This is your holiday season reminder that Amazon doesn’t always have the lowest prices

Jason Del Rey
Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Inc.
Patrick Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon's prices are often great. But they are not always the best.

That's a worthwhile reminder this time of year considering tens of millions of you are Amazon Prime members, which makes you less likely to compare prices before buying on Amazon.

But you should. Case in point: leading up to the holiday season, Google's price comparison site showed better prices than Amazon on nearly 60 percent of Amazon best sellers, according to the pricing firm 360pi.

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In the lead-up to the holiday rush, some other online retailers showed signs they were going to be much more aggressive this year in matching or beating Amazon on prices. Walmart, as an example, was beating Amazon on 20 percent of top-selling toys that both retailers were selling. Walmart also matched Amazon's price on another 35 percent of these goods.

Over at, now owned by Walmart, you could find better prices on 46 percent of top-selling toys that both sites carried.

Amazon is often still the best option, either because its price is the lowest or customers value its unbeatable selection and steady reliability this time of year over anything else. But spending a few minutes checking prices elsewhere can sometimes save you money.

By Jason Del Rey,

CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.