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Don't get burned: Price-Protection Trackers

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Part of the dealnews Editorial Guarantee states that "we list the best deals, period." And it's true. Anything you find on our site has been researched and compared to ensure it's the absolute lowest price for that item. I know this because it's part of my job (it's not all funny blog posts, features writing, and MAME building).

However, as we often see, and as you've seen if you visit dealnews regularly, prices tend to fall over time. Sometimes they fall by a wide margin overnight, which means that your Tuesday purchase could be your Wednesday "Aaaaargh! I JUST BOUGHT THAT!" When the price drops immediately after you submit your order, it stings. We know. We hate it, too. So we've been looking around to see if there's anything we can do to help you, the buyer, avoid getting bit by a price drop.

As you may know, sites like Amazon, Target, and many others have "Price Protection Policies." If the price, as listed on their sites, drops within a given period, you can write to them and ask them to refund the difference.

But who has the time to keep returning to the merchant to check on that? I can't spend my days price-checking. I've got stuff to do! Maybe not a lot of stuff, but I don't want to keep checking on prices all day.

Luckily, there are websites that will do the tracking for you. Most of them only track Amazon.com, probably because its API is ideal for price tracking. Among these Amazon-only trackers are RefundPlease, FlamingoWorld, and AmazingRefund.

I don't mean to judge a book by it's cover, but these three sites leave something to be desired. They're very bare-bones and look like your first Web page circa '92.

Each of these sites, by definition, must collect your email address to notify you of price drops. According to RefundPlease's privacy statement, your email will not be used for anything else, and they guarantee that if they start doing so, it'll be an opt-in choice.

FlamingoWorld, on the other hand, takes the opt-out approach. Meaning that if you use their service you'll automatically receive newsletters and other notifications from them. Ick.

Then there's AmazingRefund. It's a bit harder to use than the other sites because they require you to browse Amazon through their site, so when you add something to your cart it's automatically tracked for you. Then AmazingRefund passes you on to Amazon to complete your purchase. Also annoying, AmazingRefund has an opt-out policy for email notifications and will send you "information to alert you to pricing changes, product upgrades, special offers, updated information and other services." Double ick.

But what if you want to track multiple sites?

That's where PriceProtectr.com comes in. Their system can track price drops at Amazon.com, Costco.com, Barnes & Noble.com, BestBuy.com, Gap.com, Staples.com, Zappos, and other online merchants (48 in all and counting). That's the widest selection of tracking that I could find on the Web. In addition, it has a very nice privacy policy, too. They keep their mitts out of your in-box and don't sell your e-mail address.

Overall, it looks like PriceProtectr.com is your best bet for your price-protecting needs. Hopefully, from now on, you won't feel like you got stung by a price drop.

Intrepid reporter Jeff Somogyi is looking out for you, America. (He is also a dealnews Senior Staffwriter.)

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Unless marked as a "Sponsored Deal," the opinions expressed here are those of the author and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies mentioned. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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