Pop it, lock it, drop it: new price-monitoring sites hunt bargains for you

If you were on Price!Pinx, you'd know this Audio Technica turntable is on sale for $211.95 on Amazon.

If you were on Price!Pinx, you'd know this turntable is on sale for $211.95 on Amazon.

Well hello there, savvy shopper. While product research used to involve, er, actual research, a variety of new sites will alert you when items you covet go on sale. So warm up your mouse fingers, and get ready to watch these prices fall.

Made exclusively for Amazon, this handy add-on lets you surf the mega-retailer and select items you’re looking to buy. A window pops up, asks for your email, and lets you indicate what price you are willing to pay. You receive an email when the price drops below said indicated figure. The best part? If you click the icon when you’re not on an Amazon.com page, a picture of a weeping (sad) panda appears with an error message.

Price Drop
Price Drop allows you to monitor items on both Amazon’s and Best Buy’s sites, and is only compatible with Firefox. But we don’t need to tell you that, because clearly there is no other browser. Once you download the extension, you can select “track this item” on either retailer’s page, and it’s automatically added to a list of tracked products. This page is clean and easy to use, indicating the original price when you tracked the item and the current price. Limitation: Some items, particularly those sold by third-parties on Amazon, can’t be tracked, like the Casio Calculator Watch for which I was jonesin’.
This is a great way to not only monitor the cost of an item, but also to compare the cost difference between Best Buy and Amazon.

148 Apps
This site provides email, RSS, and Twitter feeds to cue you in on savings for iPhone apps. Sure, you’ll know that you can save $4 on the American Idol game, but I doubt you need daily emails to tell you this. The plus side is that all the deals are listed on the home page, and you don’t need to sign up to see them. It might be worth breezing through before you blow more than $3 to find out your horoscope.

No, that’s not a typo. Price!pinx is so excited to save you money that it couldn’t wait to place the exclamation point in its rightful place. This site is another drag-and-drop, like DropNotice. However, there’s a wide selection of online shops to monitor, and you can browse recent deals by retailer without signing up. There are a few more clicks and rules involved in !pinxing than with the other programs, but that’s the trade-off for a more comprehensive tool. Download the extension, highlight the price of an item on the product-detail page, click the !pinx button, and either sign in or enter your registered email address to receive updates on the cost.

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