F Comparison Shopping Sites ~ Critique of the Unique

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Comparison Shopping Sites

I live out in the country. For me to do anything, it requires travel. 15 minutes to the grocery store, 20 minutes to the children's church, 45 miles to the closest hospital. Let's not even talk shopping centers, where it's over 2 hours no matter which direction I travel. That is why I like internet shopping, where I can just pull up a couch cushion and a big cup of ice tea, and browse.

What's even better then the convenience? Knowing that for each store I look at, I can search for current coupon codes to apply at checkout. I don't have to save and store all the Sunday coupons or browse the ads for specials. I can just type in what I am looking for and Viola, it appears right in front of me.

My new current love is the type of websites that take a combination of stores and place them under one website address. Take for instance, Become.com, which is labeled as a "Comparison Shopping Site".  This particular site is easy to navigate. Simply type what you are shopping for in the "Shop For" search box and click "SHOP".  Then, the website's searching database will return all the stores it finds that carry the product you desire.

For example: I typed in the words "sleeper chair" and it yielded a page that included such stores as Target, Overstock.com, Sears, Ballard Designs, Kmart and even Ebay.com.  It shows a thumbnail photo of the item for sale, tells if it is in stock, lists the store where to find the item and the asking cost. It then offers you a link to go directly to that website to purchase the item. Become.com does not sell the items, yet serves as a tool to bring the consumer to the product!

The speed is incredible! When I searched for "round coffee table" it yielded 761 products to choose from, in less than five seconds. Saves me hours of searching each and every website on my own, and it gives me an overview that I can quickly scan to see if the product fits my needs. I even tried searching for less popular items such as "chair leg caps", thinking it would come up empty handed, but it actually found 71 different stores that carry related items such as castors, caps and folding chairs and tables.

Another feature that it has is called "Research". Instead of clicking "SHOP", simply click the "RESEARCH" tab and it pulls up articles related to the item you searched. When I typed in "braiding", it pulled up "How to Braid", "Decorative Braiding", "Hair Braiding in Nassau"...etc. and I think this is going to be a very useful tool for me, as I often like to research the product before I purchase. At the moment, I am researching the best type of driveway alarm to install at our house, as I cannot hear a car come up my driveway and I don't like surprise visitors! (Plus, if the alarm went off, I'd know without a doubt when the UPS guy or Fed Ex guy was coming up the drive...yippee!!).

Comparison shopping sites are becoming more popular as more companies and retail stores develop online venues for the sale of their product. It is really good news for the consumer and I'm excited to be able to utilize this service this upcoming holiday season!

FTC Guidelines require that I disclose that this is a sponsored post, written by me, in behalf of our friends at www.become.com. All opinions expressed herein are my own, honest opinions. Other opinions may vary. 

What is a time saving technique that you use in your day to day life? How do you organize coupons and rebate vouchers?



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