Track price drops on apps & prod­ucts

BE FIRST IN LINE TO HEAR ABOUT PRICE DROPS WITH THESE GREAT TOOLS.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ LIND­SAY HANDMER ]

IT CAN BE in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing to buy a prod­uct or app, only to have it end up heav­ily dis­counted a short time later. Al­ter­na­tively, if it is some­thing you don’t need in a hurry, wait­ing for a price drop or big dis­count can re­ally pay off. Man­u­ally check­ing prices your­self is ex­tremely te­dious, but for­tu­nately for us, there is a huge range of apps and web­sites de­voted to help­ing con­sumers nab the best deal. We’ve put them to the test, and com­piled this handy guide on us­ing the best of them. It should go with­out say­ing by now, but the best site Down Un­der for com­mu­ni­ty­driven bar­gain hunt­ing is OzBar­gain.

PROD­UCT PRICE DROPS

It is sur­pris­ingly hard to find a good price tracker, with no ded­i­cated Aus­tralian op­tions. While we were still wait­ing for Ama­zon AU to lauch at the time of writ­ing this fea­ture, if you’re us­ing Ama­zon US or UK, CamelCamelCamel ( camelcamelcamel.com) makes it easy to mon­i­tor for price drops. But for keep­ing track of prices on AU web­sites, Price Owlert ( www.price­owlert.com) is by far the best op­tion. The sys­tem tracks price changes us­ing a smart book­mark, so works in any browser and no soft­ware needs to be down­loaded. It’s also to­tally free and works on most web­sites. To use Price Owlert, en­ter an email, then add the smart book­mark to your browser bar. To mon­i­tor a spe­cific price, browse your on­line re­tailer of choice un­til you find a prod­uct that you want to mon­i­tor. Then sim­ply high­light the price and click the book­mark. Owlert will grab the price and pro­vide some op­tions, such as a tar­get price, for the alert. No ac­count is needed but hav­ing one gives ex­tra op­tions to view and man­age alerts. Of course, Owlert isn’t per­fect and has a num­ber of draw­backs. For a start, it can only mon­i­tor the spe­cific price you se­lect, and can’t au­to­mat­i­cally com­pare prices for the prod­uct else­where. It also can only mon­i­tor the price for where it is dis­played by de­fault — it won’t work if any in­for­ma­tion (such as lo­ca­tion) is needed be­fore the price can be viewed. It also does not work on some web­sites, such as eBay.

iOS

For Ap­ple users, there are a num­ber of op­tions avail­able to track the price of apps and other con­tent. A great place to start is Ap­pShop­per (ap­pshop­per.com), which ac­tu­ally searches iOS and Mac apps. It’s easy to set up wish­lists and alerts for price drops, as well as shop by

free apps, or ones that have had a re­cent price drop. A more in depth op­tion is App Sliced ( app­sliced.co) which works as an al­ter­na­tive App Store ex­pe­ri­ence. Go­ing be­yond just track­ing price changes, it ac­tu­ally gives price buy­ing ad­vice for apps, shows pric­ing his­tory and, of course, has price drop alerts.

GOOGLE PLAY

While it’s pos­si­ble to search by free apps, in gen­eral, Google Play does not make it easy to find cheap con­tent. App Sales ( app-sales.net) makes things eas­ier, show­ing sales and apps that are newly free. To get the full ben­e­fit, you need to in­stall the free app, which gives op­tions for cus­tom fil­ters, watch­lists and alerts so you never miss a dis­counted app again. For those who want more of a com­mu­nity fo­cus (but no alerts), the sub­red­dit Google Play Deals ( red­dit.com/r/google­play­deals) is worth check­ing out.

CREDIT CARD PRICE PRO­TEC­TION

While it doesn’t mat­ter much for apps or other small pur­chases, it can be very frus­trat­ing see­ing that new lap­top on sale for hun­dreds of dol­lars cheaper than you bought it just one month ago. Many credit cards have a so­lu­tion — Price Pro­tec­tion In­surance. In a nut­shell, if the item pur­chased is avail­able cheaper af­ter your pur­chase, the credit card com­pany will re­fund the dif­fer­ence. De­pend­ing on the credit card, there are loads of stip­u­la­tions, such as time lim­its and max­i­mum re­funds, and some charge ex­tra for the in­surance. But con­sid­er­ing the typ­i­cal dis­count cy­cle for tech­nol­ogy, a re­fund can eas­ily save hun­dreds of dol­lars with lit­tle ef­fort. A great place to learn more and com­pare credit card of­fers is at fi­nan­cial com­par­i­son site Canas­tar ( goo.gl/B3hYNk).

FLIGHTS

Noth­ing is more frus­trat­ing than try­ing to get the cheap­est flight, as prices can change at a mo­ment’s no­tice and bar­gains of­ten need to be bought very quickly be­fore they sell out. Don’t for­get, air­lines and some price com­par­i­son sites track your vis­its with cookies, and can show higher prices if you keep com­ing back. To get around this, clear cookies or visit flight sites with a browser mode that does not save cookies, such as Chrome and Incog­nito. One of our favourite flight com­par­i­son sites, which in­cludes alerts for great deals, is Adioso ( adioso.com). You do need to sign up to get the full ben­e­fit, and make sure to delve around to find all the fea­tures.

Adioso is by far our favourite flight com­par­i­son web­site, and it in­cludes price alerts to help grab a bar­gain trip.

An­droid users af­ter a bar­gain should look no fur­ther than Ap­pSales, which can cre­ate cus­tom watch­lists and no­ti­fi­ca­tions for Google Play app price drops.

App­Sliced is a to­tally new way to browse the iOS app store, with a fo­cus on find­ing and track­ing the best prices.

Com­mu­ni­ties such as OzBar­gain and Red­dit can be great ways to keep up with the best of the dis­counted apps and prod­ucts.

Price Owlert has a ter­ri­ble name, but is a great way to mon­i­tor for prod­uct price drops in Aus­tralia.

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