Your Amazon Prime benefits make shopping easier.

Angela Lang / CNET

It’s the time of year to stock up on gifts for friends and family – and Amazon says the The 2020 holiday shopping season is the most important yet. So if you have a Prime membership now is a good time to take full advantage of your benefits.

While you probably know that you can get two-day free shipping as a Prime member, did you know that you can also get packages earlier or schedule a delivery date that works better for you? Or that you can get exclusive deals with Alexa on your Amazon Echo?

Here are all of the ways the Prime membership you already have – and your Amazon Echo – can help you shop today.

Read more: Holiday gift guide 2020: top picks from CNET editors

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Schedule a convenient shipping date when paying with Amazon Day.

James Martin / CNET

Get additional discounts when you buy with Alexa

You can use your Amazon Echo to ask “Alexa, what are my offers?” ” at any time. Alexa will then share the Prime exclusive offers with you and you will have the option to add the item to your cart, buy it now, or upgrade to the next offer.

Schedule a convenient shipping date for your package

Everyone knows about Amazon’s free two-day delivery, but another option is to choose a delivery date during payment. It’s called Amazon Day and it’s useful if there is a specific day when you know someone will be home to respond to packages – especially if it’s something expensive that you don’t want to risk sitting outside unsupervised.

If you order multiple items on different days, you can have them delivered on the same day as long as they are eligible for this offer.

Use your Amazon Echo to track packages

If you have a Amazon Echo of all kinds, you can use it to track your orders.

Just say “Alexa, where’s my package?” And your Echo will tell you where it is and when it arrives. Once your order has been delivered, the Echo ring light will flash yellow and if you have the Echo Show, the delivery notification will appear on the screen.

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Use any Amazon Echo to track your packages.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Buy Early Access offers before non-Prime members

If anything you’ve observed says “Prime Early Access,” as a Prime member you can purchase this sale 30 minutes before non-Prime members. However, you will still have to compete with other members who are also interested in the product before it sells.


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Use Prime Now to get what you ordered within hours

If there’s a product you want on the same day, you can see if it’s available in Prime Now. Amazon will deliver from morning to night, so you won’t have to worry about receiving your order at 3 a.m.

This way of shopping is nifty when you really need to go to the grocery store, but can’t risk losing that new item, like a new Echo device that could go on sale. Prime Now is not available in all countries, so enter your postal code on primenow.amazon.com to see if you are eligible. Note that you will need to add a tip for delivery here, unlike a normal Amazon Prime order.

Share your Prime benefits with your family

If you have another adult living in your household, such as a loved one or friend, you can share your Prime membership with them. You will still be able to separate your personal accounts, but you will both have access to the same Prime benefits.

You can also share your account with up to four teens and up to four children in your household. Although they have their own login details, you can still manage their profiles.

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Amazon employees can leave a package inside your home with Amazon Key.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Amazon can leave your package inside your home or garage

When you know you won’t be home for a while and have a shipment on your way, it’s much safer to have an Amazon employee leave your items inside your home or your garage to prevent theft.

If you have the Amazon Home Key Kit or Amazon In-Garage Delivery Kit, you can request to have your expensive packages left in your home or garage for free. The house kit itself costs $ 257 (currently sold out) and comes with a cloud camera and smart lock, so you’ll be responsible for letting the delivery guy in and can watch what happens. The garage kit is on sale for $ 30 and turns your garage into a smart garage.

If you are wary of let a complete stranger into your home, remember that you will also receive notifications throughout the process. Note that you can also choose to block delivery to your home – for example, if you know you will be home during this time.

For more buying advice this year, here is how to return your Amazon packages quickly, easily and for free. Also, read this before buying a tech gift this holiday season.


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