Published on March 13th, 2013 | by Tom Wake3
How to set up ‘price alerts’ that tell you when gadgets, designer clothes… ANYTHING goes on sale
Imagine having your very own robot slave surfing the Internet day and night looking for the best prices on the things you want. LED televisions, new trainers, perfume – you name it. Check out our guide to using FREE ‘price alert’ tools
This is a simple way to get automatic notifications whenever an item you want has gone on sale or dropped in price. You don’t have to do anything – it emails you to let you know.
Let’s say, for example, you’ve seen a TV that you want to buy on Amazon but right now you feel the price is too high. You want the item eventually but only when it drops to say 20% less.
Here’s what you do. You set up a price alert and this free online tool will do the work for you. It will monitor the price on your behalf and then ping you an email as soon as it drops. Not bad eh?
That means you can relax and do other things instead constantly checking and rechecking the current price online.
There are currently a few websites that offer this facility (for free). Some are more user friendly than others. Here are the 3 I liked the best…
Price Grabber is actually both a price comparison website and a price alert tool. The set up is straightforward. You go on and search for the item you’re after a bit like you would do in Google. When you find it click the option underneath the item that says ‘Set Price Alert!’ (it’s in a green font).
At this point it’ll ask you to login with a username or password, signup for a free account or login via Facebook. It’s up to you what you do here, some people prefer the convenience of Facebook. Whatever you decide once you’ve logged in you’ll be able to set up a price alert. You can see an example of what it looks like in the screenshot below:
Price Grabber gives you a myriad of options that a number of the other price alert sites don’t. For instance you can specify what price you’d like the item to drop below before you get an alert and which retailers should or shouldn’t be included.
Once you’ve filled in the sections you want to include just click the green ‘Set Price Alert’ button and you’re ready to go. Done!
2. Price Pinx
Price Pinx works in a slightly different way to Price Grabber – I actually prefer it to Price Grabber in some ways because it allows me to set up price alerts on the fly rather than having to log on and search via their website first. Here’s how it works:
Start off by going to their ‘New to Price Pinx’ page. Now save their ‘bookmarklet’ (yes, that’s what they call it) to your bookmarks. You can do this by literally dragging the green icon pictured into your bookmarks folder or bookmarks toolbar. Now you’re set up to go.
Next time you see an item you want online highlight the price on the page and click on the bookmark you have saved. Here’s an example in the screenshot below:
If you’ve done it correctly a window should pop up confirming the price alert and asking you to enter your email address. If you sign up for a free account you won’t need to enter your email address each time. Note: check which retailers are supported for price drop alerts – major ones like Amazon (both UK and US) are covered.
Shopping is eBay’s offering in price comparison and price alerts. The site is simple enough to navigate but in terms of setting up price alerts this is currently the weakest of the bunch.
Why? Because it seems to be a lottery on which items they’ll let you set up price alerts on. You have to click on the words underneath the item you’re after which can be frustrating because sometimes it’ll take you directly to the item (rather than giving you the option to set up a price alert). If you can set up a price alert you’ll been taken to a screen where you see something like the following:
Simply click the ‘Price Alert’ icon and login/signup up to activate. If no price alerts are available it’ll take you directly through to the item.
So there we have it! 3 ways to set up price alerts on items so that you can get instant notifications if there’s a price drop. Perfect if you’re a canny shopper who’s happy to wait for a good deal… but don’t fancy the chore of having to price check every week.
Do check which retailers are supported on all of the above price alert sites. Many of the major retailers (including Amazon) are covered but some smaller websites and online shops may not be.
Have you had any experience using any of the above sites or a different price alert websites? What kind of functionality would you like to see them use?