notice the phrase "Fulfilled By Amazon." This means the item is for sale by a business or individual other than Amazon, but that the item is sitting on the shelves at an Amazon warehouse. So, if you purchase the item, Amazon will pack and ship your order.

Why doesn't the seller just ship the item from their own location? Many do, but some sellers feel that their customers are more comfortable with Amazon fulfilling the order, so they ship their items to Amazon before you ever buy them and allow Amazon to do the packing and shipping for them.


Feedback

Amazon, like eBay, has a highly successful feedback system. When a customer is shopping on Amazon they can check a seller's feedback rating left by previous customers. It's a great way to help ensure you're dealing with a seller that is truly interested in customer satisfaction.


Later, Dude

If you find something you like when you're shopping at Amazon but you're not ready to purchase it right now, you can always add it to your shopping cart so it will be easy to find later. Here are a few tips:

Important: Putting an item in your Amazon shopping cart or "Save for later" list does NOT reserve the item! It just makes it easier to find if it's still in stock when you come back.

Below: Screenshot image showing the "delete" and "Save for later" links.

Cowboy Amazon shopping cart

 

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