When it comes to finding the best prices online, it’s not only about where you shop, but when. Prices on nearly everything fluctuate throughout the year, and there’s nothing worse than making a purchase only to see a better price 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’ll also see that the United States is set as the default at the bottom, so you shouldn’t have to worry about changing the location unless you’re out of the country.
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 at the time of writing and whether it was available directly from Amazon or 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 back as far as March 31, 2017.
On the right, you can choose the date range to view. You can also choose which sellers you’d like to track:
- Amazon: These are products that are sold directly from Amazon itself in new condition. This pricing will always appear as a green line.
- 3rd Party New: These are new products sold by third-party merchants. Be sure to check the seller’s ratings and history before purchasing. This pricing will always appear as a blue line.
- 3rd Party Used: These are used products sold by third-party merchants. 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 this camera has been sold for in the past year was $34.99 from a third party seller. This was the price on May 16, 2019, which tells me that early Memorial Day sales could be a great opportunity to save big on this purchase.
Amazon itself sold the camera for $44.99 in March of 2019. Both of the highest prices were in November, so just from this simple search, I know to avoid this purchase just before the holidays and instead shop earlier in the year for the best deals.
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 past 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, 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, researching a product’s price history is a great place to start. 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 only tracking the product’s price history on Amazon.com, which means there’s always a chance you’ll find a better price available from a different store. That’s why you should always be sure to comparison shop.
No matter where you plan on making your final purchase, taking the time to check out the item’s price history 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 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!