Occasionally, I’ll see a price on Amazon and wonder whether it’s really a fair price or not. Did Amazon recently hike it up? What about the 3rd-party vendor prices for new and used versions of that product? It’s hard to tell.
The idea behind CamelCamelCamel (whose obvious logo I love like a guilty pleasure) is fairly simple. If you wonder whether the Amazon price or the 3rd-party vendor price of any product on Amazon’s site is a little fishy, you can look at the item’s price over time, in a handy graph, and find out whether now is a good time to make your purchase. You can even subscribe to an RSS feed and watch the price change, or get an email alert when the price drops below a certain level. Useful! They also have lists of popular products and products with the biggest price drops in the last few days.
OK, let’s try it! If you’ve saved the View Amazon Price History link as a bookmark, you’re ready to go.
Let’s say you’re shopping for a good Digital SLR camera and you come across the Canon Digital Rebel XSi. Once you’re on that page (or any product page) you can click the bookmarklet you’ve just saved and you’ll be automatically transported to the corresponding page on CamelCamelCamel. The graphs will tell you that Amazon’s price is just below average right now, but it was a lot lower in early April. (I found it surprising that Amazon changes its price as often and as much as it does, both up and down, on brand-new products.) The 3rd-party new cameras are also below average, and certainly below the recent highest price. The used version, however, is near the peak of the highest price, so if you’re buying used, it’s probably best to wait a week or two and save $30 or more.
It’s a great little web application with a solid business model (kickbacks from purchases you make via their links). I just couldn’t help but share. Enjoy!
(Footnote: I know that CamelCamelCamel is supposed to be spelled with all lowercase letters, but how could I resist using camel case?)