In an age where online shopping is bigger than ever, popular items like the latest next-gen consoles and new graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD are increasingly hard to come by, selling out within minutes of new stock going live on retailers in the UK and the US. But how do people know when new stock appears?
Turns out there are a few handy ways to get the inside track on new stock availability, and it covers just about every product and online retailer you can think of. If you keep missing out on the latest gadget on your to-buy list, we at Tech Advisor have you covered.
Sign up to retailer alerts
The most obvious way to find out when stock comes back in at your favourite retailer is to sign up to stock alerts – the problem is that not all retailers offer the feature, and even among those that do, performance can vary. There have been stories about people being notified about PS5 sales after they’d already sold out online, but on the flipside, it’s a completely stress-free way of keeping an eye on an in-demand product.
Sites that offer stock alerts will usually make a point of it on out-of-stock product listings. In the UK, a handful of retailers including Box offer stock notifications via email, and Amazon joins in on the fun with a handful of products too, but the feature isn’t available across most of the online retailer’s vast offerings.
Just be aware that by providing your email for stock alerts, you’re more than likely also signing up to the retailers mailing list.
Use a third-party stock tracker
Third-party stock trackers offer the ability to track stock from multiple retailers at once, giving you a better overview of stock compared to going to each site individually. What’s more, most offer alerts that’ll give you a heads up as soon as new stock appears, making them valuable assets for acquiring hard-to-find products like the PS5 and the latest Nvidia RTX 30 Series GPUs.
One of the best stock trackers we’ve found is Stock Informer, available in both the UK and US. The site covers a range of the most popular online retailers including Amazon, Currys and Argos in the UK and Best Buy and Newegg in the US, many of which don’t offer native stock alerts. Instead of tracking a specific page, the site allows you to track stock on a product basis.
Say, for example, you wanted to track PS5 stock – you’d simply head to the PS5 page on the site and sign up to be alerted to any stock changes.
The beauty of Stock Informer is that as well as checking stock in realtime, if you’re on desktop, you can set up a chime that’ll play whenever new stock appears. It’s not available on mobile devices unfortunately, but you can sign up to a mailing list that’ll alert you whenever new stock comes in.
Of course, that’s just one of many similar third-party services available online – you’ll have to do a bit of hunting to see which covers the site(s) you want to keep an eye on.
Use a visual tracker
While third-party stock trackers are great resources, they don’t cover every online retailer. What are you to do if the super-niche product you’re tracking isn’t available on the likes of Stock Informer?
There’s another type of tracker gaining popularity online, focusing on tracking visual changes on a page. It’s great to keep track of Wikipedia edits and the fun Google graphic changes, but it can also be used to track the ‘out of stock’ button on product listings in practically every online store.
One such tracker is Visualping – you simply enter the URL of the product listing you’d like to track, outline the ‘out of stock’ icon, change the frequency of checks to every 5 minutes and enter your email. Then, whenever the site notices a change compared to the initial screenshot, you’ll be sent an email.
It could also be used to track price changes – simply outline the price on the product listing instead. It’s a versatile tool that could come in handy for the more niche product.
If all else fails, there’s likely a vibrant community of likeminded people somewhere online, and many gather on Discord as an easy way to share the latest product stock news and make new friends at the same time.
The Discord servers you’ll need to join will likely depend on the product you want to buy, but if you’re interested, they aren’t hard to find over at Reddit.