Why do Amazon’s prices change so often?

By Tami Ben-David
Published on December 8, 2014 | 1290 views

You’re searching Amazon for something specific. You find what you need, check out the price, and leave the page open so that you can come back to it with your credit card later.

A couple of hours later, you return to the page, send the item to your cart and are about to pay when suddenly you realize that the price has changed!

The big question is why do Amazon’s prices change so many times a day?

Best Possible Performance

Amazon aim to provide the customer with the best possible experience. This does not only come in the form of excellent customer service and fast shipping times, but price too.

This is why Amazon update their prices every 15 minutes. Due to the change in market conditions, sellers are constantly adjusting their prices and Amazon want to offer their customers these adjustments as often as possible.

Therefore, every single product sold on the Amazon platform, whether sold by Amazon themselves or a third-party seller is updated 100 times a day.

What this means for the Seller

Amazon sellers who are using repricing software in order to set their prices need to ensure that whatever repricer they use has continuous repricing so that it can match Amazon’s constant price updates.

It would be of no use using a repricer that updates its system, and therefore all its prices, every hour since prices on Amazon are changing every 15 minutes, and they would lose out and fall behind.

However, some amazon repricers, such as Feedvisor, update their prices every 15 minutes and therefore customers prices always remain competitive.

Tips & Tricks for the Buyer

If you’re a buyer, finding yourself getting frustrated by the constant price changes on Amazon, here are a few tips and tricks for making sure you do not shop when prices are at their highest:

Check out other sites

When you’ve found the product that you want, compare the Amazon price with prices on alternative websites. There are various sites you can use to do this, such as Google Shopping or PriceGrabber.

The time of year matters!

If there’s something you particular want, but you don’t mind when you get it, you might be better off purchasing it during an “off-peak” season. You might find, for example, that purchasing sunglasses during the winter will save you a few bucks, or a toy for your favorite nephew might be better bought in the months not close to Christmas.

Sign up for alerts

There are many sites out there that can send you alerts (or tweets or facebook messages!) whenever your selected item’s price on Amazon goes down, or when a price hits a certain low. Check out Keepa.com, CamelCamelCamel.com or BuyLater.com.

Amazon Gold Box

Many regular Amazon buyers still don’t know about the Amazon Gold Box page. On it, you can find hour-long sales and freshly price-reduced items from around the site. So again, if you’re not so time-limited on when you purchase specific items, or if you’re not particularly picky about what to buy your dad this Hanukkah, check out the gold. Other sites, such as Dealnews and SlickDeals will also offer you coupons and sales from around the web.

About the Author

A British ex-pat, Tami been writing and content-strategizing for Israeli tech start-ups for the last 5 years. When she's not writing nerdy content, you can find Tami on open water charity swims or traveling to far-flung countries.

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