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Smart Buying

Amazon.com: Deal or No Deal?

Tools, toys, books and more: We hunt for the bargains.

The retail behemoth has lower prices on many products — but not on everything. Reconsider your shopping habits for these products:

Toys at Amazon.com

Deal. Especially close to holidays such as Easter and Christmas, Amazon touts aggressive bargains on toys, says Kristin Cook, managing editor for BensBargains.com.

Tools at Amazon.com

No deal. Hardware stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Harbor Freight often beat or match Amazon’s prices — especially near the holiday season and in July, when post-Father’s Day markdowns take effect.

Books at Amazon.com

Deal. Amazon still charges less than brick-and-mortar stores such as Barnes & Noble and Target on print books.

Name-brand clothing at Amazon.com

No deal. You’ll be hard-pressed to find the best prices on clothing and shoes from popular brands, such as Nike and North Face.

Video-game preorders at Amazon.com

Deal. Subscribers to Amazon Prime ($99 a year) get a 20% discount on video-game preorders.

PCs and Apple products at Amazon.com

No deal. The best bargains on iPads and iPhones are usually at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Fry’s Electronics and Micro Center, says Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor for DealNews.com. And you can often get better prices on personal computers directly from manufacturers.

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