NBC 5 Responds

NBC 5 Responds: Is That Sale a Deal?

NBCUniversal, Inc.

When you’re on the hunt for a deal, you may be tempted by a limited-time offer. But, how do you know that sale is really the best discount?

Read on for expert advice to help you track prices and recognize a good deal while shopping online.

“The price went up”

While shopping for a new thermostat, Greg Burchett hoped to snag one marked down to $87.04 after Thanksgiving.

“Put it in my cart and when I went to buy it, I saw the price went up,” said Burchett.

The price rose to $99 later that day, Burchett said.

“Like everybody, I try and look for a good deal. I just wasn't expecting the price to go up for Black Friday,” said Burchett.

We asked Amazon about the thermostat’s price history and didn’t get a response to our questions.

Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, explains prices constantly fluctuate - sometimes minute-by-minute for many reasons at many stores.

“Sometimes it's in response to demand,” said Palmer. “It's possible that what happened is that a lot of consumers were trying to buy that and so, the seller decided to change the price. Maybe they even ran out.”

Tracking prices

You may be able to track a price change right there in your cart or you can subscribe to alerts to notify you of sales.

Palmer said consumers can also use web browser extension tools like Honey to track prices and look for coupon codes.

The Camelizer is another tool – specific to Amazon.

“It gives you the whole price history,” Palmer said. “It lets you know when there's a price drop and it can help you make a more informed decision if now is a good time to buy.”

According to Camelizer’s tracking tool, the thermostat Burchett wants has seen prices range from around $82 to $169 in the last year.

“I'm still watching it because I still want it,” said Burchett.

NBC 5 Responds is committed to researching your concerns and recovering your money. Our goal is to get you answers and, if possible, solutions and a resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our customer complaint form.

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