Track price drops on apps & products
BE FIRST IN LINE TO HEAR ABOUT PRICE DROPS WITH THESE GREAT TOOLS.
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.
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.
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).
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.