FAQ

What's HotStock?

HotStock is a real-time product tracker. We'll instantly alert you when hard-to-get products are back in stock and available to buy. You'll never have to miss out on that must-have product again. We know how stressful it can be to purchase a product that's in high demand. That's why we're here. We specialise in helping you find the most sought-after products.

How do I receive stock alerts?

Once you're signed in, just click the big red ALERT ME button to state your interest in a product. Once it's back in stock, we'll immediately alert you. There's no need to refresh the webpage in your browser - HotStock is a real-time webapp that updates the page the instant there's a change in a stores's stock status.

How will I be alerted?

When your product is back in stock, we'll alert you in a number of ways:

  1. Browser push notification

    For instant notifications. HotStock.io needs to be running in one of your browser tabs/windows, but it doesn't need to be the active tab - you'll receive the notification even if it's minimised. However, if you're on a Mac, we recommend Safari as you'll be notified even if Safari isn't running! Note: Browser push notifications don't work on Safari on the iPhone/iPad.

  2. Mobile push notification

    For instant notifications on the go. You'll need our mobile app for this, available in the iOS/Android app stores (see links at the bottom of the page).

  3. Sound alert

    HotStock.io needs to be running in one of your browser tabs, but it doesn't need to be the active tab - you'll hear the audio even if it's minimised. Note: on the iPhone/iPad, you'll need to have the HotStock.io tab active in Safari to hear the alert.

  4. Email

    Sometimes email takes a few seconds to be received by some inboxes, so we send alerts by email only as a fallback (assuming you've verified your email address on signing up). This will usually mean you will receive less email alerts than notifications.

Which internet browsers and devices are supported?

HotStock is compatible with the most popular browsers and devices, including:

  • Google Chrome
  • Safari (on the Mac)
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer (latest version)
  • iPhone or iPad (our app is in the App Store)
  • Android (our app is in the Google Play store)

Why do I need to sign up to receive alerts?

As well as being able to send you an email alert, it allows you to set & save preferences (e.g. which products you want to watch) so we can be sure to only send you alerts for the products you're interested in hearing about, regardless of whether you're in the browser or using our app. You can always turn off email alerts via Settings on our website. We don't spam! We only send you stock alerts for product's you specify.

I'm not receiving alerts

Firstly, you can test alerts are working by choosing "Test Notifications" (from the My Alerts page on our site, or from the menu in our app), and then choosing the ALERT ME button.

If you're not receiving any alerts, check your browser/device's Settings to ensure Notifications are enabled for the HotStock website/app. In the Chrome browser, tapping the padlock icon to the left of the tab's address bar is a shortcut to these settings.

Also, if you're using our Android app, please note the following important steps...
Notifications are dependent on how your device treats them e.g. when optimizing its power usage. With some Android devices, just because alerts appear to work well whilst you're using your phone, it does not necessarily mean they will arrive timely when your screen is left off for 10 minutes - your device may stop looking for new notifications after this time!...

  • In your device's settings, be sure to also disable Battery Optimization for the HotStock app. Battery Optimization prevents your device from receiving alerts after a few minutes of inactivity (typically 10 minutes when the HotStock app isn't active/running, depending on your device).
  • If your device has a Low Power mode or Do Not Disturb mode, ensure both are off
  • Ensure you have a strong, stable internet connection (e.g. good Wifi)
  • Then, to test thoroughly, we suggest...
    1. Enable the "Test Notifications" (mentioned above) in the HotStock app
    2. Make a note of the time, then: go to your device's Homescreen, lock your device and leave it alone for 15mins (do not unlock it, nor turn the screen on yourself)
    3. You should receive the test notifications (approx 1 per minute)
    4. If you still receive test notifications after 10mins, then congratulations - your device fully supports notifications!
      However, if you stopped receiving the test notifications after 10mins or so, then your device is blocking them in an effort to save battery (check your device settings and try again).

Reset your notification listener in the app:
If you're still not receiving a Test Notification in the app, your notification listener may have got corrupted. This can sometimes happen if you Logout/Unsubscribe/Disable alerts, but then change your mind. To fix...

  1. Stop watching all items in your My Alerts (if any), then...
  2. Logout, then log back in to the app
  3. Watch an item - ideally the Test Notifications until you're confident it's working

Enter your ZIP code for local (in-store) alerts:
We also track in-store, local stock (e.g. for 'Target (Pickup)'). This stock is location-dependent, so you'll only receive alerts if nearby stores have stock - enter your ZIP code in the Location menu of the app, and specify the distance you're willing to travel.


I bought the Premium subscription, but the app is not recognizing that I did

Please select the "Restore purchases" / "I'm already subscribed" button on the Premium Subscription page of our app. Our app will then automatically check Apple/Google (depending on which app you're using) for existence of a valid Subscription purchase, and upgrade you to Premium. If it's still not working, please check your payment method (e.g. has it expired?), and check the subscription was successfully validated by Apple/Google in their App Store's Subscriptions page. Then, feel free to attempt to select the Upgrade button in our app again. If you have any concerns about being charged twice: please know that you can't be charged multiple times for the same subscription period.

I'm on Premium but I'm not getting alerts any faster!

Premium customers are sent prioritized notifications. However, there are many factors that can affect the speed of notifications. Whilst we do our best to send you timely stock notifications, there are many other technical factors outside of our control that affect their delivery; including your device capabilities and settings (including Low Power mode, Battery Optimization settings, Do Not Disturb mode), internet connectivity/speed/signal (e.g. Wifi vs 4G). Whilst we prioritize the sending of notifications/emails to Premium users, we rely on third parties to deliver those notifications/emails to you (e.g. Apple, Google), who in turn have their own proprietary notification algorithms.

I'm a Premium customer. How do I unsubscribe from Premium subscription payments?

If you are a Premium customer using our Apple/Google mobile app, and wish to unsubscribe from monthly subscription payments, this is something only you can only do via your device's App Store (or your device's Settings app) in the Subscriptions section associated to your Apple/Google account. We're not able to cancel, nor manage subscriptions from our end, due to Apple/Google restrictions that are imposed to all apps (including ours) - Subscriptions for apps can only be modified/cancelled by yourself. Our app only knows if you are subscribed or not subscribed, and will update accordingly.

Important note: Your HotStock account is managed by HotStock, and your subscription is managed by Apple/Google - they are independent. Deleting your HotStock account does not cancel your Premium subscription.

How do I unsubscribe from alerts for a specific product?

If you're just no longer interested in receiving any notifications for a product, either click the unsubscribe link in any email alert you've received; or just click the ticked ALERT ME button on the product page to untick it (to stop being alerted about it).

How do I stop receiving just email or mobile alerts?

Please see the top of our website, and select Settings to manage the settings for your account.

Doesn't look like you're tracking an item I'd like. How do I add it?

Although we track hundreds of products (Custom products are the ones you'll also find via the search), there will always be others of interest. Please choose Suggest a product item from the Contact us page to send us the title of the product to consider. If you include links, it will speed up the review process. Suggestions are handled on a first-come-first-served basis. How fast we get back to you depends on demand.

I've forgotten my password and can't login!

Choose the 'Forgot your password?' link on the Log in page, and then follow the steps to reset your password.

I can't get Browser Notifications to work. It's greyed-out on the Settings page!

First, please check you're using one of our supported browsers (listed above) on a computer/laptop. Browser notifications often do not work on mobile devices/tablets - you'll need our app for those!).

It's likely greyed out because your browser settings are preventing alerts from our site. Also, if you're using Incognito mode (e.g. in Chrome), please note that Incognito mode prevents browser alerts for all sites, including ours (and can't be overridden). In a regular browser window, try temporarily watching a new product (or our Test Notification demo product) - your browser should then display a prompt asking for your permission to allow us to notify you.

Alternatively, you could try clicking the lock icon in the left of your browser's address bar when on our site to manage notification permissions for our site. Once tweaked, you can use our Test Notifications (see FAQ points above) to see if it's now working for you.

If it's still not working for you, as a next step, please clear your browser cookies/cache for our website (via your browser's settings), and then re-open our site in a browser window - after logging in, try watching a new product (or our Test Notification demo product) - your browser should then display a prompt asking for your permission to allow us to notify you.

I want to delete my account and all my account details

Please contact us (link below) if you wish us to delete your account completely. Please note that your HotStock account and any active Apple/Google subscriptions (for our Premium service) are not related. If you also wish to unsubscribe from Premium subscription payments, please see instructions in the FAQ point above.

Important note: Your HotStock account is managed by HotStock, and your subscription is managed by Apple/Google - they are independent. Deleting your HotStock account does not cancel your Premium subscription.

Why didn't you notify me when stock came in?

The retailers we track frequently change their websites, which can result in missed stock detections (and hence notifications). We do our best to stay on top of these changes, but we are not in control of retailers' websites.

Regarding our tracked retailer list: we track the most popular retailers for our listed products. To see a list of ones we do track on the respective product's page.

Why are you sending me false alerts?

Our alerts are not 'false'. We understand it can be frustrating in times of low stock & extreme demand to receive an alert but not be able to purchase from the retailer. However, we only send notifications when a retailer reports stock available. Notification technology is much faster than email technology, so we suggest you only use email as a fallback as every second counts.

Sometimes, retailers state there is stock even when there is only 1 item (e.g. when someone cancels/returns their order). Understandably, this stock can sell out extremely fast (in seconds). The problem is compounded by the existence of auto-purchase bots, used by professional "scalpers" to buy in seconds and re-sell the item on sites (e.g. eBay).

Other times, retailers' websites are 'buggy' and can report stock when there isn't any. To help mitigate this issue, we have introduced a 'Filter alerts' button in our apps. This button allows you to only receive alerts from specific retailers you wish (i.e. to mute alerts from a specific store).

Some retailers also choose to release stock in "waves". We recommend refreshing the retailer's site a few times under these circumstances (often their Buy button can become active on refresh).

Out of stock - I couldn't buy the product!

Stock can go extremely fast (see FAQ point above). We recommend entering your address/payment details into retailer websites ahead of time, and having your login details prepared, to ensure a swift purchase.

Our service merely lets people know when there's stock, and where you can go to get it. We don't get involved in the purchase of the product itself, and don't even handle the transaction - we pass you on to the site (e.g. Amazon's or Microsoft's website, etc) to make it easy for you to purchase it there. If you have a problem relating to the attempted purchase of a product, then please contact the seller (e.g. Amazon) for more information.

Why can't I comment?

For the health of the HotStock community, we often need to take measures to prevent bullying/trolling/abusive/anti-social behaviour. We rely on the community to report offensive comments to us for removal. Abuse or repeated circumvention of our posting rules can result in a ban to user accounts.

I don't see a specific product/retailer on your site

Contact us (link below) to request a product/retailer that you'd like us to consider tracking.

What is the timezone for displayed times in HotStock? (e.g. in the Stock Log)

The times are based on your device's timezone settings. If you're using our website, this setting is based either on your operating system's timezone/region, or on your browser's settings. If you're using the app, it's based on your device's timezone date/time setting in the Settings app.

Some of our product links are affiliate referral links: Almost all sites that link to other shopping websites use affiliate links - e.g. Google's search results. When the link is clicked, we may receive a very small, anonymous commission for your purchase (just like Google does when you click a Google search result). This does not affect your purchase in any way (no increase in cost to you), and we don't (and can't) monitor your personal details/transactions. Once you click the link you navigate away from our site (to the retailer's purchase page), we are not able to see/capture your personal details (as you've left our site by this point). The personal details you enter on the retailer's site is between you and the retailer (not visible to us). Your privacy is important to us (see our Privacy policy for more info).

I keep trying to write comments and it doesn’t let me send them!

Perhaps try rephrasing your comment - perhaps it contains some words that are blocked. The system blocks certain words automatically for the health of the community and to reduce abuse to others. If rephrasing doesn't help - please contact us to let us know specifically what you're trying to post.

Will you sell my personal details/email/password on?

No. Never; and we have no interest in doing so. Your privacy is important to us (see our Privacy policy for more info). The only reason we ask for your email is to enable us to send you an email alert for the product you wish to be notified about. You'll receive no other marketing material from us. We do not spam. We only send you what you ask for. If you don't want to receive any emails, please select Settings at the top of our website to manage the settings for your account.

Also, we're not able to see your stored HotStock account password (it's encrypted on our servers). Regardless, it is good internet practice to use a different password for your online accounts, in case your password is hacked on another website

I got scammed because I contacted someone/shared my personal details in the Comments section (e.g. to someone claiming to sell a product)

Please never share your personal details (e.g. phone number/social media details) with any strangers anywhere on the internet, including via our Comments section. You are responsible for your own comments and decisions. We are not liable for the outcome of your actions/purchases/sales, as per our Terms.

Help! I got hacked after signing up on HotStock!

Sorry to hear this happened, but this is not our doing. We will never sell your personal details nor password. It is good internet practice to use a different password for your online accounts, in case your password is hacked on another website. Also, never share your personal details to others via our Comments. We are not liable for the outcome of your actions/purchases/sales, as per our Terms.

I've got another question that's not here - help!

Don't see an answer to your question? Feel free to contact us.