So, price drops on Amazon wish lists

Is this actually of use to anyone?

Enter your email, they then alert you if any of the things on your Amazon wish list drop.

We’ll monitor the items on your public wishlists and let you know when prices drop.

I can see what they’re doing, how they’re doing it. And I’ve been asked to see if anyone thinks this is a good and useful idea or not. So?

26 thoughts on “So, price drops on Amazon wish lists”

  1. I can see it being useful – if there’s a bunch of stuff I want but am not in a hurry for, being told about price drops is useful.

    I do use the Steam wishlist for exactly this reason. Not sure there’s a lot I’d want-but-not-right-now from Amazon, the stuff I’m after is usually either cheap already or needed quite soon, but it could happen.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Spam is cheap. Any excuse to spam people and remind them to come and spend money.

    Good for them. Clogging up everyone else’s mailbox.

    As Amazon, presumably, are responsible for dropping the prices, as they have a flexible pricing policy anyway, what is their logic for dropping the price? A Dutch auction? You have not shopped for a while, so offer a loss leader to tempt you back?

    They are being manipulative ar$eholes. The interesting question is how.

  3. It’s an interesting feature: I suppose it’s a bit like groupon.

    If you’ve got a million people who have told you they want to buy a thing, you can try to get hold of a big batch of thingies and plan on x% of that million buying them, once they receive a notification that instead of paying £50 for their own thing, it’ll be £25, thanks to the mass thing purchase.

    There’s probably an economic term for this kind of buying, but ot’s early where I am.

  4. Of course this is useful. I didn’t buy immediately at price X but I am interested and might buy at X-Y%, but I am not going to pay for the service because I don’t know in advance whether it will be of value. I expect Amazon to pay for it through their setting of the discount.

  5. It works well on Steam, but then they have regular sales to make it worth waiting for something on your wishlist.

    I mainly use Amazon’s wishlist to list books I’d like to get but are to busy to read right now, and Amazon don’t lower prices much in my experience making sale chasing a bit pointless.

  6. Thanks for the mention Tim, a pleasant surprise.

    Just before christmas my wife was repeatedly checking her wish list to see if any of the presents for the kids had dropped in price. Sometimes its a particular supplier has stock but to be honest its not exactly transparent as to why.

    Being a coder I realised that I could automate this. Thats all the service does really. Checks to see if something has dropped by 5% and more than £1 every few hours.

    The only upside for me is that the links that it sends out are affiliate links, the items don’t cost you any more I just get a kickback from Amazon.

    Thats about the size of it, I’m trying to make it as un-spammy as possible.

  7. I’ve never used the Wishlist option with Amazon, but I do on Steam, and being reminded of an item going on sale is automatic.

    A bit surprised Amazon themselves don’t do this, actually.

  8. I tend to put books on my Amazon wishlist either as a reminder to myself to buy them when I’ve got the money or order them from the library, or when they first come out, and then I get a message when the paperback version’s available. Simple and handy.

  9. I was too, the emails that you get are mostly things that they want to sell you. Which in my experience is not necessarily what you want to buy.

    The steam system sounds much more sensible, especially when you have expressed an interest in something.

    I think wish lists were originally intended as a list of things that you would like people to buy for you, but in practice that is weird unless you are getting married. So i just mine as a buy in the future list.

    Simon.

  10. Data mining at its finest.

    Amazon may yet solve the problem of polling, namely that what people say they want is not what they actually want as measured by the only righteous, true, honest and effective method: What they’ll pay for.

    Amazon will be conducting all kinds of tests to determine the effect on profit of increased sales at a lower price but higher volume, and time from notice of price reduction to sale and even whether the price reduction does fuck all.

    Thinking about this makes me realize that I have several items on my Amazon wish list that I do not, in fact, wish for at all. If they lower the price to any reasonable level, I still won’t buy because I am lying to myself.

    This may lead to Amazon dropping wish lists entirely.

  11. The wish list basically says “I want this stuff but I’m not prepared to pay my own money for it.”

    Informing you of price drops might change your mind. Solid business move, imo.

  12. Simon,

    Sounds like a great idea. I currently use CamelCamelCamel, but that isn’t linked to wishlists.

    But my wishlist gets updated and not just for myself, but because I know family members pick things from it for me.

    The main thing for me is blu-rays. I might see a film, like it, but I’m not going to pay £15 for the blu-ray. But when it hits £7 or £8, sure.

  13. JuliaM et al,

    Ah, Steam Sales. I would buy some more games, but I’ve still got a stockpile from the last 2 Steam sales.

    Recommendation for when it’s in the sale: Fez. Great fun puzzle game, bit like Super Paper Mario. Picked it up for less than £2.

  14. I might be missing something here, but doesn’t Amazon already do something pretty close to this? On my wish list Amazon already tell me the % drop since the item was added.

    I suppose an email telling me this might be helpful, but only if I could set the threshold at which it was triggered.

  15. Excellent idea. My wish list is really things I’d like for Christmas or birthday, so it’s Stuff I can wait for. I will definitely subscribe.

  16. @Sammy, its at 5% and over £1 at the moment, on the mail that is sends you it gives you the option to bump this is on specific products. Some things are really chatty, suppliers dropping prices once a week for a day for example.

  17. My Amazon wishlist is largely a list of expensive things I like but won’t pay for myself, but if someone wants to spend £80 on a beautiful leather wallet for me for my birthday…
    1. Be my guest.
    2. I’d rather that than an £80 useless object that I feel obliged to live with for a couple of years.

  18. Once I realized this was happening a few years ago, I have gotten some good deals with it. I browse several sites on which I have accounts to find an item. I NEVER buy immediately. I wait a few days for the offers to come back to me. If you are not in a hurry, you can get some great deals.

  19. What is not to like about a targeted advertising on a product you already want?

    Ideally I could pick and choose which items I want to get alerts for and the price at which I would start buying.

    All advertising isn’t bad. If all you had to suffer through was information that is actually useful then no one would use an adblocker.

  20. As Tim Almond already said, there is a great website called camelcamelcamel that already does this. You can also link it to wishlists – whenever I add anything to my main wishlist it is automatically added to camelcamelcamel. The only downside is that camelcamelcamel will email me even if it drops only 1p – but it’s fine because you can visit the site and set what level you want to be notified about.

    Very, very useful.

  21. I might be missing something here, but doesn’t Amazon already do something pretty close to this?

    I think they tell you about price changes for items in Saved for Later but they don’t tell you about items in Wishlist. Strange that they don’t.

  22. I’ve used a similar service called ereaderIQ for about a year now. It monitors an Amazon wish list for price drops of ebooks and emails me when they happen.
    I’ve found it to be very useful.

  23. I have been using a similar service, camelcamelcamel.com, for years. They either track what you request or just follow a public Amazon wish list.

    Given how wildly Amazon prices on many products fluctuate, often hour by hour (another useful camel^3 service is showing you the price history of the product you are looking at, which is often eye-opening).

    I am a big Amazon user, have waited for price drops using camel^3 on almost everything non-urgent, and have saved thousands of dollars over the years. They have never spammed me, or indeed sent my anything but notices that a product has dropped below my target price (plus the usual admin stuff like “account created” “password changed” etc.).

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