Amazon is probably the largest online shopping center in the world. It has branches in various countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. In countries where the language is not English -- such as Germany --- the websites use the native languages. Such international sites can be reached through links at the bottom of Amazon pages.
Amazon started out just selling books. Then it added audio books, music and many other products. Now it sells almost everything imaginable.
Anybody can view the Amazon pages without having an account. Yet some functions require an account and password. For example, buying a product would obviously require an account just for financial and shipping purposes.
Some Amazon pages contain private information and require an account and password. For example, no one can view your purchase history and current orders without the correct account and password. Most wishlists are public information and are available to anyone, yet you can setup a private list that is viewable only by you.
Naturally, Amazon sites are available online. Assuming that you want to log onto the USA branch of Amazon, start your browser and enter the following web address in the URL field (without any capitalization):
This will take you to the homepage of Amazon within the USA. To reach the homepage of the British -- United Kingdom -- Amazon site enter the following:
Of course, you could logon to the USA site and then click the "United Kingdom" link, but why waste time if you are going to do most of your shopping on the United Kingdom site.
BTW, sometimes the international sites have products available either directly from Amazon or from local third party sellers -- called Marketplace vendors -- that are not currently available in the USA. Many authors popular in the USA live in places like Australia or the United Kingdom and their books come out earlier in the home countries.
When the homepage comes up, you can view any public page. But you will need to sign on to buy products or to access your private pages. Select either "Sign in" or "Start Here" at the top of the page. Both currently link to the same signin page.
Your account identifier on Amazon will be your email address as assigned by your internet service provider. Enter this address into the "My email address is" field.
If you already have an account, you can select "Yes, I have a password" and enter your password.
Since you are viewing this guide, you probably don't have an account, so select "No, I am a new customer".
Then press enter or click on the "Signin using our secure server" button.
Since you don't already have an account, you will be presented with a page that will ask for your name. It also will ask you to reenter your email address. Then enter and reenter your password and click on "Create a new account".
Remember, this password will be your only means of signing on, so use something you won't forget. But don't make it too obvious or people will logon as YOU.
After all that, you will be presented with a welcome page. From there, you can link to other Amazon features. Moreover, you will discover that you have some personal functions and features.
Once you have an account, you will have your own Profile page. This page can have your picture and information about yourself. It also has links to almost all Amazon functions and data that are associated with you. For example, you can display your reviews, listmanias and guides, access and change account information, check your shopping Cart, track orders, and leave feedback on these orders.
You can also tailor your account through the Profile page. You can improve the Amazon recommendations, provide facts about yourself (including your birthday), build various product lists (for your birthdays and other events), and many other things.
Amazon will also start providing recommendations. Some will be available online and others will come to you via email. The online recommendations can be tailored by your input, but the email type cannot. Sometimes the email recommendations are way off base.
The Amazon homepage provides links to Your Account, Your Lists, the shopping Cart, and Help. The Help page is your tutor for just about everything you need to know about Amazon and includes a "Contact Us" button. The homepage also allows you to browse products by department.
Yet the Amazon homepage doesn't have a link to your Profile page. But it does provide a link to your recommendations. Click on that link and the displayed page will have another link to Your Profile. The Profile will then provide links to various lists that you can create.
The Amazon homepage also can be used to find the Advance Search page. Click on Books (under Books) and then click on Advanced Search. Notice that you also can search for Magazines, Music, Classical Music, DVD, and Toys & Games. This function is probably the most useful feature on the Amazon website (see my guide "Use Amazon Advanced Search - Books").
The Search function on Your Profile page is your means of finding other Amazon users. If you have a friend who also has an account of Amazon, select People in the topic field and enter the name. You will be presented with a list of names matching your entry. Select one and their Profile page will be displayed, with all its public links. Note that the Amazon name may differ from their normal name or nickname.
Another way to find the Profile page of other Amazon users is through the Product pages. Browse the Amazon departments on the homepage or use the Advanced Search function to produce a list of products. Select a product that has reviews. Click on the "customer reviews" link at the top and then find an interesting review. Click on the reviewer's name and the Profile page will be shown.
Profile pages can be used to find the search engines for Listmanias and Guides. If you do not have any lists, find someone who does. Find the Contributions section and click on either Listmania Lists or Guides. Then click on the "See all" link.
The Search function on either the Listmania or Guides page allows you to look for specific lists. Select either Listmania! or So You's Like To -- meaning guides -- as the topic and then enter the search parameters. Since anything with one or more of these terms will be displayed, this function might produce a rather extensive search list.
After using the Amazon site for a while, you will find that some pages are accessed more often than others. You can bookmark the frequently accessed pages to save time. Such bookmarks will provide single click access to specific Amazon pages.
For example, I have a bookmark for the Amazon homepage, but I often use the Advanced Search page, my Profile page, and my review, listmania, and guide lists. So I also have bookmarks for these and other Amazon pages.
Other guides are available to help you enjoy your Amazon experience. Use the Search function on any Listmania or Guide page to find such information.