How To Track Fluctuating Prices for Savings on Purchases prices fluctuate greatly from one day and time to the next, so it’s essential to evaluate price fluctuations on products before you make your purchases.

If you’re buying an item that is shipped and sold by, the price can vary based on the time and day of your purchase, so it’s worth checking the price at different times before ordering.

I’ve recently been looking to purchase a Tascam DR-40 for multitrack audio recording, but the price has been fluctuating so much that I can’t get the best deal available.

I originally saw a standard price point of $200 for the Tascam DR-40 listed in Guitar Player magazine.

However, when viewing this item on, I’ve personally seen the price vary from $149.99 to $199.99 in just over a week.

Amazon Price Variations for Tascam DR-40

  • Monday, June 18, 2012 – $149.99
  • Thursday, June 21, 2012 – $168.99
  • Friday, June 22, 2012 – $157.99
  • Wednesday at 8:38 AM, June 27, 2012 – $199.99
  • Wednesday at 11:21 PM, June 27, 2012 – $174.99
  • Thursday at 4:53 PM, June 28, 2012 – 170.67
  • Friday at 8:25 AM, June 29, 2012 – $174.99

As you can see, these prices have been fluctuating like crazy, and it has been driving me insane, because I don’t want to pay a higher price than necessary.

Possible Reasons for Amazon Price Changes

Merchants can change their prices at any time for many different reasons, and this is true for as well.

However, these wildly fluctuating prices seem a little extreme, and as a consumer, it makes me question whether I’m getting the best price at any given time on my purchases.

Supply and Demand – Prices may change on based on customer traffic and purchase patterns from one day and time to the next.

Product Source Changes – Even though may sell and ship an item, it’s possible that their supply sources fluctuate and affect pricing on individual items.

How To Track Fluctuating Prices

I recently discovered this excellent site that allows you to track product prices and receive notifications when the lowest price or the price that you are willing to pay becomes available.

camelcamelcamel is a free price tracker that allows you to get email or Twitter alerts when prices drop.

camelcamelcamel provides free Amazon price drop alerts as well as Amazon price history charts, so you can research the pricing history of a product before you buy it.

You can enter an URL or search terms in order to find the product that you want to track.

For instance, here is the camelcamelcamel Report on my Tascam DR-40, which shows the lowest price point of $139.76 on April 19, 2012, and a high of $199.99 on June 27, 2012.

camelcamelcamel also provides similar merchant price tracking services for,,, and

Use camelcamelcamel to Save on Merchant Purchases by tracking product prices.

Have you been affected by fluctuating prices on Please feel free to comment with your suggestions for tracking retail prices.


  1. Save Money says

    Several years back, Amazon had a nice price match policy, where you would just \ email customer support to get a price match within some reasonable time frame (like 14 or 30 days). That policy has been removed (except for TVs), according to their official policy page. However, let me tell you that if you are lucky and can eloquently describe your situation, you may still be able to get the price match.

    For example, after the recent floods in Thailand, hard drive prices went up very quickly. I purchased several 3TB drives from Amazon at something around $230 or $240 each. Within a day or two or three, the price on the same item (sold by Amazon) dropped to $199. I was able to convince customer support to refund my full purchase on all drives back to the new $199 price. That resulted in some serious savings compared to my actual purchase price.

    Ask them, even if the policy says otherwise. You might get lucky. :-)

  2. SC says

    I’ve been using camelcamelcamel for years now. They also have a great chrome extension.

    Recently, I decided to pay citi $5 per month (through shop advantage) so I can get 6 month price protection, and I hope to make up more by tracking with camelcamelcamel and then file claims when prices drop to near their lows. I hope they will honor my requests, since they claim to cover all online shops, except actions.

  3. GK says

    I recently purchased a OBi100 VoIP adatper from Amazon for $44 on a Friday. By Monday, same item was selling for $39. I chatted with Amazon customer Rep and asked for a price difference money back.. ..about $5. I was told that he can not give me money back. So I placed second order for $39 and when the expensive gear arrived I promptly returned it back to Amazon. NOW, Amazon charged me $5 for S&H on the return. So that money I was going to save by doign all this reasearch and running around was not in Amazon’s pocket.

    I fired an email to stating my complete disappointment with their policy of not giving money back to customers on items that have not been delivered (yet). Also, I was furious at the S&H charges as I am a prime member. Amazon refunded the $5 price difference decribing it as a goodwill refund. In the end, so much running around for something as simple as money back. Most the the retail stores will promptly do it but not at Amazon.

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