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My wife recently laid a coupon on my desk that she found in Parents magazine for 20% off a diaper purchase at Amazon.

Upon doing some digging, I found that this was a really good deal.  It apparently was stackable with a promotion that they were running on a Subscribe-And-Save promotion.  Subscribe-And-Save allows you to sign up and typically receive 15% automatic shipments of staples like diapers, batteries, household cleaners, etc.  They were running an extra 15% off.

That means that we were looking at:
15% the original subscribe and save
15% for the bonus subscribe and save promo
20% off the coupon

The discounts all worked off the original price, so it amounted to a 50% discount!  The coupon was only good off one package of product, so we made our purchase.

So a package of diapers that retails for $41 at our local store would cost a little over $43 after you add tax, plus you have to spend time and gas going to the store to get it.

With Amazon, their price was $40, which was lowered to $20 after all the discounts!  Plus, they were offering free shipping on subscribe and save options, so even though we hadn't spent the normal $25, we didn't pay for shipping.  Two days after placing our order, a box of diapers showed up.

Now, many people shy away from the subscribe and save option because you later get ‘stuck' with stuff at a higher price.  Amazon seems pretty good about it:

  • You can set your frequency.  Right now, ours is set at every six months.
  • If you need something sooner, you can request a shipment earlier.
  • If you don't need it, you can postpone the shipment.  And they will e-mail you well in advance to ensure that you get adequate notice of a pending shipment.
  • Your 15% discount sticks.  You'll always get 15% off the current price.  The wording even suggests that the extra 15% might stay as long as the order is open, but that's a bit unclear.
  • You can switch your product.  I'm pretty sure that if we need to switch diaper sizes as Little Boy Beagle continues to grow, we can update this on the order.
  • You can cancel anytime.  Many people would have already canceled by now.  I figure I'll leave it in place and see what the price is next time I need it.  If the 15% is still cheaper than the store, why not leave it and adjust the orders as needed?  If the bonus 15% sticks, that's even better!

On top of all this, they also rewarded people who purchased diapers a three month Amazon Prime membership.  This gets you free two-day shipping on all orders, with the normal $25 free shipping waived.  This alarmed me when I first saw it, because with the typical ‘free' Prime membership, you have to opt out after the trial membership expires or you'll start getting charged the monthly fee.  Not so with this.  At the end of it, it simply expires (though I'm sure I'll get an e-mail or two asking me to consider paying for it).

All in all, this was a pretty great diaper purchase.  It just goes to show two things.  First, Amazon has great service.  Second, there is a huge markup on diapers if Amazon can offer all this and still make money, because you know they wouldn't be going all out on selling diapers if it weren't lucrative for them.