Amazon Shopping Tips and Tricks

A couple of years ago, I was heading out on a family vacation and realized I didn't have a good travel-sized bag to take with me. My handbags were small to medium size and wouldn't fit all of the extra things I like to carry with me on an airplane like a magazine, book, snacks, etc. I didn't have time to go driving around to multiple stores to see if I could find something I liked for a reasonable price. I already had an Amazon Prime account, but I had never shopped there for fashion-related items. At that point Prime seemed like my only option to get a bag in time without paying exorbitant expedited shipping rates. I ended up finding a bag I liked  (posted here), and that experience ended up being a game changer in my shopping habits. While shopping for that bag, I stumbled on a bunch of other cute, affordable bags and things, so I started a wishlist and made more purchases here and there. Nowadays I'm a very frequent Amazon shopper! In the past couple of years I have learned some effective strategies for digging and finding "the good stuff" on Amazon, so that's what I'm sharing with you today.

Shoes and Bags are my top two favorite departments when it comes to Amazon Fashion, so here's a look at some of my still-in-stock, most-loved picks:
All bags from Amazon, Shoes in Outfit Two and Three from Amazon. Full Details Below.

Outfit One:
Top: Abercrombie | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (Similar) | Bag: Amazon | Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (Use code: onthedailyx for 10% off!)

Outfit Two:
Jacket: Nordstrom (Similar) | Tee: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Shoes: Amazon | Ring: Express (Similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Outfit Three:
Top: Charming Charlie | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o Amazon | Shoes: c/o Amazon | Necklace: Stella & Dot

My Strategies for Finding the Best Fashion Items on Amazon:

1. Take Your Time
While I was on a "deadline" with my initial Amazon quest for a specific bag and that worked out well, usually the items I end up sharing on the blog have been a few weeks in the making. That includes time to run numerous searches (more on that below), buy multiple possible options, compare them in person, then return the ones that don't make the final cut. Sometimes none make the cut in person and I have to go back to the drawing board altogether. Planning ahead and not being in a rush improves your chances of finding something great. Occasionally I get lucky on the first try, but the more time I have to search before I need to wear or share an item, the better chance I have to get something I love vs. something that does the job.

2. Make Lists
Let's say you're on the hunt for a new Pink Crossbody Bag. Start by searching that term on Amazon since it's the first that came to your mind. Make a Shopping List on your Amazon Account and save items to that folder that look somewhat like what you had in mind. They don't have to be exactly what you want. They might be too big or too small or not the right shade of pink or not even pink at all but exactly the bag you wish they made in pink but it's only in black! It just has to be close enough in some way to drop a hint to Amazon that you want a certain type of bag. Once you do that, they will start making suggestions for you. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think there are certain items on Amazon you can only find by their suggestion. They will not show up in a generic term search, but after I've browsed a similar item, new items I've never seen anywhere before even though I've searched for that option will start showing up on their suggested options.

After steps 2-4 below, you'll find several ways to bring up new items. I recommend saving anything that looks like your style to one of your lists. Even if you're not in the market for it right then, it seems to help Amazon understand your taste and provide better recommendations for you. I have several lists on my Amazon accounts with a few dozen items I'll probably never purchase. But they're placeholders and hints for Amazon, and sometimes I start my searching from those items if it's in the general category (e.g. bags, shoes, tops) of what I want to find.

2. Change Your Search Terms
This step is probably the most effective trick I've learned. Let's say you ran your initial search for a Pink Crossbody Bag and didn't find quite what you wanted. Start thinking of synonyms and related terms to change out for your next Amazon search. e.g. Blush Crossbody Bag, Light Pink Crossbody Bag, Dusty Rose Crossbody Bag, Pink Satchel, Pink Handbag, etc. If at first you don't succeed with your search, try, try again...with a slightly different term each time. What I consider to be a crossbody bag might simply be labeled a purse (or handbag/satchel/clutch etc.) by a Korean handbag company, so many options that might be what I actually wanted won't show up on my first search. And it's not just a language barrier. Amazon searches don't seem to get the gist of my searches so I have to work around that. If a company used the term "Pale Pink" and you searched "Light Pink," Amazon might not show you that option in your search. What I call "beige," another brand might call "khaki" or "nude" or "taupe." A "wrap front top" can be a "crossover top," and even "top" could be switched out for "blouse" or "shirt." Each minor change you make to your search terms will yield new results. The more alternate terms you can think of to swap in, the better chance you have of finding exactly what you want. (And now you can see how this leads back to Point One of how long all of this searching can take!)

4. Check Out Amazon's Suggestions
In my opinion this is the second most important trick. Going back to the Pink Crossbody example, let's say you've clicked on an "almost but not quite" bag that came up in your original search. Underneath the product details, Amazon will display multiple other products on scrolling widgets with labels like "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought..." or "Sponsored Products Related to this Item." Along the same lines of what I said in Step Two, start clicking on any of the items displayed that look remotely like what you want. Even if they're the wrong size or color, click them if they appeal to you on any level. When I'm shopping for something on Amazon I end up with a dozen tabs open on my browser. As I go through them I decide whether they are worth saving to a list or not, but every Suggested Option that I click brings up some new Suggested Options that I haven't seen on any of my previous searches.

5. Click the Brand Name
Somewhere in all of that clicking and searching of pink, light pink, pale pink, blush, rose blush, soft blush and so on, let's say you found a bag you really liked but it's the wrong size. Click on the Brand Name of that bag. (It's hyperlinked in small text above the name of the product next to the photo.) Once again, doing this brings up options from that brand that didn't seem to show up in my other searches. And once again, clicking on any of those options will lead to other Suggested Items that you haven't seen before. I've founds several pieces this way, like my taupe shoes in Outfit Two.

Does all of that sound like you've just gone down the Rabbit Hole of Amazon? If so, then great! You're on the right track to finding good stuff! After two years of doing these Rabbit Hole searches, I feel like Amazon has gotten better at making suggestions for me. So while it does take a long time, it doesn't take as long as it did at first and the suggestions have gotten much better. Also, it probably goes without saying that none of this is really applicable if you already know the specific brand and item you want and just want to know if Amazon carries it. E.g. My Dolce Vita Sandals (pictured in Outfit Three above) were not hard to find because I knew the exact brand and style I wanted, it was just a matter of finding whether Amazon carried them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an Amazon Affiliate Partner but I was not asked to write this post nor compensated for writing it by Amazon (or any other brand). This post was created in response to a reader request for information on how I find things on Amazon. I do receive shopping credits from Amazon through my affiliate partnership and any items purchased with those credits are always designated c/o (courtesy of) in my posts. Any items without that designation were purchased with my own money. And as always indicated by my sidebar disclaimer, I do use affiliate links on my site for products I discuss, so any purchase made after clicking through a link on my site may result in a commission for me from that sale. This does not add any cost to the consumer and is simply a way for retailers to thank bloggers for referring traffic to them. And to those of you who read my blog and choose to support me through your clicks, purchases, page views, and comments - thank you! I very much appreciate your support! You are literally (and I avoid using that word as much as possible!) the reason I am able to continue maintaining this blog!

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I hope all of this was helpful and gave you some new ideas to try for shopping on Amazon! I decided to do this post today in place of my Monday Motivation because, well, I was motivated to respond to a reader request in a timely manner and this was the best time for me to do it!

Linking up with:
Monday: Rachelle | Carylee | Laura | Karen | ErikaAndreaNarci | JoLynne |



  1. This is so helpful G, I don't shop for clothes and shoes at Amazon often it can be overwhelming but I love your tips.


  2. I've always loved your shoes and bags that you've gotten from Amazon but have never shopped for any on there. This is really helpful! Especially making lists so Amazon starts doing the work for you!

    Doused In Pink

  3. I love amazon!! Your tops in all of these photos are so cute! Happy Monday :)

    Katherine | www.oneswainkycouple.com

  4. Amazon is taking over the world and I don't mind! It's so convenient and I love that I can buy Nettie's dog food, kitchen supplies, and shoes all in one place. Nate loves his prime membership! It definitely can be tricky to find an exact item but I'll keep these tips in mind :)

  5. Great tips all around. Over the past couple of years I have gone to Amazon for a wider variety of fashion accessory items. I couldn't agree more about using their suggestions for finding other items.

  6. Wow, great tips for shopping on Amazon! I have used some of them, but not all. Thanks for the ideas!

  7. These are great tips! I find Amazon to be a little overwhelming so I tend not to shop there. You've found some nice pieces there and I always wondered how you found them! Thanks for sharing!

    Nicole to the Nines

  8. You are definitely the Amazon shopping pro! Admittedly, I don't buy too much fashion related stuff on Amazon unless I'm looking for a specific brand name. But I love your suggestion about leaving stuff on your wishlist and letting Amazon's internet spies make suggestions for you in time! Awesome tips!
    Caryl | http://morepiecesofme.com

  9. Super interesting post about Amazon! I agree with the others that you find great things on there. Thanks for the tips! Also- I found a really great for me shirt at Express this weekend. The rolled hem v-neck fits really well and I love it!

  10. This was so interesting! Thank you so much for sharing your tips! I agree with changing search terms slightly and not just on amazon! Sometimes I get jewelry on ebay and changing words slightly has gotten me the exact item I want! I need to get better about wish lists and looking on amazon for clothing and accessories with these tips now!

  11. What solid tips! I love scoring a deal or two on Amazon- and you cannot beat Prime shipping! Great post, lady!

    Le Stylo Rouge


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