RSS is not that new technology yet aggregating it seems to be picking up just recently. Such sites as feedburner.com have millions of subscribers and looking at the site traffic most of the subscriber base came just over the past year or so.
Aggregating bargains seems to be a different story. There just isn’t that many offerings out there and even those rare sites that do RSS aggregation seem to be struggling to attract attention.
In this post I will try to cover the web sites that I know. Being in the market myself I find this area very promising and certainly worth looking at if you are in deal hunting for good.
One of the oldest sites in RSS aggregation niche - online since June 4, 2004. They recently had a web 2.0 facelift which improved the site look and usability. Roosster collects deals from a huge number of sources including sites that don’t provide RSS feed. If a deal is found in more than one source it gets to the Hot Deals list. Alternatively you can browse all deals in the database. Sorting/filtering is available for advanced bargain hunters.
The functionality I like the most is that I can view the item image as I hover the mouse over a link to the deal. There is also a shortcut to shopzilla price-match which never worked for me. I kept getting “Sorry. No Matches.” for every deal I tried.
To wrap up the deal - Rooster provides a link to Firefox and Google Toolbar search plugin that will bring tons of deals straight to your PC… well, but first you will have to search for it on their front page. ;-)
I am somewhat biased towards this one since I am a co-creator. Thus I will limit myself to just saying that WiredDeals goes far beyond plain RSS aggregation. Sorting deals by the rating and popularity, filtering by age, setting up deal alerts by context and (check this out!) by how hot they are - these are just a few of the features you will find at WiredDeals. Take a look yourself and let me know how else this site can be improved.
This site resembles a smart search engine rather than a typical RSS aggregator. Why smart? It allows you to take part in the search process. Here is how it works: You search for a deal, you find one, and you clip it if you like it. Once you clip a deal it will show up at the top of the next search result hence improving the search relevance. The idea sounds great however you really need community to drive it and it is simply not there despite the publicity it received from TechCrunch. I tested it on a few popular keywords and none came back with clipped deals.
This is a fairly simple site that aggregates RSS feed from multiple sources and allows you to search across the feeds. If you have an account you can also save the deals that you have found. Simplicity is what I like about this site.
Looking at these offers one can see that this niche is extremely underdeveloped. I expect to see more sites like this new addition coming up on-line.
Update: To read more on the subject, go to Aggregating RSS feeds — Part 2