An Amazon-Less Christmas

Well, I did it. I finished my Christmas shopping and I didn’t order a single thing from Amazon. Some 20 years ago, we all used to head to the mall, walk around and shop around for good deals. The internet, of course, has changed all of this and specifically They have become such a behemoth over the years that it seems as if everyone has succumbed to exclusively shopping at Amazon. Well, I think it’s time to “walk around the mall” a little bit before you checkout out at your favorite store.

Over the last several weeks, I took my list given to me by my kids and my wife and I started shopping on line – all from the comfort of my couch. I had my list of items, searched for them on Amazon and made note of the price, shipping cost ($0.00 because we pay for prime), tax and any “free stuff/points” that I got – which is none. Then I went shopping. It’s easy enough to use a google search and click on the “Shopping” tab. From there, I could see other companies selling the exact same product. Here are a few things that I found…

  • All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel French Skillets, Set of 2 – Amazon sold this for $149.99 +tax ($158.99) and I found them on William Sonoma for the same price — but — when I entered “COOK” into the promotional code box; I got free shipping AND 20% off. Final Price — $127.16 with tax and shipping – a savings of $31.83 and a much easier return process should she want to take them back.


  • Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler – Amazon sold this for $399.99. I found it at a local hardware store (Ace Hardware) for the exact same price. While they did not offer free shipping (it was about $22), I could pick it up at the store that very same day for free – so a minor inconvenience BUT…I also got a $50 gift card in the deal and I also went through E-bates and will get an 8% dividend check ($32.00) from E-bates as well. So, even with the $22 shipping, I would have saved $10 going through E-bates ($32-$22 = $10) and also received the $50 gift card as well.


  • Odyssey Golf White Hot Pro 2.0 #9 Putter 35″ – Amazon sold for $99.99+tax. While I did not find it cheaper at Dicks Sporting Goods, I did find it for the same price. Additionally, I had a “Spend $100 and save $20.00” coupon AND I was able to use a $10.00 “Score Card Dividend” to apply to the order which further reduced the price. Of course, I was able to present my Dicks Score-Card and receive more points towards another dividend check — free shipping too.

So these are just three examples and I could go on but you can see from above that sometimes it is as simple as entering a promo-code, or getting the added bonus of a free gift card if you spend a certain amount of money, or using E-bates or reward points, etc. The bottom line… there are indeed many, many places that have better deals than Amazon. You just have to go old-school and shop around.

Oh, and by the way…I didn’t use bitcoin even one time — I charged everything to my credit card and got “points” for doing so. Another win!

Chesapeake Financial Advisors is a fee-only financial planning, investment advisory and tax planning firm with offices in Towson, Bel Air and Columbia, Maryland.