You may not realize how much prices change at Amazon. An item that's $200 dollars today could be $40 tomorrow. I've gotten lucky in the past with catching the price at or near its lowest but I've often bought something only to see the price drop another $50 a few weeks later.
I discovered a website a while back that gives me a little insight into how the price can go up and down and when to pull the trigger to get what I want at a bargain.
www.camelcamelcamel.com isn't associated with Amazon but it seems to know enough about the pricing to help make good buying decisions.
You simply copy and paste the URL of the Amazon product. For those who have no idea what a URL is and where to find it, it's the long string of letters, numbers and symbols you'll find in your browser's search or address bar. Copy the URL then paste it into the similar search bar on CamelCamelCamel. You'll immediately get a page that shows the price fluctuation in both a chart and list. Near the top of the item description the site will show if it the Amazon price listed is the 'best price'.
Since I've been looking for a new bedside lamp I searched Amazon to find a Philips Wake Up Light with a list price of $170. It was on sale the day I looked for $95.
When I searched for the item on Camelcamelcamel, I saw it really is the best price ever and the price has changed drastically over the past several months.
According to the site if I were to have purchased the light last June it was around $120, but a few days later it spiked to $160. The average price on Amazon, according to the Camel site is $134 so I feel I'm getting about as good a deal as I would ever get. You can also get some idea of when the price usually drops by scanning the graph to see what time of year the price has dropped.
Camelcamelcamel also lets you set a target price (if you can wait on the price to drop). After searching for the item you want, you have the option to track the price. Set a price track for the lowest price ever, or name your price and when it hits that target you'll get an e-mail or twitter message.
CamelCamelCamel tracks prices for items only sold on Amazon.com