Ultimate Guide to Comparison Shopping
One of the best things about the internet is that it has expanded the experience of shopping in ways we could only have imagined in the past. We can search for and compare products and services, and even see real customer reviews to help us decide what is worth spending our money on. And, we have access to all of this information right at our fingertips. Not all price comparison sites are created equal, though, and it’s good to know which ones are worthy of your time. All of the sites listed here are free to use, offer reliable information, and are trusted among consumers. So, check around before you go out and buy that new car or book that next hotel room.
General Price Comparison Sites
If you’re looking for the best price on some particular product – whether it’s a new TV, a baby stroller, or a pair of shoes – these comparison shopping sites have already done much of the work for you. The sites in this section allow users to search for a variety of items from multiple retailers. Some also include price quotes from local stores if you don’t want to make the purchase online.
Price Grabber – Price Grabber is a huge site full of listings for all kinds of products from electronics and appliance to clothes and jewelry. You can view the lowest prices from a broad range of online retail sites, read product reviews, and even set up an alert so you know when a certain item goes on sale somewhere.
Pricewatch – Pricewatch is a long-running price comparison site that allows you to view a vast array of items across a wide variety of online sellers as well as brick-and-mortar shops in your area.
Nextag – Nextag is another comparison site that keeps consumers coming back again and again. You can search out specific items or see what other people are searching for. Nextag helps you compare prices on a wide variety of items including electronics, clothes, jewelry, health and beauty products, and more.
Bizrate – Bizrate sees its fair share of visitors, too, no doubt due to its extensive (and frequently updated) listing of products and prices. Search by specific terms, category, or just browse through the featured deals.
ShopLocal – ShopLocal lets you see what’s on sale at all the major retailers in your area. You can compare all of the current week’s ads at a glance. See who has the best prices on what this week without poring over pages of mailers and print ads – or running all over town – to find out.
Comparison Shopping for Autos
Buying a car is a big deal and it’s important to conduct some research before committing to anything. A salesperson at a local car lot isn’t going to tell you if there’s a better deal on the same vehicle somewhere else – or that the particular model you’re looking at loses its value more quickly than another similar model. You’ll learn more by spending a few minutes researching your potential purchases on the sites listed below.
NADA Car Comparison Guides –This site allows you to run side by side cost comparisons on up to four models of cars or trucks at once.
Motor Trend Comparison Tool – Motor Trend Magazine’s comparison tool shows you the MSRP on any new vehicle. You can search by make, model, specific features, and more. You can also enter your zip code and receive free quotes from dealers in your area.
Edmunds New Car Price Tool – Edmunds is a solid resource for comparing prices while looking for your next vehicle. The site also offers a free monthly payment calculator, a tool for estimating the value of your used car, and more.
Cars.com – Cars.com is an easy-to-navigate site that lets you look at different cars side-by-side. You can select up to four at a time to see how they stack up against one another – or you can use the research tool to find the best price on the vehicle you’re looking for.
Real Estate Comparison Tools
It’s probably the most major purchase you’ll ever make, and there are few things more exciting – and potentially stressful – than buying a home. It takes a lot of work, and once you’re locked in it can be pretty disconcerting to find out that you could have gotten a much better deal or that your home was not realistically priced. These sites can really help you to get the most out of the purchase or sale of your home by giving you the information you need to make the most sensible decisions at every turn.
Zillow – Zillow is a high quality site that has become very popular among potential homebuyers and sellers alike. It allows you to search for homes using your desired criteria and then comparison-shop. The site also lets you view the values of other homes in the area.
Realtor.com – Realtor.com is a searchable site full of regularly updated listings for homes all over the United States. You can compare home prices, connect with a realtor in your area, and find lots of helpful articles for the first time home buyer or seller.
Yahoo Homes Comparison Tools – Find out the value of your home, compare real estate values across a broad range of specifications, or even get information about famous homes and celebrity properties.
House Locator.com – At HouseLocator.com, you can search for homes throughout the U.S. and Canada. The site has several other helpful tools, like the mortgage payment calculator and guides to help you maximize your home’s appeal to potential buyers.
Comparison Shopping for Travel
Travel comparison sites have become incredibly popular in recent years, and most people don’t book anything until they’ve consulted at least one. These sites broker deals with airlines, hotels, rental car companies, and cruise lines to get their customers cut-rate prices without having to compromise on quality.
Kayak – Kayak is a favorite among travelers. The no-frills site allows users to compare rates on hotels, flights, and rental cars all over the world. You can also find deals on vacation packages and cruises.
Expedia – On expedia, you can compare prices on flights, rentals, hotels, and more using the search tools. The site also offers featured specials and “last minute deals."
Priceline – Priceline, one of the most visited travel comparison sites, offers customers a “name your own price" search feature which allows you to set your budget and “bid" on accommodations, airfare, rental cars, cruises, and more.
Orbitz – Another of the major travel comparison sites, Orbitz features an array of slashed rates from a wide variety of travel and accommodation providers. You can also book two or more services together to save even more money.