Despite Amazon’s reputation as an online shopping giant with the lowest price on every product, it’s not always the right place to find the best deal – even with. As during pandemic, many families are working on a tighter budget as unemployment rates reach historic highs. In this economy, it is important to find the lowest price.
If you shop at a physical store (while wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing, of course), you can use Amazon̵7;s app to compare the price you see in person with its online counterpart. Just tap the camera icon next to the search bar and scan the barcode.
There are many other tools to help you find the lowest price for a product – whether it’s Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy or any other store, online or IRL.
We’ve put together four free browser add-ons (most of which also have apps for shopping on your phone) to quickly determine if Amazon’s price is the best price – and if not, where to shop instead.
Honey compares prices between Amazon, Amazon’s third-party retailers and other online retailers, with estimated shipping costs and Prime status to find the best deal.
After installing the browser extension (on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Edge) and navigating to a product page on Amazon, you’ll see the “h” icon above the product photo. If you click on it, you will come to the Drop List function, which shows the price history and allows you to set a warning for drops. If you see a tag that says “Best Deal”, you can be sure that no other Amazon seller is offering a lower price.
You can also search for products via the extension or on Honey’s website to see current and historical prices, coupons and availability on a number of e-commerce sites such as Walmart, JCPenney and Home Depot.
PriceBlink / Screenshot by Rick Broida / CNET
PriceBlink also offers price comparisons and coupons, but with a slightly different interface. Once installed (on Chrome or Firefox), when navigating to an online shopping site, a yellow bar will appear at the top of the screen. It alerts you to all the offers and coupons available on the site, and if a better price is available elsewhere.
When navigating to an item on Amazon, click “compare prices” in the field at the top to see where else it is available, along with base price, shipping costs and total price. If Amazon has the best price, the bar will say “second best price.” If it does not, it will say “Savings found! Buy this for less” and enter the amount and the other site.
PriceBlink also lets you track prices over time and add items to your wishlist, as well as find coupons on their website.
If you see a “Best Price” icon above Amazon’s price, you know that Popcart (available on Chrome) has certified it as the lowest price available for 13 other stores, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. Click on the icon to see prices at other retailers and shipping costs. If Amazon has the best price, an icon next to the price will say so. If not, it will tell you how much you can save by going elsewhere and letting you compare prices and shipping costs between stores.
Popcart compares products across three dimensions. Say you’re shopping for a bottle of detergent. You will see different retailers, packaging options (like a 100-ounce versus a 150-ounce bottle) and variations (like meadow fresh versus unscented), instead of just matching barcodes. This helps break down exactly what you are paying for. For example, in a search for Lysol cloths, Popcart showed me different packages in size and broke down how much I would pay per drying in each. And since COVID-19 began disrupting supply chains, the company has now added a delivery finder to alert you when unavailable items are reloading.
OctoShop / Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET
OctoShop checks stores in stores to help you track a product that is often out of stock, such as the Nintendo Switch or Oculus Quest. It’s less useful than some of the others on this list when it comes to quickly telling you if you have the best price (you have to click on the OctoShop icon to see it instead of it appearing automatically), but once you do it will be easier to switch between different options.
Once you have installed the browser extension, the OctoShop tab of Amazon’s price will appear. Click on it to see if you get the best price and where else the item is available. You can set price drop alerts and stock notifications from different retailers.
Are you looking for more offers? Check out our list of more Chrome extensions that can save you a lot of money, how to take advantage of Amazon Warehouse deals and all the deals we collect daily on CNET.