Most of us are happy to save a few bucks whenever we shop, but for others, bargain hunting is a sport requiring great skill and constant vigilance. Online shopping online has opened up a new world for the obsessive deal hunter and the ordinary shopper alike. There's a huge assortment of Web sites devoted to helping you find the lowest prices and best offers from online retailers. In this guide you'll find our favorites.
In the past, comparing prices between different retailers would have entailed calling them up or traipsing from store to store. These days, Web sites abound to spare you that tedium. Known as "shopping bots," shopping-comparison Web sites rapidly compile lists of outlets that stock the item, and the respective prices they offer.
- Many shopping Web sites are partnered with online retailers. As a result, they compare prices among only a limited number of stores. To make sure you really are getting the best price, use more than one shopping bot.
- When it comes to shipping expenses, some shopping bots will add this on to the cost for you, whereas others won't. Make sure you mentally add shipping costs to the price of purchase for a true price comparison.
For a variety of merchandise ...
's simple layout makes this shopping bot easy to use; plus, your search includes the name of the item, a description, and a photo when available. Enter your zip code to get approximate shipping costs, too. In addition, the Web site provides customer ratings and reviews of the store's service and dependability.
doesn't just list the stores that sell a particular item; it gets more specific. Do a generic search for an item-such as "dog leash"-and the site lists the different dog leashes available instead of the different stores that sell leashes. As a result, you can first choose the exact brand of leash you want and then search for the store with the lowest price.
provides product reviews and ratings from customers as well as price comparisons to help you make a better decision. The site also links to expert reviews of some products from various sources, such as PC World and Smart Ratings.
For a specific category of item ...
is designed for electronics, computers, and tech gadgets. You'll find price comparisons and expert and user reviews for digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones, printers, TVs, and more. Other advantages include a CNET editor rating and Editor's Choice awards for certain products, so you get expert advice if you're unsure which brand is best for you.
DVD Price Search
offers more than just a price comparison. In many cases you'll see a movie poster, a cast list, the name of the film's director, rating, studio, release date, and more. The price comparison scours all of the big online DVD retailers, as well as a few offerings from used dealers in case you want to buy a secondhand version.
is a one-stop Web site for car and truck shopping. The site offers detailed information about vehicles, as well as editorial and consumer reviews. You can find the current average selling price (Edmund's True Market Value price), as well as obtain quotes from auto dealers.
focuses solely on books, and the price comparisons include estimated shipping costs for retailers, used bookstores, and online auctions. As an added perk, PriceViewer also notes when online coupons are available for the store, which can save you even more money.
Shop It To Me
acts like your own personal shopping assistant for fashion and clothing. Select your favorite brands and the size you wear, and Shop It To Me will send you a personalized e-mail. Arriving as often as you like, these e-mails tell you about all sales and bargains at online department and specialty stores with products meeting your specifications.
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