The uneasy relationship between Amazon and discount-tracking sites

|By:, SA News Editor

A niche industry of Amazon (AMZN -0.4%) deal-watching sites has popped up to give consumers yet another crack at squeezing the e-commerce giant for deals.

Sites such as Camelcamelcamel.com, Keepa.com, and Thetracktor.com will alert users via e-mail when items hit a certain price and have more detailed data than larger well-known coupon sites like DealNews and Slickdeals.

How does Amazon react to the margins-squeezers? The company provides sales data directly to the sites and pays a referral fee for purchases made from them.

Execs with the retail upstarts realize the uneasy relationship with Amazon might not go on forever, but they have a neat back-up plan: Track Wal-Mart's (WMT +0.2%) deals and prices.