A little blurb on Amazon Wishlists. This is a feature of Amazon.com that I poo-poo’d for quite a while, until I started shopping more seriously on Amazon. Some credit to Matt Solar, too, who really helped promote them to me.

The most obvious use for them is near the Buy button on Amazon, is the “Save to Wishlist” button; this is great if you are not quite ready to buy something, but want to save it somewhere conveniently for later. You can then access that wishlist next time you hit Amazon, or even from your phone via one of their apps. Ok, nothing revolutionary here, but still very handy, especially when you start considering Amazon Prime (I’ll get into that later).

Another great feature of Wishlists – privacy options. Last year I began using a private wishlist for my Christmas shopping – and dumped gift ideas there until I could figure out my shopping plan. I have started one for this year as well.. I just haven’t quite started the shopping part of it. Of course, public is the other side of this coin.  For instance.. if you wanted to make shopping easier for other people at the holidays, you could just dump all the things you want on a wishlist – kind of like being a kid again.

“But what if the thing I want is not on Amazon?” you might ask. No problem – Amazon now has an extension for Chrome, which adds a little button into the browser. If you are on any site, looking at any product, you can click the button, and add that item to your wishlist. I don’t care if its a fridge at HomeDepot.com or a coat at Backcountry.com – you can add them. And I should mention, you can add these things to your private lists too – for instance your “Xmas 2011 shopping”  list. Nice.

What was that thing about Prime? Oh, how I love Amazon Prime. Pay one $80 annual fee, get free 2-day shipping on almost anything you want, and just $3.99 for overnight. And that’s just the tip of an ever-enlarging iceberg. You also get access to Amazon Instant Streaming – thousands of movies and TV shows, free. For instance, Kim and I just streamed Horrible Bosses through our TV (in HD). FIOS wanted $7 for the rental, and Amazon was charging $3.. but it ended up being free, courtesy of Prime. Love it.

As you can imagine, the shipping deal suddenly has you buying many, many things from Amazon. You’ll kill a few less cardboard trees if you use the Wishlist and pile things up. If you feel like being responsible, at least. I keep forgetting to buy napkins at the grocery store, and joked last night that I am going to have to end up “Priming” them. And.. sadly I probably will.

At some other time, I’ll go into the beauty of Amazon’s mobile shopping apps. Combine an app with wishlists and Prime, and you are an online shopping maniac pro.

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