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Never pay more than you need to when shopping.

One of my favourite tools to nab the lowest price is to use a price comparison and tracker website.

At their most simple you can find the cheapest price out there with a few clicks, but they offer much more.

You can often set alerts which will notify you via email when a price drops to your desired level – useful if you can wait before buying.

And you can check the price history to see whether the price shown now is actually high or low – handy when you see something marked down in a sale.

I’ve written in more detail about these features that help you check if you’re getting a good price, but here I want to share with you the tools I use when shopping online and in stores.

So download these apps or bookmark these websites and make sure you check them before you shop. Though don’t forget to then close the tabs and shop via a cashback site to earn some extra money back.

Amazon – Camel Camel Camel

If you shop regularly at Amazon this is essential. It will only look at prices on Amazon itself, so it’s not a price comparison site, but since Amazon tends go up and down a lot, there’s a strong chance at some point it’ll have sold something at the lowest price out there – or close to it.

Using Camel Camel Camel to track the price of an Echo Dot smart speaker

 

I’ve installed an extension into my Chrome browser than lets me quickly see the price history graph without having to open up a separate tab.

If you don’t want to do this then a shortcut to find the items is to copy the product code from the Amazon page URL (highlighted in the pic below). It’s always in the same place. Then paste this into the Camel Camel Camel search bar and you’ll get the exact product you’re looking at.

How to quickly grab the Amazon product code from the URL

> Search price history at Camel Camel Camel

General shopping – PriceSpy

Though it’s often pretty easy to use Google’s own Shopping tab to look at a wider range of shops, I like to use PriceSpy as you can see the price history and set price alerts

Price comparison for an Echo Dot via PriceSpy

Price comparison for an Echo Dot via PriceSpy

Alternatives such as Idealo and Pricerunner both also have these features, but PriceSpy takes it a step further.

You can drill down the price changes at individual retailers. Simply click the main price history graph to open up a price history table. 

The more detailed price history graph for PriceSpy

You can then expand the information for each shop. You’ll not only see what the price changes were, but when they happened, giving you an idea as to whether this is a regular promotion or a genuine special offer.

Expanding by retailer is a handy extra feature not available on the similar sites.

PriceSpy is also available as an app so you can search prices on the high street too.

> Search price history at PriceSpy

eBooks – Reader IQ

This is a fantastic site to track price changes on Kindle books. You can search by a specific title and see the price history at Amazon, and you can set alerts to be notified when prices fall.

You can get analysis of the price changes for an ebook and see the price history graph. This is for Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

But you can also use the site to show you titles which are discounted, marked as significant price drops or deals under £1.

> Search price history at Reader IQ

CDs, DVDs, games & books – 123 Price Check

I’ve been using 123 Price Check for at least a decade, if not longer. It’s my first stop for any book, DVD or CD that I buy (not that I’ve actually bought either of the latter for a long time!).

Here’s the hardback of Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust on 123 Price Check.

It doesn’t have every shop on there, so it’s worth checking other sites if you notice they are absent. Still, it gives you a guide as to where you might be able to pick up a copy of something at a lower price.

> Compare prices at 123 Price Check

Digital movies & tv – Just Watch

I only discovered this site earlier this year, and it’s been so useful (especially in lockdown).  

it’s essentially a database of streaming services, so you can look for the film or box set you want to watch and it’ll share not only which services have the title, but if you’re buying or renting, the different prices.

You can tab between the different video qualities too to see price differences in SD, HD and 4K.

There’s a Just Watch app you can download, and even save your watchlist to.

Of course, make sure you can’t save more money by using a promo code or special offer. Here’s my list of the best deals for movie rental sites like Chili, Rakuten and Prime Video.

> Search prices at Just Watch


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