You may have seen the recent Bing ad asking, "Have you been scroogled?" A very funny ad that is making many people reconsider how they are using the Internet to do comparison shopping. I, for one, am guilty of always using Google for my Internet searches. Once you get into the habit of that, it can be easy to just use Google for shopping searches as well. Bing points out that Google shopping results are mostly sponsored. To the extent that this is true, it may well mean that you are not necessarily finding the best deals using the Google shopping tab.
The larger point here is that when you are using the Internet for comparison shopping you should use multiple search engines. I wrote an article on the issue of online shopping about three months back. This prior article is a great overview of the large variety of methods you can use to do a thorough online search.
More Online Shopping Tools
Listed below are some great shopping tools that were not mentioned in my prior article -
PriceDrop - An extension that you can add to your browser that will alert you when the price on a product you want to monitor goes down (currently monitors only Amazon and Best Buy).
FatWallet - This is a great website with constantly updated bargains. They also offer an extension for Firefox users that will alert you if there are any online coupons or cash back offers for a product you are searching for.
SlickDeals - An online forum where users post information about bargains and deals.
Invisible Hand - A plug in that runs in the background and alerts you of the lowest available price for any item you are searching for. What is especially interesting about this tool is that it also monitors hotels, rental cars, and airfares. The plug in is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
The Camelizer - An extension that provides you with historical price graphs showing the pricing history of the item you are searching for. This would be very useful for high ticket items that have significant price fluctuations. Available for Chrome and Firefox.
Some of these shopping apps are also now available for your smart phone.
As the Internet continues to commoditize the price of virtually everything, it is more important than ever to have good research tools to capitalize on the ever more competitive marketplace.
If you have a shopping tool or strategy that you would like to share, please use the comments section below and we can start a conversation.