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Amazon is often the best place to buy all kinds of things. This is especially true if you have a Prime membership. But not everything sold on Amazon.com is cheaper or better than what you’ll find elsewhere.
So how can a savvy shopper tell when to pounce on a particular product or price offered by Amazon? Do a little research.
Taking a few seconds to look up a product on websites like the following will give you handy product data you might not realize are available to shoppers.
This tool is an Amazon price tracker — essentially, a website that provides price data for items you’re ogling on Amazon.com. It’s free to use. Signing up for an account is optional, too, although having an account will enable you to take advantage of more features.
Using CamelCamelCamel can be as simple as copying the web address of an item for sale on Amazon and pasting it into the box at the top of CamelCamelCamel’s website. This will reveal a price history chart for that item, which will tell you the average, highest and lowest prices for which the item has sold.
From there, you can also set up an alert that CamelCamelCamel calls a “price watch.” Basically, you specify an item and a price, and CamelCamelCamel will notify you by email or Twitter (your choice) when the item reaches that price.
To learn more about CamelCamelCamel’s capabilities, check out its “Features” page.
Third-party ratings or reviews of products posted to any retailer’s website should not necessarily be taken at face value. It’s tough to know how thoroughly a retailer regulates product reviews posted to its site.
Amazon does have what it calls “Community Guidelines” for user submissions like reviews. The company updated these guidelines last year to prevent phony reviews.
Still, if you’re going to base any purchase even partly on reviews, it makes sense to vet reviews whenever possible. One way to scrutinize Amazon reviews is to use the website of data analytics company Fakespot. It analyzes Amazon reviews and grades them on an A-to-F scale.
To use the website, simply copy the web address of an item for sale on Amazon and paste it into the box on Fakespot’s homepage. This will reveal the grade Fakespot gave to the reviews for the item and other details from Fakespot’s analysis.
As Fakespot explains it, “Our patented algorithm looks for patterns to filter out reviews we think are unreliable. But don’t take our word for it — you be the judge.”
For more Amazon shopping tips, check out:
- “5 Ways to Score Free Amazon Gift Cards“
- “Amazon Prime versus Sam’s Club: Which Membership Offers the Most?“
- “8 Major Freebies and Discounts You Get With Amazon Prime“
- “10 Strategies to Save Big Bucks on Amazon“
Do you use any tools like these when shopping online? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.