By Hank Kee
Topic of the Month: Shopping
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year, and they officially kick off holiday shopping online.
Before buying anything online, there are two tools you should use to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
www.camelcamelcamel.com is an Amazon product price tracker. It has been a popular and reliable tool for the past decade. To use it, simply copy and paste the Amazon URL of whatever item you’re considering into the search bar at the top. The tool will then bring up a chart of how that item’s price has fluctuated. You can key in the product name and it will display a list of vendors offering the product at various prices. If you were to click on the first selection, the website displays a chart of the purchase price from product introduction to the current date.
Fakespot.com offers a new way of filtering product reviews, allowing you to find what actual people are saying about the products. It analyzes millions of reviews and finds suspicious patterns and discrepancies. It will then take out the reviews that seem too good to be true, so you can make an unbiased, reliable purchase.
All you need is the URL of the product in question, which you copy and paste into the site. Fakespot will then scan and analyze information from both the review itself and the person who created the review. Fakespot will then give it a grade ranging from A to F.
Fakespot takes a look at certain “credentials” from the reviewer and the review itself. It looks to see if it’s a verified purchase, and if the dates and content correlate. It also takes into account frequency and purchase dates, as well as various purchasing patterns. On the review front, it analyzes the writing style, grammar, and spelling correlation.
When making purchases, keep the receipts. Hold onto those receipts just in case you’re not happy with your purchase. Make sure to review the refund policy of websites before buying, especially if they do not offer free returns, as sending an item back can be pricey. Look for dealers offering longer warranties.
Also, make sure your purchased product isn’t a gray import. Gray import Items are legally imported through channels other than the manufacturer official distribution system. This can mean you save even more cash, but be prepared to not get support from the manufacturer when you have a problem or need to send it for repair. It’s not worth the risk.