11 Price Tracking Tools for Finding the Best Deal
Thanks to dynamic pricing technology, many prices now fluctuate from moment to moment. For example, the price of identical hotel rooms and airline seats can vary by hundreds of dollars over time. Given the flux of prices, it's hard to know what the best deal actually is. Price tracking tools help you find the best price by monitoring specific products on Amazon and other ecommerce sites and sending out email or text alerts when prices change.
CamelCamelCamel runs three sites that let you set price alerts for products on Amazon, BestBuy, and Newegg. You don't need to register or give your email address to benefit from the site's tracking capabilities; it generates a unique URL where you check for changes. If you do register, price alerts for tracked products can be sent to your email or Twitter account or show up in an RSS feed. There are also Chrome, Firefox, and Safari extensions that display historic price charts.
Many hotel chains offer a discounted rate if you prepay, but there's no guarantee that the price won't move lower after you put the room on your credit card. Dream Cheaper tracks the price of a room you reserve (but don't pay for), and automatically cancels and rebooks if the price drops. It charges 20 percent of the difference, so you pay only if you get a better price.
The Tracktor is a bare-bones price tracker for Amazon products. Users can search for a product based on its name, a URL, or the Amazon Standard Identification Number. The Tracktor displays historical price data, including lowest and highest prices for both new and used items. You can browse through products currently trending on Tracktor, view the most tracked products, or pick a category and browse through recent price drops based on a price or percentage change.
While PriceGrabber is primarily a comparison shopping tool, it also allows you to create a price alert for products and be notified when your target price is hit. You can track prices across multiple retailers and use filters to customize which retailers to track and to focus on new or used products.
TrackIf works with hundreds of sites to track prices. In addition to the standard product price tracking and alerts, you can use it to keep an eye on travel packages, get notified when vehicles are posted online or their price drops, and even track new job listings. You can also use TrackIf with the dynamic automation tool IFTTT (If This Then That) to connect the data you're tracking to text alerts and Google spreadsheets.
An Amazon-only price tracker, Ookong displays historic prices from the online retail giant and its third-party sellers. Ookong also lets you see how many other people are following a product's price. However, Ookong's search functionality is limited and there's no option to track specific products based on their URL.
Another Amazon-only price tracker, Keepa distinguishes itself with several valuable features. You can import and track items on an Amazon wish list. You can also browse recent price drops based on a time frame, product categories, and the size of the drop. The historic price charts feature Amazon and third-party prices, and you can send alerts to your email, Twitter feed, and Facebook timeline.
Slickdeals is primarily a deals forum where users post and discuss deals, but the site recently released a price tracking tool. It works with more than 50 retailers, and users with a free account can track products based on specific URLs. You can also set alerts and be notified whenever certain terms or items are mentioned in the deal forums.
Many tracking tools alert you when a price drops so you can make a purchase. Slice's price drop feature flips things around and tracks prices after you've made a purchase. The app scans your email for receipts and tracks prices at 22 major online retailers, including Best Buy, Newegg, Nordstrom, and Staples. It notifies you if the item's price drops and if you're eligible for a refund of the difference.
PC Part Picker has a narrow focus: helping users build desktop computers. You can search through individual parts to create a complete machine, browse through completed builds shared by other users while selecting components for your own list, and review building guides. You can see price history charts and set price alerts for the items on your list. Rebates and coupon codes are also highlighted.