I love to shop online for the convenience and efficiency it affords. However, it is also easy and inexpensive for retailers to mess with the prices constantly. And many retailers play mind games like slowly increasing the price over a month or two and then dropping it back to the original price – and calling it a big sale!
Bear in mind that price monitoring tools are also used by retailers to keep tabs on their competitors and adjust their prices accordingly.
You can use price monitoring tools to put retailers in their place. Some of the features you want to look for:
Notifications: Arguably the most important feature is to get an email, text, or push notification when the price of an item falls within your budget. Some tools include notifications for when items go in and out of stock.
Price history: Tools that collect and graph historic prices for an item provide valuable insight to the patterns, lows, highs, and averages for that item. Put simply, you will know if the current price is a better-than-average deal or if you should wait!
Post-purchase insurance or price protection: This is really dependent on the retailer, but when you buy an item you may want to continue to monitor the item for 30 or 60 days so that if the price drops further you can get the difference refunded.
If you are looking to get deal alerts as soon as your favorite products or brands’ prices drop, you may want to consider using Visualping.
It is one of the best price tracking tools for a specific item you are looking to buy. It has a change detection service that sends notifications of all kinds of changes, such as promotions, items back in stock, and concert tickets that sell out fast on any ecommerce website.
Apart from price tracking, it can even help you identify attractive job openings and assist you in the house-hunting process.
To monitor price changes, just go to Visualping.io, create an account, add the URL of the page that you want to track, and select the listed price area. You will then receive an email notification once the price changes.
Make sure you choose the visual-compare option, and the email alerts will include a screenshot of the new price highlighted in red.
With Visualping, you can monitor any web page you want, and it is free for up to 65 checks a month. With the Chrome extension, you can also look for discounts, cashback, or other offers and keep track of them.
Pros: Works with almost any web page, provides a snapshot you can use in case you miss the deal
Cons: Gets expensive the more items you monitor or the higher the frequency of checks (hourly vs. daily)
CamelCamelCamel is a free and feature-rich resource to help you decide when to buy on Amazon and save money. The site monitors millions of items on Amazon and third-party retailers and displays the biggest price drops by day and week.
You can also search for the most popular products and check the price differences. This free tracker is also good to check the price history of a product in the past month and you can set up alerts for when the price drops to a specific percentage.
Camelizer is the browser extension that gives you instant access to all the features and pricing charts of CamelCamelCamel. The service is available to monitor prices in Amazon Australia, Canada, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom.
Pros: Free, one of the original price monitoring tools, company has been around for years and years
Cons: Only works with Amazon websites
Invisible Hand is a browser extension for real-time price comparisons. It sends you a notification when there is a lower price available on a product, flight, hotel, or rental car you are shopping for. And it also includes a link to the most affordable option.
The browser extension also shows you coupons available on the site you are visiting. And during the checkout, it automatically applies the coupons choosing the one that saves you the most money. The service is available for online stores in the US and UK.
Invisible Hand is free for users. They receive a commission from the retailer when someone buys a product after clicking on the button in one of their notifications.
Pros: Free, aside from online shopping it also works with flights/hotels/rental cars
Cons: Limited list of retailers, limited list of countries supported
While most price-tracker sites focus on helping you determine when the best time is to buy, Earny is a shopping assistant that tracks your spending history and alerts you when you are eligible for a price adjustment.
Once you have installed the extension and created an account, Earny scans your email, and it automatically creates a database of your online purchases and receipts.
When one of the products you have bought drops in price and you are eligible for cashback, you receive a notification. And if you are shopping on Amazon, this assistant tracks your shipments and helps you get money back when the deliveries are late.
This service has a fixed cost of $19.99 per year. So, you will need to make sure whether you will make that up in price drops and cashback.
Pros: Automatic, sends emails on your behalf when competitive offers are available or the price drops
Cons: Works to save money only after you have made the purchase, privacy concerns with access to your mailbox
Free to use with up to 50 items and we have yet to find a retailer that they don’t support. The biggest perk is that they check the price every hour!
Monitoring an item is a simple copy/paste operation. You can also import your entire wishlist from dozens of retailers and keep them synchronized as you add or remove items from the list. You can watch the same item across multiple retailers and the tool automatically shows you the best deal.
The interface lets you organize items into different lists. You can set the preferences on each list including notification options, gifting (family and friends can mark items fulfilled without you seeing), and public lists for embedding (bloggers tool).
Pros: Free, worldwide, works with most retailers
Cons: They only collect price history on an item while someone is actively watching it on the platform