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Braving the Amazon

July 8th, 2008

— Update: Amazon has unceremoniously discontinued their 30 day price protection policy. Bad Amazon! That’s a very BAD AMAZON!!! Monitoring the cart prior to buying is still somewhat useful. —

Tools, tools, tools… just never have enough of them do we? Well don’t get discouraged. You can melt that plastic and not feel so guilty about it if your getting good deals, right?!? As is common for everyone, I have my preferred sites and slightly varied buying strategies for each. Today I’ll share my Amazon strategery and explain why it’s best to keep your cart full.

Amazon is my go to site for everything outside of woodworking and many purchases for woodworking. If nothing else it usually provides a good baseline price along with performing a froogle (I think google calls it “product search” now… I still use the froogle url). If you track products on Amazon you will see that for brief windows of time Amazon will drop prices on items (and significant price drops at that, at times). Beyond these price drops, why is Amazon’s site so special? Well, It’s their cart. They have the one cart to rule them all… (in a golum voice) it’s my precious. I currently have 171 items in my cart so clearly the Amazon cart is bigger than most, right? Ok, maybe not, but here’s why it’s huge in a different sense…

What the cart does for you is it allows you to quickly find price drops on the items your interested in. Amazon’s cart is truly your friend (the one that will actually tell you that your dragging a roll of TP behind you) in that you can add items to it and click the “save for later” button and every time you visit your cart in the future you will be notified of any increase/decrease in price (see pic below I just took… no good drops, but you see the format). Next, just stop by your cart every once and a while and you’ll get a feel for the normal pricing range on a particular product.

Now you’re the jaguar in the Amazon, poised to pounce on that disoriented dingo of a sweet deal when it stumbles by (yes, yes… currently dingos in the Amazon have not been documented… but, you have watched “Lost” right? We weren’t aware of polar bears on tropical islands before this documentary aired. Dharma dingos in the Amazon could happen… and my guess it that they would be significantly disoriented and thus ripe for the pouncing.

So you’ve purchased something on Amazon (great deal or not), what do you do next? You, add that dingo to your cart again and “save it for later”. If that item drops in price in the next thirty days Amazon will credit you the difference without question. A simple email to customer service does the job. I have saved hundreds of dollars this way. So if you see an item that your interested in dropping and dropping don’t worry to much about waiting for the absolute bottom to be reached (especially since you don’t know where that bottom is and it may jump back up). Just snatch it up knowing that your locked in to the lowest price Amazon will sell that item for over the next 30 days that you observe and request a credit for.

This probably sounds like more work than it really is (mostly becuase I keep blabbing nonsense inside of parenthesis). Just have a tab loaded up with your cart and do a refresh every once and a while (if your not using tabbed browsing by now shame on you). When I’m looking to make a purchase I do this regularly, in sync with checking email (I have nothing else to say… just getting one last parenthesis fix (mmmm, nested parenthesis are even more satisying)).

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  1. July 18th, 2008 at 14:02 | #1

    Now this is the kind of quality posting that I come to the WoodZealot for.

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