It's the shopping season and you're likely to be looking for gifts for friends and family in the coming weeks. Of course, to limit the damage to your bank account, you want to make your business as cheap as possible – but how can you identify the true discounts on marketing tricks? And how do you know when a bargain is really a bargain? We have a few tips and some tools that can help.
The truth is that retailers usually give the biggest discounts on the goods they want to get rid of – not necessarily what sells best is the best value for them. If you spend a little more time surfing, you can make sure you buy as cheaply as possible and are really worthwhile.
Check Price History
That shiny new gadget you've been looking at could have dropped $ 75 today, but was it $ 175 yesterday? Is the discount given based on the original selling price of the item (which was a year or so ago) or what he has sold in the last six months? If you look at the price development, you can answer these questions.
CamelCamelCamel is a great resource for finding Amazon prices: insert an Amazon URL or keywords to see how the price has changed in the last month (three months), six months or a year (You can also check prices from other retailers.)
It's definitely worth buying on Amazon if a current discount is actually unusual. The site may also send you alerts about price reductions for specific items. So, if you have organized your purchases well in advance, you can wait for the right moment to buy.
Keepa is another Amazon Price Tracker that is as easy to use as CamelCamelCamel. You simply enter what you are looking for, and you can track the price history for a year, so you can rate the current discount accordingly. Here, too, you can register for e-mail alerts when a particular product drops in price.
This type of historical tracking is not really possible outside of Amazon – presumably because other retailers make it harder to access the data – but CheckAFlip can be helpful. EBay will search for the current average selling price and the current average bid price for what you are looking for.
Prices are not very accurate as they do not take into account the condition of the items, the accessories supplied and so on. Still, there is a good idea of how much an item will sell for new or used products, and it gives a sense of how inquisitive something is. If prices stagnate or fall, there is probably a reason.
Put your browser into operation
There are a number of browser extensions to compare the prices on the web: You do not want this Click on the "Buy" button on a gadget You get $ 50 off if you can raise the same device by $ 100 elsewhere. Of course, you can do all comparisons manually from site to site, but there are tools that help.
One of the most well-known and useful is InvisibleHand, which works with Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Just visit each product page of the most popular retailers, and the InvisibleHand banner comes with advice if the same item is cheaper elsewhere – so you do not pay more than you need.
Then ShopSavvy has a bit more bone than InvisibleHand, but works in a similar way. Start shopping as usual, and the Chrome extension will display with a message on the screen if the same item is available elsewhere. ShopSavvy can also be used on the go – there are free apps for Android and iOS.
Honey does not compare prices but looks for discount codes and coupons for shopping. Even better, the savings are automatically taken over so that you can see the final price immediately. It connects directly to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Microsoft Edge.
Although there is no browser extension for the name, PriceGrabber is worth a visit to see if the discounted price is an online deal or a bargain. Enter the name of an item in the search box to see availability and price for multiple websites, including Walmart and Amazon.
Similarly, Google Shopping is one of the best ways to compare current prices on the Web. It's not the most intuitive or easy-to-use portal we've ever seen, but it covers a wide range of retailers and can be invaluable to ensure that you do not have to worry about the chances of getting something (even with a discount). Enter the name of the item you are shopping for, and use the filters on the left as needed.
For certain types of technologies – not least for phones and laptops – it's worth researching a bit. When did the gadget hit the market for the first time? When does the replacement probably arrive? What about other devices that are in the same range or family?
Answer these questions and avoid spending excessive opportunities on technologies that are too old or obsolete. Retailers love to get big discounts on merchandise in both scenarios. You will not lie if you state the amount of money you are saving against the original price, but the price / quality ratio may not be as good as it seems at first glance.
This is not an exact science and with some technical components easier to accomplish than others, but even a few minutes of web search or a more detailed analysis can (in the truest sense of the word) pay off. For example, for online quotes, check out how old the first reviews are to find out the rough age of something you buy.
Also check the details: gadgets like cell phones and laptops come in a variety of configurations (with different processors, RAM and memory), so make sure you're not pointing at a device, which is powered by a big juicy discount. There's nothing wrong with entry-level specifications, depending on what you want to use your gadget for, but you should always be aware of what you're getting.
In some cases (such as televisions) you have this. There are many model numbers that you can work through – always pay attention to the appropriate box on the website you are currently on to make sure it is There is no better or newer model you miss.  Giving gifts to everyone can put additional pressure on your purchases, but if you're looking for yourself, do not be afraid to wait until the new year. It is unlikely that discounted items will return to full price, while newer products may be subject to additional discounts – tech prices will only fall in the long run. The longer you wait, the less you pay (even iPhones) discounted after one year).