Online shopping through sites like Peapod and Amazon Pantry have begun to make online shopping the norm. There’s no denying the convenience of having items delivered to your home, and monthly shipping programs are making it even easier. Just sign up to receive an item once and it will be shipped to your home every month! CVS recently unveiled their new Ship & Save program which is very similar to Amazon Subscribe and Save. (See who has the better prices, below.)
Who has the better deal? CVS or Amazon?
CVS Ship and Save
Discount – CVS Ship & Save offers a 20% discount no matter how many items you buy!
Shipping – Free Shipping. Surcharges may be applied if your order is over 10 pounds.
Pay As You Go – Orders aren’t billed until after they have been shipped
Arrival – You’ll see your subscription order date clearly marked on the page. You can expect to receive it in 5 to 10 business days.
Coupons & Rewards – You can link your ExtraCare card to your CVS.com account, so you’ll see savings form any ExtraBucks Rewards you have sent to your card and have the opportunity to apply additional coupons if available.
Variety – While Amazon has a larger selection of products, CVS offers generic items at lower prices. If you’re willing to step away from name brand items you can score some great deals!
Amazon Subscribe & Save
Discount – You get the 15-20% subscribe & save discount only if you have 5 or more subscriptions arriving in a month, otherwise the discount is just 5%.
Shipping – Free Shipping on every order.
Coupons – Amazon has their own Subscribe & Save Coupons that you can use to stack on higher savings. Be sure to check these out before placing your order. If a coupon is available you will see a note under the product savings that says Coupon: $1 off (or the designated coupon value. Just click on the button next to it that says “Clip Coupon” to score extra savings.
Pay As You Go – Just like with CVS, orders aren’t billed until after they have been shipped
Arrival – The subscribe & save items will be shipped in the month after the one that you place your order.
Variety – The Amazon program has a much larger variety of items to choose from compared to CVS Ship & Save. For comparison, a search for “hair care” had 2,653 items on Amazon while there were only 431 options from CVS.
Bulk Items – Many of the items available on Amazon Subscribe & Save are bulk purchases. The less expensive body washes, shampoos, and lotions tend to come in packs of three or more. While it’s great that these are available in bulk (prices tend to be cheaper), if you’re looking to buy just one of these items you’re out of luck.
Here is a list of prices of common items that are bought monthly. The prices are based on if you were subscribing to ONE item only. This means that a 20% discount has been applied for CVS and a 5% discount has been applied for Amazon.
|Item||CVS Ship & Save||Amazon Subscribe & Save|
|Atkins Bars (5-count)||$6.39||$5.12|
|2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo (23 oz.)||$5.11 (CVS Brand)||$6.44 (Head & Shoulders)|
|Moisturizing Body Lotion (16 oz.)||$4.79 1(CVS Brand)||$5.62 (Nivea)|
|Playtex Sport Tampons (36 count)||$4.23||$6.62|
|Eye Make-up Remover||$4.79 (CVS Brand)||$3.51 (Simple Brand)|
|Gillette Venus Disposable Women’s Razors (3 ct.)||$9.83||$6.74|
|Colgate Toothpaste (2 pk.)||$6.23||$8.15|
|Mouthwash 16 oz.||$6.23 (CVS Brand)||$6.65 (Natural Dentist)|
|L’Oreal Hair Dye||$7.99||$8.54|
The “best prices” aren’t found exclusively on either website.
If you are considering using Amazon Subscribe & Save, I would recommend buying five items at a time as this provides the best 20% discount. For this reason, the prices alone doesn’t make one or the other seem like the better option. The main difference is the variety of choices on Amazon versus the generic brands of CVS. If you’re looking for cheaper generic items you’ll be on track with CVS, but if you’re looking for specialty items at a discount Amazon is your best bet. What do you think?