A woman opening a pile of Amazon packages.

It’s easy to get caught up in searching for deals when a Prime Day or Prime Early Access sale rolls around, but my first stop is always to shop my order history—and it should be yours too.

Why Shop Your Old Amazon Orders?

Amazon doesn’t offer a one-stop location to see if things you’ve previously purchased are on sale. In my opinion, that’s a big oversight because what more surefire way to sell something to somebody than to tell them a thing they already bought is on sale? Either they need more (and they’ll buy it again), or they might recommend it to a friend.

Alas, until such a handy list comes along, I do something like it for every major Amazon sale in a more roundabout but still effective way. I pull up my order history and shop that before I even look at the splashier deals.

With my order history open, I scroll back through the purchases I’ve made over the last year or two and open items in new tabs using Ctrl+Click to review the prices on things, like household staples or good gifts, that I’d consider purchasing again.

What Types of Things Should You Look At?

There’s a good chance there are plenty of things in your Amazon order history that aren’t great re-buy candidates, like specific books, impulse purchases, big-ticket items like TVs, etc. But if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, there’s a very good chance you have a lot of recurring purchases.

Here are the criteria I use for sifting through my order history:

  1. Is this a consumable I will be buying in the future anyway? Soap, vitamins, and other personal care products, as well as things like air filters and such, fall into this category.
  2. Is it something I purchased in the past that isn’t quite a consumable but does wear out and will need replacement in the relatively near future?
  3. Do I need more of these things, such as smart plugs, humidifiers, or other household tools?
  4. Would it make a good gift?

Prime sales tend to focus on flashy big-ticket things, so it’s easy to get caught up in looking at discounts on laptops, smart home displays and speakers, and so on. But with every Prime sale, I find a shocking number of mundane everyday things at a discount that I would have bought anyway.

The Little Savings Add Up Quickly

During the 2022 Prime Early Access sale, for example, I bought filters for my whole house water filter, several bottles of a B-complex multivitamin I love, some indoor and outdoor smart plugs that match the platform I’m already using, and some bulk jugs of handsoap (seriously, pair these things with an under sink hose hookup and skip constantly refilling little bottles).

All told, among those purchases and others I made, when I totaled up how much I would have spent simply waiting a few days past the Prime sale to buy the exact same things I would have likely purchased anyway, I saved over a hundred dollars just restocking my household with necessities and snagging a few extra things, like those smart plugs, I would have bought anyway.

So whether you’re reading this during a Prime sale or you need to file away the tip to use for a future sale, I’d strongly encourage you to pop open your Amazon order history and see how many of your regular recurring purchases are on sale.

You might not think of vitamins and handsoap when you think of Prime sales, but there are tens upon tens of thousands of items on sale during Amazon’s mega sales, and you might as well take advantage of it.

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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