When you break a certain threshold with your purchases at the Amazon shopping portal you are eligible for free shipping. This threshold is $25 currently in the US, $39 in Canada and €20 in Germany. Amazon customers in the UK on the other hand get automatic free shipping with their orders regardless of purchase value. Some items, like books, may be shipped free regardless of their price.
So called filler items are small inexpensive items that move the purchase over that threshold so that Amazon sends the items for free to your location.
One example to make it clearer: Say you have decided to buy the latest Harry Potter Blu-Ray on Amazon. It currently retails for $24.99. If you would only buy that item you would have to pay shipping costs on top of that price which would add $2.98 to the overall price that you have to pay. Shipping costs are even higher in other categories.
If you could find an item on Amazon that is sold for $0.01 you would save $2.97. This may not look as much but if your orders often do not qualify for Super Saving Shipping but come close then you may save quite some money over time.
Before we look at websites that let you search for filler items on Amazon, we should take a look at Amazon Prime.
If you order many smaller items on Amazon you may want to consider becoming an Amazon Prime member. You basically pay a yearly membership fee and get free shipping for all items on Amazon for the year. You find more information about Amazon.com Prime on the official website. You can sign up for a trial to test Amazon Prime.
A rather messy looking website that claims to be in association with Amazon.com. You can enter the amount that you need for free shipping and filter by categories if you get to many results.
The site managed to return a lot of cheap items on Amazon, but only one $0.01 item and that was for a HTC Droid Eris Android Phone with a Verizon Wireless subscription. The second item would set you back $0.12 at the time of writing.
Cheapest item in the database: $0.13
You can enter the amount needed to be eligible for free shipping on the Fillerseek website. It is furthermore possible to select a specific category that the filler item should be in. A click on search crawls the Amazon product database for products that match the requirements.
The site then displays products on the search results page. I was disappointed by the results, considering that the site suggested four or more Dollar items when my search explicitly asked for a $0.01 filler item.
Cheapest item in the database: $1
This one is as basic as it gets. Just enter the amount you need to qualify for free shipping and hit the search button afterwards. You get a large list of product suggestions.
Like the other services so far, this one did not manage to find a one cent item on Amazon. Popular and very popular items are highlighted in the results listing. There is no option to filter by product group.
Cheapest item in the database: $0.37
This service supports not only Amazon but other popular shopping destiations such as The Home Depot, Target or Petco. Just select the shopping site that you need filler items for on the left sidebar of the page and enter the amount that you are looking for.
The service displays items coming closest to the selected price first and then below that sorted into categories. This is actually more comfortable and eye pleasing than what the other services offered so far.
Cheapest item in the database: $0.37
Clickfiller displays a list of inexpensive products on the company's start page. You can use the form at the top to filter for a specific price range, product names or categories.
The service, just like Filler Seek, fails to list the cheapest items on Amazon.
Cheapest item in the database: $0.99
Maintained by Slick Deals. You can search for a specific price and filter results by keyword or category.
The service, like many others fails to find one or two cent items on Amazon.
Cheapest item in the database: $0.40
Instead of using a third party website you can also use browser extensions to find filler items. PriceTrace is a price comparison add-on for the Firefox web browser that can search for filler items.
Just click on the fillers button in the toolbar when you are on Amazon. This opens a page on the official Pricefiller website that lists the filler items in the service's database. Users who do not want to install an add-on for that can visit the page manually in every browser to search for items manually.
It does not make a lot of sense to install the add-on just for the price filler functionality, considering that you can add the search page on the PriceTrace website to your browser's bookmarks to open it manually. Firefox users who use other features of the add-on, like price tracking, may find it handy on the other hand.
Cheapest item in the database: $0.56
You can also try to find cheap items directly on Amazon to qualify for free shipping. Use a search like this one filler items search to find cheap items in the Industrial and Scientific category. There is even one item in the listing that you can buy for $0.01.
Who would have thought that the cheapest filler items are not in the databases of the filler item services. All services do a lot better when the price that is needed to be eligible for free shipping goes up. Most shine starting around the $1 mark.
Manual hunting for items gets my recommendation if you are looking for items below the $1 Dollar mark.
Have another service to share? Let me know about it in the comments.
Update: The Pricetrace website is no longer available. Links have been removed.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.