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Show Me What I've Spent All My Money On

AdamBoyd

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Last night, I was turning the page of a book on my kindle and I thought to myself, “I’ve read a lot of books this year. I wonder how much money I have invested in my self-development and learning about business through purchasing books.” This led me to think that Amazon should have a tool that shows you a breakdown of what you have spent money on.

I've done a fair bit of digging today and what I have discovered is that all of the personal finance apps that track your spending have trouble categorising Amazon transactions. Over 100 million people are now prime members (including myself) and so it's not uncommon to see a lot of 'Amazon' transactions on your credit card statement.

However, it seems that apps like Mint can only show you 'Amazon' as a transaction and can't actually break it down.

For example:

Books - £102.30
Electronics - £436
Stationary - £27


Maybe there's no demand for this information (that's me indirectly asking for your opinion) but I, for one, would like to know how much money I have spent on books over the past five years without going through all of my individual transactions and totalling it up.

This is where my knowledge fails me - can you link an app to your Amazon account, or is that totally closed? Would it be possible to create a little widget that people link to their accounts to give them analytics on their Amazon spending?

...Just a glimpse into my ever-racing mind that never leaves me in peace to enjoy things like "Never Split The Difference" By Chris Voss (current choice of nighttime reading).
 

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RazorCut

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I'm sure Amazon wouldn't want people to easily know how much they have spent on the platform as that is likely to reduce spending, not increase it.

Therefore I doubt Amazon would want to allow access to an API to enable third parties to perform this function so I don't see an easy way around it.

Nice idea for the data driven class out there.
 

RazorCut

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Just go to your orders
It doesn't allow you to total them up. Funny enough I just checked my account and my first ever order with Amazon will be 20 years ago tomorrow! Wow!! :wideyed:
 
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AdamBoyd

AdamBoyd

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Just go to your orders
I might be wrong here because I use Amazon.co.uk which might be different from Amazon.com, but I believe it only shows you each individual order in your account. If you're spending a fair chunk of money on Amazon, you might want to see some analytics grouped together from all of your orders as a collective.

As I said, there may be no demand for this - that's why I'm floating it in here.
 

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20 years ago?!

You must have been an early adopter!
First order was 16/8/1999 Scary! I can still review it but sadly my return window has elapsed. :happy:

26624
 

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Wow... That's unbelievable! Would love to see what the UI was like when you ordered that
Prime retail time December the 2nd 1999:

26626
 

ChrisV

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The Mint app does this.

26630

Amazon will never implement this.
 

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CareCPA

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The Mint app does this.

View attachment 26630

Amazon will never implement this.
Yes, but Mint doesn't break Amazon into separate categories. Say you bough a printer, a kitchen island, 6 books and a box of groceries all at one time. It just shows up in Mint as $500 spent, instead of the different categories.

I would be very surprised if there is an Amazon API for this on the buyer's account.
 

Charnell

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Amazon used to have an option to export every single order & product you ever purchased from them. Just a simple CSV download so you can see how much you wasted over the years.

I'm sure it's still out there, just deeply hidden like trying to delete your account.

EDIT: Amazon.com Help: Create an Order History Report
 
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AdamBoyd

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Amazon used to have an option to export every single order & product you ever purchased from them. Just a simple CSV download so you can see how much you wasted over the years.

I'm sure it's still out there, just deeply hidden like trying to delete your account.

EDIT: Amazon.com Help: Create an Order History Report
I actually can't get this to work. The download completes but it doesn't display any data.

Does anyone know if it is possible to build a programme that pulls information from your Amazon account? It's not something I can find much information about online. That tells me that it's unlikely.

I know that you can link seller accounts with multiple apps. I just can't seem to find anything on linking a buying account.
 

amp0193

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Maybe there's no demand for this information (that's me indirectly asking for your opinion) but I, for one, would like to know how much money I have spent on books over the past five years without going through all of my individual transactions and totalling it up.
I think there is demand, and I think it screams business opportunity.

I don't know if a solution is possible... depends on Amazon's backend I guess.

But it is a pain in the a$$ to categorize business expenses made on Amazon. Especially when the totals displayed on the orders tab, don't include shipping, you have to actually click in to see the full order details, so you can't even look at a glance to see what matches the bank statement. And sometimes they split up orders into two different charges and it gets even more complicated.
 

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Not my first order, but the order that changed everything for me! My first order was Feb 2000.
You were way ahead of me. I didn't get a copy until 2010. It certainly had an impact though as I bought 4 copies. :rofl:
 
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AdamBoyd

AdamBoyd

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I think there is demand, and I think it screams business opportunity.

I don't know if a solution is possible... depends on Amazon's backend I guess.

But it is a pain in the a$$ to categorize business expenses made on Amazon. Especially when the totals displayed on the orders tab, don't include shipping, you have to actually click in to see the full order details, so you can't even look at a glance to see what matches the bank statement. And sometimes they split up orders into two different charges and it gets even more complicated.
This is something I hadn’t even considered, but you’re right. Categorising business expenses would make the tool very valuable.

Time to do some major digging today to try and find out if this is even remotely possible.

Will come back with my findings.
 
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AdamBoyd

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I was going to suggest a chrome extension to scrape the data but looks like someone has already done that. Although I haven't tested it...
Amazon Order History Reporter
So it looks like someone has developed a tool to pull the data from Amazon, but hasn't gone as far as providing analytics based on the data.

Looking at the reviews for this plugin though, it's clear that it was something a lot of people were looking for.
 

amp0193

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I was going to suggest a chrome extension to scrape the data but looks like someone has already done that. Although I haven't tested it...
Amazon Order History Reporter
Nice!

Never even thought to search for a plug-in.

It doesn't seem to scrape the payment data from 100% of the orders though for some reason. But still works enough that it's going to save me 30min-1 hour of work per month

A much more elegant solution could be built.


@CareCPA this is a game changer.
 

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ChrisV

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Therefore I doubt Amazon would want to allow access to an API to enable third parties to perform this function so I don't see an easy way around it.
HTML scraping would work. You'd just need to suck all the info out of the HTML page.

Edit, whoops.. looks like someone already got to that:

I was going to suggest a chrome extension to scrape the data but looks like someone has already done that. Although I haven't tested it...
Amazon Order History Reporter
 

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