How to Compare Prices Online (on Amazon)?

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How can I reliably find online deals that can genuinely save money (on both home and office shopping) by ensuring I pick the best possible deal or discount?

Shopping on any of the big eCommerce sites means sifting through thousands of possibilities; all of which seem to be massively discounted but still, somehow, expensive. It's next to impossible to determine if a discounted offer is a good deal or not because everything is "discounted".

I have looked at a price tracker apps but they seem to be inaccurate (i.e. by the time I received a price alert and went to Amazon, I couldn't find the deal) more often than not. Also, they don't offer a way to directly compare prices of products I want to compare in order to work out the best deal.

Is there a way to compare prices on product deals so that I can spend less but still get decent quality stuff - in particular for kitting out my home office (and things like "back to school")?

Interactive Amazon Price Comparisons

I'm assuming, off the bat, that you're looking for an interactive price comparison table that allows you to compare (i.e filter and sort) a range of closely related products in order to decide which is the best value for money - i.e. currently at the lowest price in comparison to the quality of the product.

Something like this visual chart that plots the savings (Y-Axis) against the price in dollars (X-Axis) with the size of the bubble indicating the popularity (or sales) of each product (courtesy of RankTracer's Office Printer Price Comparison Page)?

Price comparison chart for Amazon printers

Not only that but they also have interactive, filterable and sortable price comparison tables like the one shown here (Note: the table isn't interactive in this forum reply like it is on their site):

Name Best Price Current Price Saving ($) Saving (%) Rating
HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 All-in-One Wireless Printer Mobile Printing (Small Image) HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 All-in-One Wireless Printer Mobile Printing $199.99 $199.99 $0.00 0% OK Deal
Canon PIXMA MG3522 Wireless Inkjet Photo All in One Printer  (Small Image) Canon PIXMA MG3522 Wireless Inkjet Photo All in One Printer $85.13 $85.13 $0.00 0% OK Deal
Epson XP 310 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner (Small Image) Epson XP 310 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner $276.75 $288.75 $0.33 0.11% OK Deal
Brother MFC L5850DW Monochrome Laser All In One Printer  (Small Image) Brother MFC L5850DW Monochrome Laser All In One Printer $335.00 $335.00 $107.88 24.36% Fantastic Deal
Canon PIXMA MG6320 Inkjet Multifunction Printer Color (Small Image) Canon PIXMA MG6320 Inkjet Multifunction Printer Color $98.27 $99.99 $5.01 4.77% Good Deal
Brother MFCJ450DW Wireless Inkjet with Scanner Copier and Fax (Small Image) Brother MFCJ450DW Wireless Inkjet with Scanner Copier and Fax $135.00 $135.00 $40.00 22.86% Fantastic Deal
Canon imageCLASS MF229dw Black and White Multifunction Laser Print (Small Image) Canon imageCLASS MF229dw Black and White Multifunction Laser Print $297.14 $297.14 $101.86 25.53% Fantastic Deal
Brother Wireless Digital Color Printer Dash Replenishment Enabled (Small Image) Brother Wireless Digital Color Printer Dash Replenishment Enabled $3.00 $274.71 $0.00 0% OK Deal
Brother Printer MFC J680DW Wireless Color Photo Printer (Small Image) Brother Printer MFC J680DW Wireless Color Photo Printer $76.04 $88.91 $16.08 15.32% Good Deal
Canon PIXMA MX922 Wireless Inkjet Office All In One Printer  (Small Image) Canon PIXMA MX922 Wireless Inkjet Office All In One Printer $79.99 $89.95 $0.00 0% Wait
Brother HL 3170CDW Digital Color Printer with Wireless Networking  (Small Image) Brother HL 3170CDW Digital Color Printer with Wireless Networking $3.00 $208.88 $0.00 0% OK Deal
Canon Office and Business MX922 All One Printer  Wireless (Small Image) Canon Office and Business MX922 All One Printer Wireless $3.00 $64.90 $0.00 0% OK Deal
HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All in One Photo Printer (Small Image) HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All in One Photo Printer $99.99 $99.99 $0.00 0% OK Deal
Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless All In One Color Inkjet Printer  (Small Image) Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless All In One Color Inkjet Printer $27.00 $29.01 $0.00 0% OK Deal
Brother HL L2340DW Compact Laser Printer Monochrome  Wireless (Small Image) Brother HL L2340DW Compact Laser Printer Monochrome Wireless $89.99 $136.00 $0.00 0% OK Deal

You can play around with any comparison table to quickly rank products by price, savings ($), savings (%) as well as their ‘Buy Rating’, which analyses their list price, price history, price volatility, average price, current price, and more, to help people quickly understand whether a product is genuinely being offered at the lowest possible price or not (i.e. a 40% discount sounds great until you learn that it was 50% off two hours ago).

In that sense it offers not only a direct price comparison between product prices as they are right now, but also contextual information to help empower you to decide if the deals offered right now are better or worse than they have been in the past. This is really useful when it comes to busy shopping days, like Black Friday, Back to School, or Amazon Prime day.

As you know, Amazon Prime Day offers a huge range of discounts over a huge range of Amazon products for a short period of time. And, you’ve probably heard of the same old tip about using a price tracker to catch price drops. Unfortunately, while the sentiment is right the recommended tools are often wrong. Not all price trackers can actually help with this because most can only gather data slowly (i.e. a few times per day). This means,

Shoppers aren't saving as much as they should because they aren't using accurate price comparison data that empowers them to shop smarter.

Essentially you want to always use hourly price comparisons because this allows you to:

  1. Find big discounts quickly (as soon as they appear; not 5, 12 or 24 hours later)
  2. Find big price drops may be very short-lived (and missed entirely by deal sites)

Better price data has a few knock on benefits for shoppers too. For example, you are likely to get much less frustrated because the prices reported are accurate, so you don’t end up clicking through to Amazon expecting a low price only to find that it has gone up.

How To Win Amazon Prime Day, 2018

I guess it's worth pointing out that price comparisons alone might not get you all the way to the biggest savings possible during your online shopping. For that you also need to have smart price alerts. Here's a quick summary of all the features required to help turn you into money saving smart shopper:

1. Find better deals (esp. Lightning Deals) with hourly updates

With new deals popping up and disappearing all the time it is vital to have a price tracker that updates quickly to get new deals to you first. Hourly price data is the fastest way to find new deals (before other shoppers get there and stocks run out).

2. Save time and avoid missing out with smart Price Drop Alerts

Ensure that you never miss a good deal again by creating a smart price drop alert that will notify you via email when a specific product has a price drop (including Prime Deals), but only when it is lower than you have seen before.

3. Cut the clutter by only viewing the best deals

If you don’t have a specific product in mind and feel a little overwhelmed with the thousands of deals available on Amazon, simplify things with lists of the best possible deals (updated each and every hour). Browse only the best deals on the best products sold on Amazon using these resources:

  • Top 20 Deals shows the top 20 biggest deals each hour
  • Latest Price Drops shows the latest products with big price drops (updated hourly)
  • Lowest Price Deals shows all products selling at their historic lowest price (over the previous month).

4. Be a smarter shopper with instant price comparisons

View similar products in interactive price comparison tables to allow you to instantly compare prices, deals and savings across a range of similar products. This makes it quick and easy to understand which deals offer the best possible value for money helping you to spend less, buy better, and becomes a smarter shopper.

Price Comparison Deals on Everything

For some reason tech seems to get the lion's share of online comparison reviews and price comparisons - I'm guilty of doing exactly that in my reply above. Sigh. So, it's worth noting that you can get price comparisons not only on office supplies, tech and hardware, but also on home products (i.e. everything from food to furniture).

By way of example, here's a price comparison table for the Do4U 7 PC Outdoor Patio Furniture Set. The dollar amounts in brackets represent the relative cost of all the other items by comparison. So, +$57 would mean the item costs $57 more, and -$23 would mean it costs $23 less.

Again, the live price comparison table will have up to date info and is also interactive - which it's not here.

Name Best Price Current Price Saving ($) Saving (%) Rating
U-MAX 7 Piece 7-12 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional (Small Image) U-MAX 7 Piece 7-12 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectionaloutdoor $499.99 (-$100.00) $499.99 (-$100.00) $100.00 16.67% Good Deal
Patio Furniture Set Clearance Dining Set 4 Piece Balcony Outdoor (Small Image) Patio Furniture Set Clearance Dining Set 4 Piece Balcony Outdooroutdoor $469.45 (-$130.54) $524.61 (-$75.38) $0.00 0% OK Deal
Peach Tree 7 PCs Outdoor Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional (Small Image) Peach Tree 7 PCs Outdoor Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectionaloutdoor $549.99 (-$50.00) $549.99 (-$50.00) $160.00 22.54% Fantastic Deal
U-MAX 7 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional Furniture Set (Small Image) U-MAX 7 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional Furniture Set $579.99 (-$20.00) $579.99 (-$20.00) $40.00 6.45% Good Deal
Cloud Mountain 4 Piece Rattan Furniture Set Patio Conversation Set (Small Image) Cloud Mountain 4 Piece Rattan Furniture Set Patio Conversation Set $229.99 (-$370.00) $249.99 (-$350.00) $0.00 0% Wait
Patio Furniture Dining Set 4 PCS Garden Outdoor Indoor Furniture (Small Image) Patio Furniture Dining Set 4 PCS Garden Outdoor Indoor Furnitureoutdoor $230.00 (-$369.99) $230.00 (-$369.99) $0.00 0% OK Deal
U-MAX 7 Piece 7-12 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional (Small Image) U-MAX 7 Piece 7-12 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional $779.00 (+$179.01) $779.00 (+$179.01) $0.00 0% OK Deal
Cloud Mountain 4 Piece Rattan Furniture Set Patio Conversation Set (Small Image) Cloud Mountain 4 Piece Rattan Furniture Set Patio Conversation Setoutdoor $229.99 (-$370.00) $259.99 (-$340.00) $0.00 0% Wait
Outsunny 3-Piece Outdoor Rattan Wicker Sofa and Chaise Lounge Set  (Small Image) Outsunny 3-Piece Outdoor Rattan Wicker Sofa and Chaise Lounge Set outdoor $289.99 (-$310.00) $309.99 (-$290.00) $0.00 0% Wait
Keter Corfu 4 Piece Set All Weather Outdoor Patio Garden Furniture (Small Image) Keter Corfu 4 Piece Set All Weather Outdoor Patio Garden Furniture $336.77 (-$263.22) $366.29 (-$233.70) $7.90 2.11% OK Deal
U-MAX 7 Piece 7-12 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional (Small Image) U-MAX 7 Piece 7-12 Pieces Patio PE Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectionaloutdoor $729.00 (+$129.01) $729.00 (+$129.01) $0.00 0% OK Deal
Cloud Mountain 4 PC Wicker Rattan Patio Conversation Set (Small Image) Cloud Mountain 4 PC Wicker Rattan Patio Conversation Set $219.99 (-$380.00) $219.99 (-$380.00) $0.00 0% OK Deal
Baner Garden K35-BR 4 Pieces Outdoor Furniture Complete Patio (Small Image) Baner Garden K35-BR 4 Pieces Outdoor Furniture Complete Patiooutdoor $530.00 (-$69.99) $530.00 (-$69.99) $0.00 0% OK Deal
Baner Garden N87 4 Pieces Outdoor Furniture Complete Patio (Small Image) Baner Garden N87 4 Pieces Outdoor Furniture Complete Patio $356.14 (-$243.85) $385.99 (-$214.00) $0.00 0% Wait
Better Homes and Gardens Powder-Coated Steel with Cushions (Small Image) Better Homes and Gardens Powder-Coated Steel with Cushionsoutdoor $513.78 (-$86.21) $536.21 (-$63.78) $0.00 0% Good Deal
Tangkula 6 Pcs Outdoor Wicker Furniture Set Sofas Ottoman (Small Image) Tangkula 6 Pcs Outdoor Wicker Furniture Set Sofas Ottomanoutdoor $579.99 (-$20.00) $579.99 (-$20.00) $0.00 0% OK Deal
Outsunny 7 Piece Outdoor Patio Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional (Small Image) Outsunny 7 Piece Outdoor Patio Rattan Wicker Sofa Sectional $350.00 (-$249.99) $579.99 (-$20.00) $269.44 31.72% Good Deal
Patio All Weather Outdoor Furniture Set Seats 4 Comfortably (Small Image) Patio All Weather Outdoor Furniture Set Seats 4 Comfortablyoutdoor $538.44 (-$61.55) $623.88 (+$23.89) $2.27 0.36% OK Deal