Nov 10, 2010 Christine White
Find the best prices online with price watch sites - Chris White
Comparison Shopping Online
A decade ago, online shopping was a revolution bringing thousands of retailers directly to a shopper’s personal computer. Now, shopbots are taking online shopping even further. Shopbots are online comparison shopping tools that ‘crawl’ multiple retailer websites to find the best price for you. Shopbots are the tool to use when you know the item you want to purchase and you want to find it at the absolute best price. Like a personal shopper, shopbots take your requested item, and then browse a variety of merchandise retailers to find the best price for you. Many shopbots also offer a price watch feature where you can receive notifications from the shopbot when the item you want is available at a lower price.
The search focus for most shopbots is mainstream retailers; this means the results you receive are from reputable sellers with good customer service ratings. The shopbots often include buyer feedback on these retailers as well to help with your purchase decision. This focus on mainstream retailers, however, means most shopbots do not search auction sites like eBay so you may want to check those sites separately as well.
An important thing to remember is that you do not make your purchase through the shopbot – it does the comparison shopping for you but the final purchasing is done through the retailer. When the shopbot finds the item you want, connect to the retailer via the shopbot to make your bargain purchase. As with all online shopping, though, it is important to check the fine print on your results: the price the shopbot finds might not include things like shipping & handling, so always check the full details from the retailer before making your purchase.
Find the Best Price with these Comparison Shopping Online sites:
- DealTime.com offers to help you “search fast, save big” on a variety of merchandise. This service of shopping.com searches deals on everything from clothing and home furnishings to computers and electronics, to sports equipment and games. DealTime price checking also includes personalized tax and shipping details for each product; consumer reviews and ratings, in addition to easy-to-use comparison shopping tools to help buyers find their product at the best price.
- Bizrate.com also comparison shops all manner of retail items – from kids’ toys to women’s shoes to computers and electronics. The site also has a coupon section you can use to find online coupon codes for a particular store. Bizrate claims to be “the industry leader in online store ratings and reviews, bizrate collects over 25,000 customer reviews each day, and shares it so customers know for sure whether a store can be trusted.”
- Twenga.com is another popular price checker. It claims to search “more than 260 million product offers to find the best deal in the USA.” Twenga also searches auction site eBay, as well as mainstream retailers, to offer even broader search results.
- PriceGrabber.com (US) or PriceGrabber.ca (Canada) will price check a huge variety of retail items. This comparison shopping tool will also let you register for notifications so you can receive updates on price drops on any item you are seeking.
- Shopbot.ca is a comparison shopping service of Canadian retailers only, offering searches on a wide range of retail items. A Canadian competitor, PriceCanada.com, focuses its searches on computers, electronics, and DVDs often with great search results.
- MegaShopBot.com is a further evolution of online comparison shopping. This is a shopbot-shopbot, meaning it ‘crawls’ other shopbots for an even broader search for the best price.
- Allbookstores.com is a specialist shopbot that looks at books only. It searches for the lowest book prices on new and used books by comparing prices at more than 3 dozen online bookstores. One outstanding feature of this comparison shopping tool is that the “price comparisons include: Shipping Cost, Shipping Time, Sales Tax (when required), Availability and Condition (New or Used)” making a purchase decision even easier for the buyer.
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