I have been playing with camelcamelcamel.com for a few weeks now.
The site is extremely well thought of in its simplicity: it will track the price of any reference on Amazon.xxx and when it drops below a threshold you define, send you an email alert.
You can also import your Amazon wishlists for easier tracking of numerous items; I have about 100 price watches and snapped up about 20 of those in the last three weeks, taking advantage of price drops that lasted in some cases one day only.
Checking out some price behaviours, a number of questions arise:
- who decides these price drops? (Vendor product managers or Amazon category managers?)
- what is the purpose of these up/down price spikes?
- why do prices move preferably on fridays?
as an example, here is the price chart for “the Big Chill” DVD:
The green line is the Amazon price, while the blue and red ones are the prices of third parties selling on the Amazon store infrastructure; data go back about a year (not always the case) and as you can see this item has moved quite a bit: the average price hovered around €7.00 and I got it for €4.89, more than 25% discount over the real street price.
My friend Lorenzo says the camelcamelcamel.com website must be connected to Amazon, if not outright owned by them, although according to this article, this is not so; they certainly have a lot of information that Amazon could find interesting, as for example a list of products and the prices I’d be willing to pay for each of them.
OTOH, they offer me a genuine value service, i.e. the ability to gauge whether the discount I see is a “real” discount or just one of the background noise many bumps.
I just wish I was able to bulk import a category from the MyMovies collection manager: I have 300+ VHS due for replacement with DVDs and shaving €2.50 from the cost of each would really make a difference for me…