When it comes to finding the best prices online, it’s not only about where you shop but also when. Prices on nearly everything fluctuate throughout the year, and it’s frustrating to buy something only to see a better price for it a few weeks later.
Knowing when to look for sales is a great way to avoid missing out on the best deals. Camelcamelcamel makes it easy to compare Amazon’s prices over time, which is a great way to plan when to shop.
In this article, I’m going to cover the basics of how to use Camelcamelcamel to compare prices over time.
When you visit Camelcamelcamel.com you’ll have the option to log in or create a free account, but it isn’t necessary to use the tool.
You can begin by browsing popular products or checking out the biggest recent price drops with the menu options across the top of the screen.
You can also look for a product using the search bar, or you can simply enter the direct Amazon URL, which is a little faster.
As an example, I looked at an instant camera on sale for $53.99 at the time of writing. I simply copied the entire Amazon URL and pasted it in the search bar to track its price history.
In the top right corner, I saw the price and whether it was available directly from Amazon or from a third party seller. When I scrolled down, I found the price history graph.
The vertical axis shows prices while the horizontal axis displays the months and years. This product’s price history went all the way back to March 31, 2017.
On the right, you can choose a date range to view. You can also choose which sellers you’d like to track:
- Amazon: This indicates the prices that Amazon itself lists for products in new conditions. This pricing will always appear as a green line.
- 3rd Party New: This is the price that third-party merchants offer for new products. This pricing will always appear as a blue line.
- 3rd Party Used: This is the price that third-party merchants offer for used products. Again, check the seller’s ratings, history and return policy before ordering. This pricing will always appear as a red line.
Dotted lines on the graph mean that the product was out of stock during that time.
The Price History
Next, I wanted to see the price history of this camera from Amazon and third party new sellers over the past year.
The graph and the table below it showed that the lowest price this camera sold for in the past year was $34.99 from a third party seller. That happened on May 16, 2019, which tells me that early Memorial Day sales could be a great opportunity to save big on this item.
Amazon itself sold the camera for $44.99 in March 2019. Both of the highest prices were in November. So just from this simple search, I know it’s a good idea to avoid buying this item just before the holidays and instead shop earlier in the year.
At the time of writing, this 23andMe DNA test was on sale for $99, and I wanted to see how that compared to previous prices. I simply copied the Amazon URL, pasted it into the search bar on Camelcamelcamel.com and scrolled down to find the price history graph.
While it was out of stock from Amazon directly, it was still available from 23andMe. I could see from the graph alone that this was the best price the DNA test kit had ever been at Amazon, so this would be a purchase to make right away!
Looking more closely at the previous year, I could see that there were price drops around National DNA day in April, Memorial Day in the summer and again closer to Black Friday and the holidays.
Below the graph, you’ll also find a table breakdown of the price history by the seller.
This is a great way to quickly reference the highest and lowest prices. You can also see the product’s current price and compare it to the average cost.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for the best time to find deals, consider researching a product’s price history. To see a product’s previous pricing at Amazon, follow these simple steps:
- Enter a product’s direct Amazon URL in the search bar on Camelcamelcamel.com.
- Scroll down to see the price history graph.
- Select the sellers and date range you’d like to view.
- Look for the lowest prices on the graph and notice any trends. If the product is going on sale during certain months or holidays, that’s when you’ll want to shop!
Keep in mind that Camelcamelcamel is tracking the product’s price history only on Amazon.com. That means there’s always a chance you’ll find a better price available from a different store. For this reason, you should always be sure to comparison shop between vendors.
No matter where you plan on making your final purchase, take the time to check out the item’s price history. This could help you plan when to shop for the best deal.
More Ways to Save:
- Use a tool like Google Shopping to compare current prices available from different retailers online.
- Find discounts and promo codes online using a website like RetailMeNot to get even lower-than-advertised prices.
- Check out great, current bargains from Amazon and around the web at ClarkDeals.com, and sign up for Clark’s free newsletters.
What tools do you use to find the best deals? Let us know in the comments below!