Use Amazon Price History Tracker to Make Sure a Sale Really is a Sale

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big fan of Amazon.com, which is the first place I check when I need to buy anything — household things, dry groceries, personal care items, craft supplies, carpentry tools and — my favorite things to shop for — movies. If you are also an Amazon shopper, you may know that they are currently holding a big DVD sale.

Being a an avid movie watcher, I naturally took advantage of the sale and bought a couple of DVDs, one of which was Music and Lyrics for $6.49 becuase Hugh Grant is one of my favorite actors. I thought I’d gotten a pretty good deal at $6.49 until a few days later when I discovered an Amazon price history tracker called CamelCamelCamel.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the movies I had just ordered to see how much I had saved. To my slightly unpleasant surprise, I saw that while I did get The Jane Austen Book Club at the lowest price it’s been at in 5 months ($10.49), I actually got Music and Lyrics at the highest it’s been in the same time frame. It would appear that Amazon raised the price of this DVD and threw it in with the Sale DVDs in the hopes of making customers think that they were getting a better deal, when in actuality this item had been priced at $4.99, $5.49 and $5.99 at different points between last November and the end of April.

Despite this little deception, Amazon is still my favorite place to shop because its prices are still competitive. But I have learned my lesson about doing my research to make sure the item they say is on sale really is.

CamelCamelCamel Amazon Price History Tracker

CamelCamelCamel is a site that allows you to check the price history of products sold at Amazon. It shows you a history of price changes, the lowest, highest and average price for that product, as well as a graph for visual comparison.

How to Track Amazon Prices with CamelCamelCamel

  1. Sign up for an account (free).
  2. Start searching for products you want or import a wish list of items you want to track.
  3. Enter a price under “I wish to be notified when the price is ___ or less.”
  4. You’ll receive an email when the price falls to or below your set price.

You can subscribe to an RSS feed that will alert you when the price of a product you are tracking falls below the parameters you have set.

Click on the image to view full size

CamelCamelCamel Amazon Price History Tracker

CamelCamelCamel Firefox Add-on

As it’s a bit of a hassle to have to go to the CamelCamelCamel site to check every product you’re looking at (I find that this site’s search function is a little slow), so they have a handy little Firefox add-on that lets you view an item’s price history right on the Amazon product page. You need to first install the Greasemonkey add-on from the Firefox site which will then enable you to run the Amazon price tracking script.

Click on the image to view full size

CamelCamelCamel Amazon Price History Firefox Add-on

I’m very wary of installing plug-ins and scripts because having too many slows down my browsing speed, but I’ve tried this script on both my computers and neither seems to be slower for having it, and it makes it much easier to see if it’s the right time to buy something or if an item “on sale” really is on sale. The add-on also puts a “track this product” button on the Amazon page so you can start tracking it without having to search for it on the CamelCamelCamel site.

CamelCamelCamel Amazon Add-on Track This Product

Good bargain hunting!

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8 thoughts on “Use Amazon Price History Tracker to Make Sure a Sale Really is a Sale”

  1. This is a great article, thanks for the info. I’m going to try this out. I used to use a site called PriceProtectr that would notify you if the price went down within 30 days of purchasing, and if it did, Amazon would refund your money (you had to ask of course). I think the site must have been getting a little too popular because Amazon discontinued their 30-day lowest price guarantee policy last year. This sort of does the same thing except it sort of lets you know beforehand what the chances are that you might get the product lower. I’m definitely going to check this out.

    Great post by the way. I’m subscribing in my reader to see what other useful nuggets come up!

    Money Beagle’s last blog post..How We’re Trying To Support The Local Economy

  2. I have been using pricetrace.com recently, since it does not only have price history / price drop information for Amazon.com, but also other major stores such as macys.com, bestbuy.com, etc.

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