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Product prices listed on Amazon today aren’t necessarily the same as the price yesterday — or even the price five minutes ago. Since prices on Amazon can fluctuate wildly, you need to watch product price history to find the right time to buy.
Fortunately, there are tools to help you keep tabs on prices past and present. To make the most of your online shopping, you’ll want to use the right price tracker — but with so many online tools offering to help you save, it can be hard to hunt down the best.
As someone who’s spent (and saved) a great deal at Amazon over the years, I know there are some must-have features in any price history tool:
- Long price history. Some tools offer just 30 days, which is okay for a look at recent pricing, but trackers that offer a year or more are the best way to see price trends.
- Easy to read info. Price history trackers tend to collect a lot of data, and it’s important that it’s presented clearly so you can understand it. If the interface is too complicated or cluttered, it won’t be helpful.
- Notifications. Services that can send you a message when a product hits low price are the best way to save. Otherwise, you’ll have to constantly check back for deals, and you’re sure to miss sales.
- Browser extensions. A browser extension will show you price history while you shop, making it exceptionally easy to determine whether you’re getting the lowest price.
CamelCamelCamel is our top pick for the best Amazon Price tracker because of its incredibly rich price history, ease of use and ability to be used without establishing an account. However, there are two other trackers — Honey and Amazon Assistant — that also provide good data, though not quite as comprehensive, as well as extra tools, like automatically applying coupons and comparison pricing off Amazon. So, depending on how you shop one may be more helpful than the rest. Let’s take a look at the best Amazon price history price trackers out there.
Best Amazon price history tracker: CamelCamelCamel
CamelCamelCamel offers the longest price history we’ve seen: the service has been tracking prices on Amazon for over a decade now. That gives you a wealth of price history data so you can know if you’re really getting a good deal.
And sorting through all of that price data is easy. Just search for the product you want in the search box at the top of the site and you’ll be taken to a page with a chart of prices, including Amazon and third party sellers (both new and used). The chart can get a little cluttered when you set it to show Amazon prices as well as new and used prices from third parties, but there’s an easy-to-read summary listing high and low prices just under the chart. You can choose what data to display (Amazon prices, third party prices, third party used prices) as well as how long of a price history you want to see — we recommend a year — to help you hone in on exactly what you want to know.
There’s also a browser extension (for Chrome and Firefox) called the Camelizer which works similarly. Just search on Amazon and when you’re on a product page, click the Camelizer button in your browser toolbar to see the price history for the item you’re looking at.
Best Amazon price tracker with automatic coupons: Honey
The big selling point of Honey is that combines price tracking and automatic coupon application. While the price tracking isn’t nearly as thorough as CamelCamelCamel, but it’s enough information to make smart shopping decisions: Honey’s price data goes back 120 days, and it defaults to showing 30. In general, it’s good enough to be a solid Amazon price history tracker while also offering a suite of other useful savings tools.
Whenever you browse to a product on Amazon, Honey will check to see if you’re getting the lowest price on the site. It will check alternate Amazon sellers — even taking shipping costs into consideration — to tell you if you’re getting the best deal. A small Honey box will show up just above the Amazon price to tell you whether you’re getting the best price and let you know whether the price has changed recently. Clicking on it sends you to a simple price history chart. If you’re at a price low, you know now’s the time to buy.
But if the price history suggests that it’s on the expensive side right now, you can add it to your Droplist for Honey to track. Just click “Add to Droplist” on the price tracking page and select how long you want to watch and how big of a discount you’d like to get. Honey will send you an email if the price drops in that time period. Droplist is a very convenient way to watch prices, and you can use it on almost any retail site, which makes Honey a very handy shopping tool.
But where Honey really shines is at checkout. Whether you’re checking out on Amazon or another retailer, Honey will attempt to find and apply coupon codes for you, giving you immediate savings without the need to dig around for deals. It’s quick, convenient, and it works on over 40,000 different online shopping sites.
Best tool for tracking Amazon price history off Amazon: Amazon Assistant
Amazon’s own price tracker is the least versatile on this list, but it does one thing very well: it tells you when products you’re browsing at other sites have a better price on Amazon. When you’re browsing other shopping sites, Amazon Assistant will pop up in the upper right of your screen to link you to the product on Amazon. It will show you what it costs now, with a 30-day price history shown beneath it. The interface is the cleanest and easiest to read of any price tracker we’ve looked at, though it provides less information.
Amazon Assistant is a suite of tools to make shopping on Amazon more convenient. A tap on the Assistant icon in your browser and you’ll be able to check your recent orders, track shipping status, get shipping notifications, and add products to your Amazon wishlist even while you’re browsing other sites. If you’re an Amazon Prime member who tries to do most of their shopping on Amazon, this tool is perfect — but if you want price history, Amazon Assistant is only okay.
That’s because its price history is only available while you’re browsing non-Amazon sites. That makes it extremely helpful when you want see a product’s price Amazon, but unhelpful if you want to see when a price is at its lowest on Amazon. And while you can track prices via Wishlists, Amazon won’t notify you of low prices. That makes the saving process a bit more manual than we’d like.
However, what Assistant does it does very well, and everyday Amazon shoppers will get good use from its features. Think of Amazon Assistant as a handy tool for Amazon Prime members that want to see if Amazon is the better buying option while they shop elsewhere.
[Image credits: price drop concept via BigStockPhoto, CamelCamelCamel, Honey, Amazon]
Elizabeth is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering consumer technology, shopping, and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she is published on sites all over the web including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.