Deals aggregators are websites that bring together shopping deals from other deal sites and forums. Instead of going to each website individually you can use them to browse deals in one place.
Deals aggregators are one of my biggest passions. I have reviewed them in the past here and here and I visit some of them on a daily basis. When used properly, a deals aggregator can save your time and improve your chances at scoring a hot deal. In fact many deals published on this blog come via deal aggregators.
Dealighted falls under this category since the deals it displays originate from other sources. It was launched in November of 2006 by the same people who run ResellerRatings. I did go over some of its features when I reviewed it previously and honestly I wasn’t very impressed at that time. It looks like the team has added some features since then. Let’s go over them and see if they make Dealighted a better place for bargain hunting.
Built-in price comparison
It looks like price comparison functionality was recently integrated into the website. You can still search the deals but that search box is hidden in the upper right corner and is not easy to spot. The main search will instead fire up a price comparison engine, very similar to shopping.com, and will list offers from a network of affiliated stores.
There is one twist though. As you browse in on a product, you will see several tabs: one for product details, one for product reviews (by Epinions.com), one for store reviews (by ResellerRatings), and one for related entries from the pull of aggregated deals. As I understand this tab does what the old search did but instead displays the results in a context of the price comparison page.
Bargain hunting on its head
I am not quite sure why the team organized the functionality this way. For me it would be more logical to find a deal first and then use price comparison engine to verify that the price is the best out there. Starting with price comparison sounds like turning bargain hunting on its head.
I can find at least one explanation to the change though. The products pulled from the comparison engine have affiliate codes in them and bring Dealighted a commission from each sale. The aggregated deals are pulled from user forums and don’t bring Dealighted a dime. From the perspective of maximizing the profit, this is a very strong incentive to put the price comparison up front. Does it make the website a better bargain hunting tool? Not for me.
Deals aggregation hasn’t improved
Price comparison may be collecting some green to Dealighted but I really wish the team was focused on improving the aggregator part of the website, and I have not noticed any improvements in that area since the website was launched last year. Here are a few additions from my wish list:
- Let me preview the deal details. You can get some idea from the title but more often than not you have to click through to find what exactly is offered. It would be nice to be able to preview the deal details without having to visit the website offering the deal.
- Why are there no product images? Shopping is a very visual process. Visual shopping is becoming more and more popular and being able to see a product image is a must these days.
- Can I sort those deals? Dealighted brings a list of “Today’s Best User Submitted Deals” together and this is very useful. However I would like to be able to do more with this list rather than just browse through it. Being able to sort deals by popularity or filter by a keyword would be a great addition.
- Can I browse deals by category? This is another important feature that would greatly improve the aggregator part of the website. The tag cloud somewhat helps but I personally find categories with multiple levels (similar to those used in the price comparison part of the website) much more useful.
The integration of price comparison functionality into Dealighted shifts the focus from bargain hunting to comparison shopping. It does open the door for monetizing the website but also brings it into a much more crowdy market space.
The ability to see related deals in the price comparison search results helps to set the website apart from competitors (the only other website that I know is doing a similar thing is Mpire). The change however adds little value for bargain hunters who come to the website to use it as a deals aggregator.
This post is sponsored by Dealighted via ReviewMe