How can you use an Amazon price tracker to find the best deals on any product.

So you visit Amazon to buy a product, say a case of tins of cat food for your feline overlord, and note that the price is a little more expensive than you expected. You know that the price of ‘Super Puss’ fluctuates on Amazon, and the last time you bought it, the cost was around 15% cheaper. As you normally buy the food in bulk, you decide to wait until the price drops again.

In the meantime, you buy your (soon to be disgruntled) cat some basic supermarket cat food, which is obviously eschewed. With a raised tail and a march to the cat flap in search of a mouse in the garden, Tiddles votes with her paws, leaves a full plate, and tells you exactly what she thinks of your recent purchase.

Powerless to resist the animal’s will, you go back on Amazon, to find that the price has increased yet again by another 10%. So now it’s 25% more than you expected in the first place. And you’ve really upset your cat. You grin and bear it, pay the higher price and that’s that.

Does this sound familiar? Whether or not it does, all the hassle could have been avoided using an Amazon price tracker.

Graphs and dashboards

A price tracker lives in your browser as a simple extension. As soon as you click on the link of a product you’re interested in buying, it shows a graph of the fluctuations in price of that product over a given time period. This allows you to see the trend of cyclical increases and decreases in price, so that you are better informed to predict when the price will decrease again. Maybe the seller has regular special offers – in which case you can calculate when the next one is likely to happen.

Not only that, but you can also set an alert so that the price tracker will notify you when the product’s price changes. A good Amazon price tracker will also allow you to set date parameters for the product you’re watching, and display the highest ever price during that time, the lowest ever, and the average price offered over that period.

Whilst the prices on an Amazon Price Tracker are all sourced from Amazon, the ultimate supplier of the product will almost certainly be selling on other e-commerce sites such as eBay, so if a price drop occurs on Amazon, there’s a good chance that the same sales push might be occurring on other websites. So that’s a good time to check any other portals that you might use for online shopping.

Browser support

Some Amazon price trackers don’t support certain browsers, because, as a case in point, Apple’s Safari browser disallows cross tracking on website visits, which can interfere with the way that the tracker works. In which case, you can access the tracker via its own website.

Business intelligence for sellers

Amazon price trackers aren’t only for buyers to get the best price. They also carry great advantages for sellers, who can both keep track of competitors selling similar goods, or to use as research tools for what products to sell, and, crucially, when. It doesn’t take a business genius to work out that sales of Scotch tape, AAA batteries and wrapping paper increase in the month running up to Christmas; but using a price tracker can indicate seasonal shifts and trends in purchases of sun cream for summer holidays or, say, certain types of clothing and fashion fads in the spring and autumn.

Freemium price trackers

Like many other platforms available, some price trackers offer a free basic service, and a premium paid for service to get extra bells and whistles. For example, a tracker might give a free user a basic graph of price history, but if you want access to the predictive algorithm telling you when the next likely price cut is likely to be, you might have to pay a nominal amount per month.

Other price trackers don’t charge their users but make their money by selling anonymized data to market research companies and Amazon sellers. The tracker providers can tell the sellers what people are searching for, and what price tends to be the optimum point at which people are put off from making a purchase. For example, it might be that the public perception of a fair price for a spare bicycle tire for a certain sized mountain bike wheel is, maybe, $15. When the price goes above that, sales drop ‘en bloc’, whereas sales don’t fluctuate much when the price is between 12 and 14 bucks a pop.

Amazon price trackers can benefit buyers, sellers and product manufacturers alike. As is usual amongst all this technology that’s designed to help us – the trick is just knowing how to use it to your best advantage, and quicker than the other guy!