Have you ever noticed how the price for toys on Amazon can change by the minute? How can you take advantage of this and save yourself some money in these credit crunch times? By planning ahead and monitoring trends.

Amazon Marketplace

Amazon Marketplace enables you to buy new items from third-party sellers from the same page on which they sell the item new. In some cases these Marketplace sellers offer lower prices than Amazon themselves. However, often Amazon are out of stock of particular toys so they rely on their partners to fulfill any orders. The merchants that have stock at any one time change quickly but Amazon always show the merchant with the lowest price (including delivery) on the main page with a ‘More Buying Choices’ box on the right-hand side. With rapidly changing available merchants comes similarly rapidly changing prices. With a bit of planning and daily monitoring you will know when a lower than average price comes along and you are well positioned to buy then and save yourself some money.

My Experiment

I have an interest in Ben 10 toys and for just over a month I decided to record how the Amazon Marketplace price of the popular Ben 10 Ultimate Omnitrix changed on a daily basis. Although this experiment only recorded the price once a day rather than every price change that happened during the day, the results below show the general trend in changing prices.


Over the 35 days of my experiment the price ranged from £13.94 to £19.14 – a saving of £5.20 had I bought on the lowest priced day.

The average price was £16.52. 13 days were over average and 22 days were under average.

How To Use Amazon Marketplace Changing Prices To Your Advantage

Plan ahead – If you know you need to buy a specific toy for a birthday or other occasion, the key is to plan ahead. You need time to monitor the trend in prices. You cannot use this technique the day before you need to buy.
Monitor the price – Ideally start monitoring the Amazon Marketplace price about a month before you need to buy. Two weeks is really the minimum. Stop by the Amazon website daily to check on the price.
Record your results – Note down the price on a daily basis. 
Watch the trends – When you are about half way towards your buy date you should have a fair bit of data. You then need to calculate the average price of the toy so far and each day from then on.
Consider your purchase – If the price on the following day is below the average you should consider buying the toy. Depending on your risk appetite you may want to get closer to your buy date to see if the price falls further. Remember though that the price might go up and stay high.
Buy – Choose your day and buy your toy.

Remember, unless you are extremely lucky, you are not likely to choose to buy on the lowest priced day. However this technique should at least give you some comfort that you are more than likely buying at a below average price.

© 2009 Chloe Alice Wilson.

Chloe Alice Wilson is the founder of BestBen10Toys.co.uk – an independent review website of the Ben 10 Collection of toys and merchandise. She writes articles on many topics related to toys. To learn more about the “2009 Toy Of The Year” read her review of the Ben 10 Action Figures.