Online shopping gained popularity because it was extremely convenient to buy things online, and these days another huge benefit is being offered by price comparison sites and apps – that of saving good money when making purchases via the internet. There are plenty of price comparison websites that offer a range of features suitable for a variety of needs, making it easier to be frugal when spending money online.
Just like in the real world, any purchase you make online is carried out after a basic level of price comparison to make sure you get the best deal. If time is on your side, you may go through the hassle of ‘window shopping’ at a number of retailers before making a decision about where to purchase the final product or service from. However, if there is a shortage of time, it makes sense to use price comparison websites, ready to inform you about the best deals when you’re browsing the internet for certain types of purchases.
Luckily, there is a whole range of price comparison services to choose from these days, which may come in the form of downloadable software, apps for your smart phone or websites that run on your internet browser. Many of these price comparison sites and apps offer browser extensions that run on a variety of internet browsers, making it easier than ever to save money when shopping online.
What can you buy through price comparison sites?
Online price comparison sites work on a full range of product and service categories, ranging from technology gadgets, clothing, groceries, electronic appliances and even video games! So if you use these comparison tools frequently, you can only imagine the amount of money you will save over time, without any hassle.
You should be aware that many price comparison sites charge merchants for sales, and that can lead to higher prices, as discovered in a recent research conducted by the University of Warwick. However, there is little that individual consumers can do about that as this is a macro consequence of ‘price aggregators’ in the market.
If you are a frugal consumer who regularly shops online, there really is no excuse for you not to use such a software, especially since a number of innovative and helpful features have been introduced by these software as a result of intense competition.
How price comparison tools help you make the right purchase decision
While most prices comparison sites and apps offer basic features, like notifying you about better deals within the online marketplace that you happen to visit, some of them go a step ahead and scan competing online marketplaces to get you the lowest price or best discounts across a number of online retailers.
A few price comparison websites delve deeper and offer the following convenient features for saving money online:
- Price alerts to notify you when the price for a certain item have hit (or dropped below) the desired price threshold, allowing you to reach your savings target,
- Comparisons between prices of new and used products to help you determine which purchase will save the most money,
- Historical prices to help you determine whether a pattern exists, allowing you to buy your product at the best possible time (and price).
- Notification of the latest discounts, deals and coupons from around the web so you have a number of avenues to explore when trying to save money.
It’s easy to see that price comparison sites help you save money in more than one way and most of these services are totally free so you have nothing to lose at the end of the day. Of course, make sure the app you download or the service you sign up for is reputable because protecting your privacy is your first priority! Plus, some of these price comparison sites do not share live data, or price statistics in ‘real time’ so as always, use your judgement to make the best purchase decision when shopping on the internet.
Further reading: Comparing Products Online by Federal Trade Commission