While supplies and stock levels have returned to normal since the rush of product shortages last summer (like that time when nobody could buy toilet paper) you may still struggle to snag several new and exciting products this holiday season.
The PlayStation 5 has been the most popular product, tormenting gamers with its numerous online restock debuts that were so fleeting, they’ve left thousands of gamers high and dry.
In fact, when the PS5 console was pre-released, many gamers were unaware major retailers like Walmart and Amazon went rogue overnight and opened their online pre-release slots early – one day ahead of the September 17th date Sony had announced.
When gamers went to pre-order the next day, likely pleased with their early preparation, many were shocked to discover they simply weren’t early enough.
The pre-release pages had opened hours ago. The PS5 had sold out.
In the face of product shortages, many resort to the exhausting venture of rechecking the bookmarked pages and scouring for the add to cart button, only to be met with the dismal reality the product is still, very much, out of stock. Many gamers rechecking the pages likely became feverish, with no food or drink in days. Angry outbursts wouldn’t have been uncommon. Someone likely cried.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of manually checking the product pages, you can set up email alerts to receive notifications when products are restocked.
There are a couple ways to do this. You can receive emails through the retailer’s notification system, or through the free and easy-to-use website monitoring service, Visualping.
Many retailers offer on-site email notifications to alert you when products are restocked.
You select the Email Me When Back in Stock button on the product page, and then give the retailer your email address.
But that’s the rub: sometimes, retailers don’t just ask for your email to send you restock alerts, but to send you spam. Opting-in to receive restock notifications means you’re also opting-in to receive unsolicited messages for annoying commercial advertisements.
Other times, retailers ask you in a pop-pup to join their mailing list; in other words, they want to pummel you with email marketing campaigns. Cute words like “special offers” and “discounts” and “VIP notices” get thrown into the mix to manipulate you into foregoing your willpower and agreeing to receive their advertisements.
On top of spam and marketing campaigns cluttering your inbox and deterring your attention from the one email you asked for, their restock notifications are often delayed. The Shopify Back in Stock app, for example - a popular email alert system among retailers - sends customers automatic emails two or four hours after the product has been restocked.
That’s two to four hours in which the product could sell out again, before you would have the chance to snag it yourself. Especially if the retailer posts about it on social media, as what happened with the PS5 fiasco.
If you’re not particularly interested in these scenerios, then Visualping.io is the option for you.
Visualping, an easy-to-use and free automation service, is the world’s top website monitoring tool. With over 1.5 million users – out of which 83% are Fortune 500 companies – you can forget about intermittently (and obsessively) scouring product pages for updates to an item’s availability.
We don’t send our users spam. And we notify you as soon as we detect the product is restocked.
When the product page changes, Visualping sends you an email notification that displays an easy-to-read screenshot of all the page’s changes, highlighted for your perusal. Changes that were added to the page are highlighted in green. Changes that were removed are highlighted in red.
For monitoring a product’s availability, we recommend you use the Visual-compare feature. As it allows our system to monitor webpage pixels, this is how the email is able to display a screenshot of the page changes.
In fact, Visualping would have been advantageous for gamers who weren’t aware retailers opened their PS5 pre-release slots early. They would have received a notification alerting them of the product’s pre-release, allowing them to join the flood of other gamers snagging the console before September 17th.
Staying on top of when products are restocked does not have to be as stressful as it sounds. Visualping streamlines the checking process, saving you from manually obsessing over product pages and guaranteeing you’ll know when the product becomes available – before the shelves are wiped clean again.
And setting it up is easy.
Step 1: To receive restock notifications, copy and paste the URL of the product page you wish to monitor into our search field on Visualping’s homepage. You don’t need to first sign up. Click Go.
Step 2: Once the page appears in our monitor screen, select the webpage area you wish to track. Maybe this is the entire webpage, or just the area surrounding the out of stock label.
Step 3: Specify the frequency you want Visualping to check the page, such as every 5 minutes, 30 minutes, hourly or daily.
Step 4: Sit back and let Visualping do the work for you.
Except for actually purchasing product.
The Access Site link at the bottom of the email will take you straight to the product page, where you can promptly make your purchase as soon as the product is restocked.
How it works: Visualping will take an initial screenshot of the out of stock product page and then, at the frequency you specify, take subsequent screenshots at regular intervals, comparing them to the previous to detect changes.
With Visualping, the stressful work of manually checking product pages is completed for you.