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The other day I was doing some shopping.  There was something that I needed and Amazon is the cheapest I could find it.

I was all set to purchase the item, but I had a nagging feeling that the price was still a bit too high.

I had heard that there were some sites that you could use to track Amazon price history, so I used Google to find ‘Amazon price history' and the first option was for a site

I was able to check the price history, and find that I was, indeed, paying the highest recorded price for the item that I had entered.

Something on the right hand side of the page caught my eye.  It indicated that you could actually install an add-on onto my browser (Firefox) that would provide you the ability to pull information automatically, without having to navigate to a separate site.

The name of the add-on is ‘The Camelizer'.  In installed it, re-started my browser, and went to the Amazon page for the product I was looking at.  I clicked a little camel icon that now sits on my bottom status bar, and it pulled up the price history.  It actually brought up a four year history of the item, which is much more than I got on the web page.

I learned several things:

  1. The price of the item I was purchasing was extremely volatile, moving up and down quite often.
  2. The current price was indeed a high all-time price
  3. Affiliates that sell the item on Amazon seem to keep in line with what Amazon sells (it actually tracks prices separately for items both sold by Amazon and sold by affiliates)

I decided to wait.  I checked back in a couple of days and sure enough the price had dropped back to the most common price of the item over the last six months.

In the end it saved me about $2, but that was almost 10% of my item price.

Amazon used to have a price guarantee policy, where they would refund the difference in your cost if you spotted a price decrease over a certain period of time (7 or 14 days maybe?). They stopped that a couple of years ago which bummed me out.  Still, I think this tool can help make sure you're not paying too high a price.  If you see a price that has recently jumped up, but the trend shows that it might likely return, you might want to take the gamble that you can get the item for a lower price by waiting.

I think this plug-in works on other sites like Newegg, Best Buy, and Overstock, so I'll definitely be using it from time to time!