Phone cases, charging cables, and other mobile accessories are usually last-minute purchases. But because popular accessory brands like Aukey, RAVPower, Speck, and Anker are constantly running sales, you can save a ton of money by holding out for good deals or setting up a price tracker to get discounts sent to your inbox. Really, there’s never a good reason to pay full price for mobile accessories.
Mobile Accessories Are Almost Always on Sale
Mobile accessories from popular brands like RAVPower, Aukey, Belkin, TaoTronics, and Anker are almost always on sale. They regularly appear in Amazon’s Daily Deals, and their Amazon pages often feature clickable coupons that don’t require a promo code. This isn’t just anecdotal—we have the receipts to prove it.
One of our favorite deal-hunting tools, called Camelcamelcamel, tracks the price of every item on Amazon and plots each price change on a graph. A quick look at the Camelcamelcamel listings for products from RAVPower, Anker, Belkin, Speck, and other popular brands reveals a price drop once every one to three months. (Keep in mind that Camelcamelcamel doesn’t account for Amazon’s one-click coupon system, which mobile accessory brands use liberally.)
Of course, you don’t have to wait three months to get a discounted charging cable. Mobile accessory brands all sell near-identical products, so if one brand’s charging cable or portable battery isn’t on sale, there’s usually another brand there to fill the gap. As I’m writing, Anker’s wireless earbuds are at full price on Amazon, while comparable earbuds from Aukey are $20 off.
But what if you don’t have time to look through Amazon listings and hunt down a good deal? What if you can’t wait for a discount, or you want to save money on a specific product from a specific brand? Well, then it’s time to set up a price tracker and let the deals come to you.
How to Find and Track Mobile Accessory Sales
Like I said earlier, mobile accessories are almost always on sale, so you don’t need a price tracker to save money on cables or wireless chargers. In fact, you can usually find a good deal just by checking the Today’s Deals tab on Amazon or by visiting Kinja’s The Inventory, a website that finds and publishes notable discounts every day.
But if you’re looking to find a specific product on sale or just enjoy a good deal, then you should stop hunting for deals by hand and use a tool like SlickDeals to find discounts the easy way. SlickDeals is a community-driven price tracker that brings together discounts from all over the web. After making a SlickDeals account, you can set the website to notify you when specific products or brands are on sale. SlickDeals can even track broad terms like “charging cable” or “mobile accessories” and notify you by email, browser popup (Chrome/Firefox extension), or smartphone notification (Android/iOS app) when a discount matches your search.
Another popular price tracking tool is Camelcamelcamel. That’s right, Camelcamelcamel isn’t just for checking the history of Amazon prices—you can actually set the website to alert you when specific products drop in price. And because Camelcamelcamel is automated, it can alert you to discounts faster than SlickDeals. The only drawback is that Camelcamelcamel can’t track broad product categories like “USB-C charger,” and the website only works with Amazon.
Need more info on price tracking? Check out the in-depth article “Set Up Price Tracking Today to Save on Christmas Presents Tomorrow.” It’s slanted toward Christmas shopping, but the tools covered are useful at any time of year.
Avoid OEM Accessories If You Can
Everyone has that moment where their trusty charging cable, the one that came with their phone, ends up lost, stolen, or destroyed. Without time to wait for an Amazon package, you find yourself buying a no-name charging cable from a gas station or drugstore. But something strange happens—you realize that your gas-station-charging-cable sucks. It charges slow, it won’t stay in your phone, and it feels like it could fall apart at any minute.
This experience might lead you to buy a replacement cable directly from your phone’s manufacturer. That’s understandable because the accessories sold by brands like Apple and Samsung are reliable and well-made. There’s just one problem; these OEM accessories are extremely overpriced, especially when compared to accessories from brands like Anker, RAVPower, Spigen, and Aukey.
Take a look at Apple’s USB-C to Lightning charging cable. At $19, it’s about 25% more expensive than Anker’s $15 USB-C to Lightning cable (which, as I mentioned earlier, is often on sale). Also, while Apple’s charging cable is only 3.2 feet long, the cheaper Anker cable is twice the length at 6 feet long.
To be fair, Apple is known for selling overpriced products. But this trend extends to other OEM accessories, like Samsung’s phone cases and Google’s screen protectors (open the link for a good laugh). Unless you happen to find these OEM accessories on sale or need a specific product that other companies don’t sell (like a OnePlus Warp Charger), it’s better to stick with the popular accessory brands that we’re focusing on throughout this article.
All that is to say one thing: If you plan ahead, you’ll never pay full retail for a mobile accessory again. In fact, it’s never a bad idea to grab an extra cable or charger when you spot a good deal just to have it on hand in case yours breaks.