Whether you’re looking for new computer components, clothing, books or what have you, Amazon’s attractiveness is undeniable. It’s got a huge selection of articles, so big that can even feel overwhelming at times, it’s got a top-notch return policy, really good customer service that you can contact (or rather, get contacted by) chat or phone and more. However, there are a few things that you should know if you want to get better prices when shopping on Amazon. Let’s see a few.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since I started shopping on Amazon is that patience is totally worth it. Yes, some people may be impulse buyers and literally fall in love with a specific item when they see it, but chances are that it’s simply not the right time to get it. Prices on Amazon and other e-shopping outlets tend to fluctuate a lot, much more than mortar and pestle shops, which is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good in the sense that you may get a very good deal that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get, but it’s also bad in that you can’t know for sure if waiting could mean a better price or not.
Especially if you’re getting computer components, being patient can prove very useful. Sure, you won’t be able to build your new PC immediately, but waiting for the right Amazon deals can net you pretty substantial savings which could go into an additional component (like a bigger SSD) or you could spend that amount of money for something else you enjoy, like a vacation or a dinner at a nice restaurant.
Best times of the year to purchase
As you probably know, some times of the year are better than others when you’re looking for good deals. Here are a few periods where Amazon offers big discounts:
- Black Friday: fourth friday of November (November 24th 2017);
- Cyber Monday: Monday after Black Friday (November 27th 2017);
- Holiday season: Late December.
Keep track of price trends
This tip is linked to the previous one. Being willing to wait for a better price to come up is all well and good, but of course you can’t be expected to consult Amazon daily to see if the item you want to buy has had a drop in price, compared to the previous day. So what do you do?
Thankfully for us, there’s a very handy website called Camel Camel Camel which keeps track of price trends on Amazon. All you need to do is register a free account, insert the URL of the item you want to get for less and the price you want to get it for and there you have it: Camel Camel Camel will start tracking that price for you and send you a notification email when the price drops to the amount you specified.
Camel Camel Camel is available for users in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, Spain, and China. If I were to choose a reason not to like it, that would be that to follow items on multiple regional Amazon websites, you’ll need to insert them manually.
Don’t fossilise on your country’s Amazon
The good thing about being an European is free trade, which means a German person will pay no importing tariffs and fees when she buys from a French seller. The same is also true for products purchased from Amazon. Whenever you register on that website, you’re automatically able to sign into other countries’ Amazon websites as well, including those outside of the EU. However, purchasing from those websites will almost always entail very high shipping and customs fees, which makes buying from them unpractical and anti-economic. But if you shop from the EU and purchase from another European country’s Amazon website, you can have the item shipped to your address for no additional cost, as long as you make sure that it’s sold or dispatched by Amazon.
Take other e-commerce websites into account
Amazon usually has very good prices, but this isn’t always the case: it’s always a good idea to check other places as well. You may be surprised at how many times you’ll find less-renowned e-commerce websites with very good deals, especially if you’re looking hard-to-find niche products, like adapters. Some good places to check out are eBay and Ali Express.
Google the model number
So, let’s assume that you found two very similar products, where one of them has a feature you’re interested in and the other doesn’t, but their respective pages don’t make it clear which is which. How can you be reasonably sure which one is the product you’re looking for?
If you scroll down the page, you’ll reach a section labeled Product details. Under Technical details usually is a field named Item model number. Google it and the first or second hit will be the manufacturer’s webpage for that product, where you can see more detailed technical specifications.