objects/shoppingcart.jpgIf you are the type of person who travels to two or three stores to make sure you get the best price, you will love shopping on the Internet. Never has comparison shopping been so easy.  You don’t even have to click from store to store. All the work is done for you by comparison shopping websites. Four of the most common sites of this type are:

  • BizRate—www.bizrate.com
  • PriceGrabber—www.pricegrabber.com
  • Shopping.com—www.shopping.com
  • Shopzilla—www.shopzilla.com

Just visit one of these websites and lookup the product you would like to purchase. Each site has a different interface, but in general you can look up any item by type or by name. The selection is mind-blowing. It is worth visiting these sites just to see the amount and variety of products that they have. These comparison sites cover clothing, jewelry, appliances, flowers, perfume, computers, toys, books, sunglasses, bedding, and just about any other type of product you can think of. They even have furniture and cars!

Once you enter the item you are looking for, the website gives you a list of online stores where that product is available and the current price at each store. The shopping sites also give you a direct link to the store to make purchasing the item very easy. And there is more…

Each of the comparison sites gives product information about the item like specifications and manufacturer information. They also allow the purchasers to come back to the website and post reviews. So you get to see what real people think about each product. Sometimes you find that one person loved the product and the next hated it. But often you can glisten important information from their comments. I saw one laptop computer where ten people complained that the hinges stuck or broke off. That is certainly enough information to keep you from purchasing.

Most of these comparison sites also give you more information on the stores that are listed. PriceGrabber gives you the stores contact information, payment methods, return policy, shipping methods, and special features. Shopzilla and Shopping.com allow readers to rate the stores as well as the products. This gives you valuable information on the quality of the online store as well as their customer service, shipping methods, and other valuable information.

What you get with these comparison websites is a personalized shopper who will help you find, compare, and buy just about anything. And it couldn’t be easier! At Shopping.com I entered Epson Stylus C86 and Shopping.com came up with 44 stores where I could purchase this photo printer. The prices ranged from $68 to $168 and there were eight customer reviews and five professional reviews on the product. At Shopzilla a Nikon Coolpix 8800 was found at 67 stores and the prices went from $444 to $1,000. There were nine customer reviews and five professional reviews. At BizRate, the same Nikon was found at 50 stores with prices from $580 to $1,450 and there were nine customer reviews.

I liked the interface of Shopzilla the best. It seemed to be a little less cluttered and it was easy to navigate, but all four comparison sites were chuck full of information. Each has special features. For instance at Shopzilla you could enter your zip code and determine exactly what tax and shipping would be without even leaving the Shopzilla website.

When you are ready to compare prices you may want to visit each site to check out their information on your proposed purchase. Whether you are looking for a bargain or just want to be an informed shopper, these websites make it easy.