I’m an Amazon loyalist. It’s my de facto destination when I need to purchase anything. However, I’ve come to learn that Amazon doesn’t always offer the cheapest price. A lot people think Amazon’s prices are the lowest, and while that is true a lot of the time, there are definitely occasions when you may be paying more.
Amazon uses a dynamic pricing model where the prices for items can change daily (if not more often) based upon supply and demand. That means if you happen upon your item at the wrong time, you may be paying more than you would have yesterday.
Luckily, there’s a great site called camelcamelcamel.com that I use regularly (especially if I’m buying something over $20). This free service tracks the pricing of almost every Amazon product and shows you its price history. This way, you know if you should hold off or pull the trigger now. You can even set a target price, and the site will email you when the product falls below your desired price.
Now that you’ve found a good price, you also want to make sure all those reviews are really trustworthy. It’s sad, but there is a whole industry around generating fake reviews for products on Amazon. In fact, Amazon recently sued a bunch of fake reviewers as a way of addressing the problem. Many companies will give products to people in exchange for writing a review, too.
There’s a service called Fakespot that weeds through all the reviews and find the ones that are trustworthy. The goal is to quickly determine how many of the reviews are genuine Naturally, this can be challenging and isn’t a foolproof solution, but it’s a start.
In Fakespot’s FAQ, it says it primarily judges a review’s authenticity on “the language utilized by the reviewer, the profile of the reviewer, correlation with other reviewers’ data, and [a] machine learning algorithm that focuses on improving itself by detecting fraudulent reviews.”
Again, this is just a guide, as there are many good products that may result in questionable scores on Fakespot just because the English of a reviewer isn’t great.
So there you have it, two simple tools to help you make the most of your Amazon purchase.