With year-end holiday shopping already heating up, you’ll want to take full advantage of the year-end sales offered by merchants. But don’t wait until the Black Friday best deals are announced, because if you start tracking retailers now, you’ll be in the loop and ready to pounce on bargains as soon as they are available.
Use Amazon Assistant
Amazon Assistant is a new feature offered by Amazon that lets you compare Amazon’s prices to those of competitors like Target, Barnes and Noble, and others. You can use this downloadable internet browser extension to set up personal alerts if an item you are watching goes on sales or the price changes. The extension is compatible with browsers including Internet Explorer 10 and 11, Safari, Google Chrome 38 and higher, and Mozilla Firebox 3.6 and higher. All you need to download it is an active Amazon account.
Likewise, if you are shopping for a particular item – like a gift for a book lover or yourself – and you see it somewhere online, you can add it to your Amazon Assistant wish list. You’ll be notified of any deals Amazon offers. That can help when you see the item for sale somewhere else but want to take advantage of perks you may be eligible for only on Amazon, like free shipping. Using Amazon Assistant can also enhance the overall user experience on Amazon. It will ensure you receive updates on your orders, which can help you make sure your packages arrive in time for the holidays. There are also shortcuts to your most-visited pages.
Amazon Daily Specials
Amazon Assistant offers quick and easy access to Amazon’s “Kindle Deal of the Day.” Even if you don’t have Amazon Assist, you can sign up to be notified of these special bargains. Every day Amazon will notify you about new Kindle book deals. You’ll find great e-books for as much as 80 percent off the regular price, and titles for as little as just 99 cents. Another cool feature is the “Kindle Countdown.” The way it works is that every day Amazon reveals a limited-time-only sale on particular e-book titles, across all different genres. Keep in mind that whenever you see an e-book listed on Amazon, there should be a option for clicking to buy it and gift it to someone. That way you can do one-stop shopping and the e-books or audio books you give will be sent directly to your recipient.
Barnes and Noble Best Sellers
To stay on top of the newest releases of e-books over at Barnes and Noble, you can visit their site and sign up for alerts, too. Just as Amazon offers updates and daily special deals, Barnes and Noble can send you notifications about New York Times best sellers, daily deals on e-books, and also special discounts when you buy e-books by the bundle for your Nook e-reader.
Even if you prefer to buy your books from a different retailer, these Nook updates are a great way to say informed of which books are the most popular. That can be a convenient gift-buying tool, to ensure that you know which books might be perfect gifts for the people on your holiday shopping lists. And if you purchase e-books by the bundle at a great price, you can give them away as “stocking stuffers.”
The GoodReads website is devoted to keeping avid readers informed of everything going on with their favorite authors and genres, as well as popular best-seller lists. GoodReads is not a bookstore, but instead it is a place for book lovers to convene and share their love of books and their recommendations for what to read next. You can sign up there and they will deliver e-book news straight to your inbox. Just select your favorite genres, ranging from mystery and romance to sci-fi and nonfiction, and you’ll get daily email updates. If you see a title that strikes your fancy, you’ll be able to buy in on a book-selling site like Amazon.
Follow Publishers and Authors on Twitter
One of the lesser-known ways to track breaking news about e-books, and find that special gift for a book lover as soon as it hits the bookstore shelves, is through Twitter. Most authors and publishing houses have Twitter accounts, and if you follow them you’ll get the inside scoop. Find out what your favorite authors are working on next. Get alerted if they are doing a book tour with book signings or readers at a location near you. If one of their titles goes on sale, they usually tweet that news out also.